Like most teens, X Factor hopeful Ella Henderson is feeling the pressure to look perfect. Her weight has yo-yoed in the past, but a tweet from fuller-figured Adele made her realise she's just fine the way she is.
16-year-old Ella has captured the nation's attention on The X Factor with her incredible singing voice, and believes people should focus on what she sounds like, not how much she weighs. Too right!
The singer has revealed details of the personal battle she's fought to accept her figure. The teenager, from Tipton, near Grimsby, Lincolnshire, lost two-and-a-half stone last year because she felt under pressure to achieve the perfect pop star image. But now she says she's happy with the way she looks, and it's her talent that should be judged, nothing else.
A tweet from fuller-figured Grammy winner Adele cemented Ella's new found confidence, reminding her that you don't have to be a size zero to be successful in the music industry. Adele sent her a Twitter message after her first performance last month, saying: "Ella Henderson on X Factor is absolutely incredible! I LOVE her!! Good luck xx."
Ella, who performed You’re The One That I Want from the musical Grease on last night’s show, told the Mail Online: "Having Adele know who I am is incredible.
"I couldn’t believe a Grammy award-winner sent me a message on Twitter after my first performance. She is such an inspiration.
"There is pressure out there on young women. You look around you, in magazines and you think, “Should I be skinny? Do I need to go on a diet?” It’s easy to fall into that trap. Last year I was very body-conscious. I went completely the other way and I went underweight at a certain point.
"From the weight I am now, I lost about two-and-a-half stone. Now I’ve found the right balance and I’m happy. I’m a normal-sized girl. I’ll never be a size zero, that’s just not going to happen but I’m simply going to be myself and I hope people will accept me for who I am."
Online trolls have targeted Ella on social networking sites after she was linked to fellow X-Factor contestant George Shelley, from Union J. One cruel Twitter user wrote: "I hate Ella Henderson. Ugly fat ******."
Ella has resonded with dignity: "If someone told me to lose weight now, I’d take no notice. My music isn’t going to sound any different whether I look like a bean pole or Mr Blobby."
Ella also revealed how Adele had helped her stand up to producers keen to sex-up her performances: "I love doing my hair and make-up and trying out quirky styles, but on a programme like The X Factor they want to do everything to the extreme and break boundaries," she said.
"Sometimes I have to rein it in a bit. I’ve sat down at a table with them and said, “'OK, I wouldn’t be comfortable on national television wearing a crop top and a pair of hotpants.'”
Good on you, Ella!
X Factor 2012
Kardashian Kollection 'Snubbed By Kate Middleton' As Free Clothes Are Returned