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16/09/2013 09:42 BST

Claire Richards Hits Back At Twitter Trolls: 'I Can Take Being Called Fat But Being Called A Bad Mum Is Really Hurtful'

Steps star Claire Richards has revealed the thing that gets to her most about the online abuse she receives.

The singer says she sees red over jibes that she's an unfit mother because of her weight, saying she ensures her two young children, Charlie, six, and three-year-old Daisy, eat a balanced diet.

claire richards

Claire Richards

At the height of Steps' fame Claire was a size 8 but has in the past been a size 20.

Now a size 16, and launching a fashion rage for plus size women, Claire has opened up about the nasty comments she receives via social networking sites.

Speaking to The Mirror, she said: “It’s ridiculous but I’ve got lots of stick about whether I am a good role model for my children, which is hurtful. My kids, like all kids, love chocolate and crisps, but I ensure they have a well-balanced diet.

“I don’t ever want my kids to feel how I’ve felt over the years when it comes to food and weight. I want them to know they are accepted and loved.

"I’m really worried by parents who say to their kids with a bit of puppy fat, ‘You’re looking podgy, you need to lose weight’. It’s as if they’re projecting their worries on to the kids.”

Last year, Claire vowed she isn't going to ever diet again after revealing she suffered with bulimia during the band's heyday.

The 'Tragedy' singer proclaimed she is now content with her size, having accepted she is "not meant to be a size 10".

She told Closer magazine: "I got so sick of dieting. I felt happiest when I wasn't starving myself and decided that actually, this is me.

"I'm not meant to be a size 10. It's not going to rule my life any more."

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