Tracy Beaker star Dani Harmer has revealed that she was fat-shamed on social media during her stint on Strictly Come Dancing in 2012.
The actress who was 23 at the time shot to fame at the age of 12 in popular kids TV show The Story of Tracy Beaker.
She finished fourth in the competition but admits the experience of being on the show was not always a happy one when she received cruel jibes about her weight.
Now 31, Dani explained to the Radio Times that despite being a size six during her time on Strictly, she was overwhelmed with a barrage of nasty messages.
She said: “I got so many messages, people telling me that I’m fat, that I’m overweight and I was like a size six at the time..
“So I was like, ‘Holy moly, if I’m fat, God knows what other people must be thinking if they’re bigger than me’, that must be just horrible.”
There has been a positive response to Dani since she opened up about the abuse she received online but there have also been claims that she was not telling the truth about her weight in the first place causing further controversy.
One user on Facebook said: “She’s much bigger than me and I’m size 14 she’s more like a 16.”
A second added: “She looks more like a size 12 no way is she a 6”.
However, these comments lead to people defending Dani with one user commenting: “Why don’t all these perfectionally (sic) personified people just keep their big mouths shut we all come in different shapes and sizes end of 😡”.
Another user leapt to Dani’s defence: “Everyone in the comments “no way is she a size 6. I’m a size 12 and she’s bigger than me”. Does it really matter if she’s a 6 or a 16? She looks amazing.Just a bunch of b**ches.”
Dani is hoping that attitudes have changed since her stint on Strictly Come Dancing. She believes that people are currently more open about the issues with mental health and online abuse.
“I can think of things really logically and be like, obviously, I’m not fat, that’s ridiculous.
“This person, obviously, is just bored, or has something wrong with their life that they feel like this is the only way they can get some validation and I actually feel sorry for them.”
She added: “I think we’re a bit more open about our mental health states now.
“People are being a bit more honest on their social media pages and using them a bit more responsibly.
“So hopefully we’re coming out the other side of it now.”
Dani is making a comeback to our screens reprising her iconic role as Tracy Beaker in a new instalment of the show, dubbed My Mum Tracy Beaker.
The actress said: “So Tracy now is a mum. Which is amazing, I think the last time we saw her she was working as a care worker in her 20s.
“Now she’s in her 30s and she’s a mum, so it’s been really cool for me because like everyone else, I really wanted to know what happened next and where Tracy’s journey is going to take her.”