POSING happily and flaunting her curves in a white string bikini, size 22 Adele Hobkinson is determined to defy the cruel trolls who regularly taunt her and tell her to cover up.
The former customer service worker, 40, who weighs over 18st, says she’s proud to be plus size, feeling her sexiest when wearing skimpy swimwear and mini skirts, which help her keep cool while looking hot.
However the mum-of-three from Nottingham wants to share her story to encourage others to ignore the haters and feel confident about their own bodies.
Adele says: “I’ve reclaimed the word ‘fat’, and am so proud of my curves, so why wouldn’t I show them off?
“I receive so much hate, but so much love too – women message to say I’m a role model, and I’ve had marriage requests from men all over the world!
“My body has produced three amazing kids, and I want to show you don’t have to be a size zero or a Love Island wannabe to look fab and feel confident.”
‘I was called Mrs Blobby and fatso’
Despite her positivity now, Adele hasn’t always been so body confident, having been bullied from the age of five.
She says: “I’ve always been a big girl, I would comfort eat chocolate and sweets. By the time I was 12 I was a size 14.
“At 16 I was wearing size 18 clothes, and I was constantly called cruel names like Mrs Blobby and Fatso.
“I was teased mercilessly. I’d cry all the time and I felt left out and unwanted.
“At my lowest ebb I hated myself, and my body, and believed the bullies.
“I tried every weightloss plan, from the cabbage soup diet to eating only red or green foods. Nothing worked and it really impacted my confidence.
“It got to the point where I didn’t think I could ever love my body or find a fella.”
New found confidence
However in December 2003, aged 22, Adele met her partner of 19 years, retired aerial installer Tom, now 52.
Adele says: “At that point I was over 20st and a size 26, and I covered up my hated body with baggy tent dresses.
“However, Tom showered me with compliments and told me he loved me for who I was.
“It gave me the confidence to love my body.”
Finally feeling sexy
In April 2007, Adele and Tom welcomed their first son, now 15.
Their second son, 13, came along in November 2008 and their daughter, nine, was born in December 2012.
Adele says: “During each pregnancy I gained weight and found it incredibly hard to lose, so I decided I needed to change the way I thought about my body and embrace my curves.
“Tom was constantly telling me I was sexy and glamorous so I started to embrace my curves and began shopping in Primark, BooHoo and Asda for short skirts and low cut, stretchy tops to show off my 42C chest.
“It was at a time when shops weren’t selling as many plus size fashion options as there are today, so it wasn’t easy.”
In 2010, aged 28, Adele started sharing her body confidence journey on YouTube, and later set up her own Instagram and TikTok, accumulating 350,000 fans and followers.
However while Adele had found confidence, cruel trolls weren’t so thrilled by her outfit choices and she started to get horrible looks and comments, both online and in person.
She says: “The first cruel taunt was in July 2014 when I was online wearing a red low-cut top and and black mini skirt.
“Someone wrote, ‘you look like a Beluga whale, cover up’. At first I was shocked and mortified.
“It bothered me that someone would take the time to type such a hurtful remark on a public forum when they could have just looked at something else.
“Then I realised I was better than that and I should ignore the trolls because they eventually get bored. I feel sorry for them.”
‘I’ve been called a whale’
Now Adele is used to the abuse, especially after going viral in April this year.
She says: “I uploaded a video of myself wearing a white string bikini slapping my belly and said, ‘This is a bikini body. I am ready to go and p*** some people off at the beach.’
“I was stunned when the video got more than 4.6million views in just a few days.
“Quickly, the abuse rolled in. ‘Early grave,’ typed one keyboard warrior. Others said I was a ‘whale’, ‘disgusting’ and said I needed to cover up.”