Karen Elson 'allowed' herself to gain weight in lockdown

Karen Elson credit:Bang Showbiz
Karen Elson credit:Bang Showbiz

Karen Elson has "finally allowed" herself to gain weight.

The 41-year-old model - who has Scarlett, 14, and Henry, 13, with ex-husband Jack White - admitted isolating at home due to the coronavirus pandemic made her fully relax her diet for the first time without worrying about the consequences.

She said: "[During lockdown I allowed myself to] eat whatever I want. I exercise, but I finally allowed myself to gain weight. You know, without being like, .'Oh my God, what’s gonna happen?' ”

And these days, Karen will only appear in runway shows if the clothes are made to fit her shape, rather than forcing herself to slim down to sample size.

She told Sunday Times Style magazine: "I rarely walk in shows unless the designer is willing to fit it to me. About three years ago I was cancelled from a show because I didn’t ‘look right’. When I was trying the clothes on I was just a tiny bit too big. I’m a woman with two kids!"

The British beauty recalled being body shamed during a fitting for Milan Fashion Week when she was just 19, resulting in her being dropped from every show that season for having gained weight.

She recalled: "I felt so humiliated, I cried my eyes out. You know, to be told you’re disgusting …”

The incident sparked a cycle of disordered eating from Karen until she eventually realised she had to ignore the critics.

She said: "There was a moment where [I thought]: I have to stick with who I am”.

And Karen - who began her career when she was just 16 - insisted there have always been "unspoken rules" in the fashion industry surrounding a model's weight.

She recalled: "There was a fashion editor on a shoot, a dress didn’t fit me, and her instinct was to say, ‘Oh, you’ve been eating too much.’

"Everyone on the shoot made fun of me, saying, ‘Oh fatty’s coming out.'

"They were all laughing, and being young and impressionable and wanting to please, I internalised that. When I’m thin, I’m successful. But when I’m 10lb or 15lb heavier than what they want, that means I’m not worthy.

"To be successful, I had to play that game, it’s the unspoken rules of the business.”