Gemma Collins goes naked for anti fur campaign

Gemma Collins: 'Why I'm baring it all for PETA'

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by Jessica Anais Rach |
Published on

'Earlier today I unveiled my new anti-fur advert for PETA.

I posed for the ad wearing nothing more than mascara and some faux-pearls. I know what you're probably thinking: in our image-obsessed culture, women are constantly being judged by how they look, and it's no secret that some haters have had a go at my weight. So why would I risk more criticism by going au naturel publicly?

'You don't have to be a size 8 to feel beautiful, but you do have to be comfortable in your own skin'

Here's why: I believe that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. You don't have to be a size 8 to feel beautiful, but you do have to be comfortable in your own skin. And that means letting animals keep theirs – not killing them for their fur.

No matter what your dress size, you can't cover up a too-small heart by wearing something made from a mink or a fox who probably spent his or her whole life pacing the wire floor of a tiny cage. That's what "life" is like for animals on fur farms – where most fur sold in the UK comes from. Many of these animals lose their minds from the extreme misery and suffering of being constantly locked in a cage.

Animals who are trapped in the wild don't have it any better. They can be held for days, with the trap cutting down to their bones. Mother animals are sometimes so frantic to get back to their babies that they chew their own legs off in desperation.

Gemma was photographed by Karl Grant
Gemma was photographed by Karl Grant

And as if all that weren't disturbing enough, consider this: if you wear any real fur, you could be wearing Spot or Fluffy. It's true. In China, the world's biggest fur exporter, dogs and cats are often skinned alive for their fur, which is then falsely labelled as fur from other species before it is exported.

But enough depressing stuff. Fashion should be fun, not fatal, which is why you'll never see so much as a fur cuff at my new boutique, which is exclusively for plus-size women. I like to joke that if you're thin, you're not coming in. And I could add that if you're looking for fur, try your granny's closet, because you won't find it at any of today's trendy retailers.

'Stella McCartney – whose fashions might be Googled even more often than the latest TOWIE gossip is – rocks the runway without harming any animals'

Fur is banned from the racks, not just at my shop but also at compassionate retailers such as H&M, Zara, Topshop, New Look and AllSaints as well as at department stores, including Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser. It wouldn't make much sense to sell it anyway since 95 per cent of the members of the British public say that they would never wear real fur.

Leading designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Betsey Johnson also refuse to use real fur. And Stella McCartney – whose fashions might be Googled even more often than the latest TOWIE gossip is – rocks the runway without harming any animals.

I'm proud of my body and will gladly bare a little skin if doing so will help "expose" shoppers to the truth about fur. And I'm not alone: Eva Mendes, Pamela Anderson, Kate Ford, Sadie Frost and Jamelia as well as fellow Essexers Rylan Clark, Chantelle Houghton and Lauren Goodger – are just a few of the other star "strippers" who have taken it all off.

But whether you're ready to go naked or not, remember this little tip that every good stylist knows: true beauty comes from within. If you have confidence and compassion, you can never go wrong.'

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