Scarlett Moffatt: ‘I didn’t look at my naked body for years’

Living in a remote African village helped Scarlett Moffatt learn to love what she sees in the mirror

Scarlett Moffatt

by Hannah Wright |
Updated on

She jumps up for a hug as she meets Closer for a chat. With hair scraped back, Scarlett Moffatt is all dazzling smiles and bright blue eyes.

It’s hard to believe this is the same girl who has endured regular body-shaming from trolls and has admitted being left in tears by some of the hurtful comments aimed at her.

But now, after filming a "social experiment" for Channel 4, where the reality TV star and her family spent a month living in the village of the nomadic Himba tribe in Namibia, Scarlett – who confesses she hadn’t looked at her naked body in a mirror for years – says she has learned to feel comfortable in her skin for the first time since she was 18.

British Tribe Next Door
©Channel 4

"I think I’ve changed, as clichéd as that sounds," she says. "The friends I made over there didn’t think about how they looked – it wasn’t important to them. They’d never even looked in a mirror, whereas I would think about how I looked all the time. I realised I was consuming a lot of energy because I was panicking about stuff that was irrelevant."

"Now, I look in the mirror and I say things like, 'I look nice.' I’ll go, 'Yeah, I’ve got stretch marks, cellulite and bits that I’d like to change, but now I’m not letting it stop me from doing things.' I’m learning to love my body more."

Scarlett, 29 – who became a household name in 2014 on reality TV show Gogglebox – famously dropped from a size 18 to a tiny 8 in 2017 as she filmed her fitness DVD SuperSlim Me Plan. But she later admitted that trying to maintain her 3st weight loss left her "miserable" at having to "look a certain way".

She has also been the victim of online body shaming abuse in the past. Awful comments were made, which she admitted made her "cry her eyes out". Sadly, she’s expecting more of the same vile messages when The British Tribe Next Door airs, but insists she’s not bothered.

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She says, "I know there’ll be people watching it who’ll troll us and I’ll be slated for the way I look – but I actually don’t care, because I feel like a stronger person. I feel like my friends on the show loved me for me, and it was such a lovely feeling not to be judged. I’ve never felt so empowered!"

One person who is a fan of the new, confident Scarlett is her boyfriend, Durham police officer Scott Dobinson – who she’s been dating since meeting through mutual friends at the beginning of this year.

CHECK OUT Inside Scarlett Moffatt's chic pad


Scarlett Moffatt's house - slider

Scarlett Moffatt's schmancy bedroom1 of 7
CREDIT: Instagram

Scarlett Moffatt's schmancy bedroom

Check out that fluffy throw on Scarlett's bed - the ultimate boudoir accessory. The matching rug, black chandelier and floor length mirror further add to the indulgent look. We're feeling it, Scarlett.

Scarlett Moffatt house2 of 7
CREDIT: Instagram

Bright lights

In true Scarlett style, she's put up a strong message in bright, neon pink lights. She recently shared this photo of her sister celebrating her birthday in her living room, with 'Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons' glowing from behind her.

Scarlett Moffatt house3 of 7
CREDIT: Instagram

Serious doggy style

We can't help but assume that this is one spoilt Chihuahua. Bonnie's bed looks far bigger and comfier than any of ours. Oh to have Scarlett Moffatt's dog's life.

Scarlett Moffatt house4 of 7
CREDIT: Instagram

Scarlett Moffatt thinks pink

Keeping with the pink trend, Scarlett's seriously comfortable looking sofa is a pretty, musky pink shade. We imagine she snuggles up with Bonnie for a night in front of that huge TV when she's not actually appearing on it.

Scarlett Moffatt house5 of 7
CREDIT: Instagram

Scarlett Moffatt's mum pops round

Scarlett posted a photo of herself with her mam, getting ready to leave on a night out. Scarlett's hallway is painted in neutral shades and that wooden doors looks HUGE. Very classy, in our opinion.

Scarlett Moffatt house6 of 7
CREDIT: Instagram

Scarlett's green garden

Just look at that patio - we're super jel. And it looks like little Bonnie gets plenty of exercise in the green grass garden. Are you gonna invite us over for a BBQ soon then, Scar?Shut the front door! Oh, you did.

Scarlett Moffatt house7 of 7
CREDIT: Instagram

Scarlett's front door

Here she is in her spacious hallway, ready to jet off someone fancy! Shut the front door, Scarlett! Oh, you did.

She tells us, "I think he really likes that I can see a little bit of what he sees, which is nice. I don’t pick myself apart any more; I get my legs out more and the tops of my arms. I’m going to try to live my best life because we’re here for a short time!"

The four-part series – which will start on Channel 4 on Tue 22 Oct – sees Scarlett joined by parents Mark and Betty, younger sister Ava, 13, and her Nanna Christine. They live alongside the remote tribe in an exact replica of the Moffatt family home in County Durham, to show how two entirely different 21st century ways of life can happily exist side-by-side.

Closer mag
©Closer mag

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There’s one thing that Scarlett – who was the winner of I’m A Celeb! in 2016 – drew the line at, however, and that was going the whole hog and wearing traditional Himba dress. This is, in Scarlett’s words, "essentially a mini skirt" made out of cow hide.

She says, "When my Namibian friends talk about their boobs they’re like, 'They’re for feeding our babies – we love them'. On the show, I was properly stressed about getting mine out, and in the end I got away with wearing a bikini top and cycling shorts.

"I felt naked and I had a little cry with my Mam because she said she never thought I’d be brave enough to wear that little on camera. Watching it back, I’m angry about crying. How have I got to a point where I’m actually in tears about my own body? I’m aware of what I look like – but it’s not relevant any more because I’ve achieved quite a lot, body and all."

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