Strictly Come Dancing Judge Shirley Ballas Opens Up About Past Body Shaming Experience

Challenging Dance Competition Critique:

Shirley Ballas, the renowned head judge of Strictly Come Dancing, disclosed a challenging moment from her dancing career when she was marked down in a competition due to stretch marks.

Speaking on the Radio Times podcast, the 63-year-old revealed the incident occurred six weeks after giving birth to her son Mark in 1986.

Resilience in the Face of Criticism:

Recalling the incident, Shirley explained that she faced fierce criticism upon returning to the dance floor post-pregnancy.

A judge marked her down, stating, ‘I marked you third as I refuse to look at the stretch marks on your back.

I find it revolting.’ Despite the harsh comment, Shirley accepted it as part of her journey, characterizing it as a moment of personal growth.

Impact on Judging Role on Strictly Come Dancing:

The experienced dance teacher acknowledged that receiving direct and critical feedback had an impact on her judging style on Strictly Come Dancing.

She revealed that her son provided tips on being constructive and smiling in her role as head judge on the BBC show.

Struggles with Trolling and Online Abuse:

Shirley Ballas, known for her role on Strictly Come Dancing, has faced trolling and online abuse throughout her career.

Recent events, including the alleged Holly Willoughby plot, have made her more cautious, expressing fear of going out alone at night.

Effect on Personal Life:

The dancer, despite being better equipped to handle negative comments, admitted that the recent events, especially the alleged plot against Holly Willoughby, have left her cautious.

She expressed concern for her safety and mentioned being afraid to go out alone late at night.

Impact on Family:

The impact of trolling extends beyond Shirley, affecting her family.

Her son, Mark, faced threats and offensive messages when he participated in Dancing With The Stars, the US version of Strictly.

Shirley detailed instances of people drawing coffins with offensive messages, revealing the lasting effect on her vigilance and daily life.

Apology for Controversial Comments:

Shirley Ballas recently issued an apology for suggesting that women should carry Tasers for self-protection.

During a BBC Radio 4 interview, she advocated for women to be vigilant and educate themselves, unknowingly suggesting the use of illegal devices.

The BBC issued a warning about the illegality of Tasers, and Shirley clarified her intention, expressing regret for the oversight.

Shirley Ballas’s openness about her past experiences with body shaming adds a human dimension to her role as a judge.

The challenges she faced and overcame serve as an inspiration for resilience in the face of criticism.

The discussion also sheds light on the broader issue of online abuse and its impact on individuals’ lives, emphasizing the need for empathy and understanding in the public sphere.