| 22.8°C Dublin

Big boobs, big hair and white teeth - all thankfully not in RTE

Kathryn Thomas has thrown her weight behind the "strong, not skinny" campaign, recently promoted by Amanda Byram in her eye-catching photoshoot for Women's Health magazine.

But while Amanda felt the need to strip off to make a point that it is important to feel comfortable with your own body and eat healthily rather than starving yourself, Kathryn chose a much more understated approach.

Despite being RTE's original "bikini babe", having regularly donned a two-piece during her time as presenter of travel show No Frontiers, Kathryn admits that she remembers feeling awkward about it back then, despite being in her 20s and slim by anyone's standards.

"I remember thinking," she recalls, "Oh will they have me walking up the beach and shooting me from behind? And can I put a top on for this?"

Now in her mid-30s, Kathryn admits that she wouldn't be brave enough to "do a Byram", as she has hang-ups about her body just like everyone else.

Rather than wallow in such insecurities, however, Kathryn is charmingly disarming about them, and very much on message in her comments.

She hits just the right note in stressing the importance of being happy with your body and not trying to starve yourself, while at the same time being honest about her own, albeit minor, imperfections.

Kathryn describes how there are "days where I think my legs are too short or my bum is too big".

While some may view this as nit-picking, and that Kathryn should be happy with the body that she has - one that many women would aspire to - her honesty about herself should be a source of inspiration to countless women who feel pressurised to conform to some unrealistic ideal of perfection.

As should her admission that staying in shape is a battle that doesn't come naturally to her,

Kathryn is keen to point out that Ireland is, on the whole, a tolerant country when it comes to body image, and that her employers in RTE do not fall into the same trap as their equivalents in other countries of placing an over-importance on a presenter's external appearance.

IMAGE

She is grateful that RTE put no pressure on her to conform to a certain image, unlike the pressure she's seen in the US.

"I've been over to LA and to studios where they all look like clones of each other," she said of a recent trip, criticising US TV wannabes as being "skinny girls with big boobs, big hair and a set of white teeth".

Which reminds me - we haven't heard from Tiffany Stanley in over a week...


Privacy