X Factor winner Joe McElderry has hit back at body shamers who made negative comments about his weight. The 25-year-old faced online backlash when he returned to the spotlight with an appearance on ITV's Lorraine last summer. Speaking about the reaction, Joe told This Morning's Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on Wednesday: "I came off the show and my phone started going crazy and then I saw the photo." He continued: "On that day I wasn't that different to how I am now it's just an unflattering photo!"
Describing the unpleasant experience, Joe admitted: "I'd never experienced [body shaming] before and I thought it was girls who got the short straw. I always used to feel sorry about girls, I'd never experienced it in my career before." The singer went on to explain how he was being compared to pictures from his time on the X Factor, which he won aged 18. "I was a kid," he remarked. "They were saying it's wrong to grow into your body.'"
Joe McElderry has hit back at body shamers after weight loss
Earlier this year, the star opened up about the horrible experience during an appearance on Loose Women. Joe said he found it especially upsetting because of the message it sent to young fans. "I wasn't bothered… it was more just about the way it was worded for young kids and other people," he explained. "I never promote anything apart from being healthy and fit. That is my message. Doesn't matter what shape or size you are. I don't do diets, I eat loads of good healthy food, and I think that's the important thing. This whole body shaming thing is just ridiculous."
Joe is starring as the titular role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
Meanwhile, Joe is currently starring as the titular role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, which sees him stripping off his coat night after night. Talking about his skimpy stage outfit, he revealed: "I hated being in the loin cloth for a couple of weeks. After The X Factor I was offered a lot but I said point blank I wouldn't do a topless photo shoot. And then this opportunity came round and I thought 'loin cloth', I can’t do it! But now I've become so used to it."