Saira Khan has spoken candidly about her relationship with her mother, admitting that at times it has been "strained". The Loose Women star took to Instagram to share a rare photo of the pair together, accompanying it with a heartfelt tribute to her mum.
The image shows Saira with her arm wrapped around her mother. She wrote: "Went up to see my mum yesterday. So many emotions. God I love and admire her.
WATCH: Loose Women's Saira Khan stuns fans with bikini body
"Our relationship has been strained at times, mainly because some of the things I do and say as a modern Asian woman causes her deep embarrassment - she doesn't really want her daughter talking about taboo subjects on the telly - because she then gets it in the neck from people in her community, who tell her I am bringing 'shame' and make her feel so guilty," she confided.
"It's heart-wrenching at times. On the one hand, I have to do what I believe is right for me, to help others by openly talking about subjects that are swept under the carpet like abuse, violence, misogyny, forced marriages, female sexual empowerment, the right to wear what we want without being verbally and mentally abused, women's right, rape etc.
Saira shared a rare photo of her mum on Instagram
"My mum has grown up in a culture where everything is said and done behind closed doors, and here I am, her daughter out in the open airing subjects that make her uncomfortable. She cares what others in her world and community think.
"I wish sometimes I could just shut my mouth, keep quiet and let things lie and accept the status quo - just so people don't pick on my mum.
The star is a proud mother of two
"But what I've noticed through the years, is, you can never please people, when I've done something great, positive or celebrated my roots, heritage or religion in public, they don't come out and congratulate her or me - they just look out for any excuse to say 'she's so shameful'.
"But despite everything, my mum is my heroine. She has managed to support me, be there for me and our deep love for each other keeps us together."
Saira with her children: Zach, 12, and Amara, nine
Saira, 50, concluded: "She is my everything. I am so proud she is my mum. I am who I am because of her love, care, standards and work ethic. I'm a chip off the old block - I am strong because she is.
"I wanted to share that because it's not always easy to be different - you have to do what's true for you, your values and principles. But sometimes you might unintentionally hurt the feelings of someone you love - but if you can communicate, see each other’s point of view and ignore what 'other people think' and focus on your love and bond - you can work it. Love you mum. You're the BEST!"
Saira married husband Steve Hyde in 2005
Saira, who is herself a mother of two, previously spoke about her upbringing in an interview with the Guardian. The star was 28 when her father passed away, and she has described him as a "hard man".
"Mum was more of our friend, Dad was the disciplinarian," she told the publication in 2011. "He'd walk into a room and with just one look we'd think, 'Uh-oh, we're in trouble because we're watching Grange Hill'. We watched it once and the TV got thrown out of the window. He didn't want that kind of influence.
"Another time he spotted me wearing knee-high white socks rolled down to my ankles on the way home from school. That evening my legs were whipped with a wire coat hanger. I was then bought a school uniform – but my school had a non-uniform policy, so I was the only girl in the whole school wearing one."
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