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'There's a toxic amount of opinion': Frankie Bridge on ignoring the trolls and finding happiness

We spoke to Loose Women star Frankie Bridge ahead of the launch of her brand new HELLO! column

Melanie Macleod
Wellness Editor
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Loose Women star Frankie Bridge is the picture of perfection in our exclusive shoot, rocking a series of chic outfits, proving her effortless style is a world away from her years in The Saturdays when coloured tights and peplum skirts were the ensembles of choice.

"I always laugh that any fashion mistake of mine is all over Google, whereas most people can hide theirs," she jokes. Fashion faux pas aside, at 34, Frankie has worked out what makes her feel good. "When I was younger it was a case of the more makeup, the better," she tells HELLO!. "The more pairs of eyelashes I had on the happier I was, and that was what gave me confidence.

"Then I went through a stage when my skin was really bad and I had to train myself to not wear makeup to help repair my skin. Now, makeup-free is when I feel most confident. When I'm comfortable in my own skin, that's when I feel confident within myself."

Frankie has always been open about her mental health and has spoken in the past about the controversial treatment she considered for depression.

Frankie Bridge in a blazer© Sean Butler

Frankie Bridge feels confident going makeup free

Our shoot with her today is to celebrate the launch of her brand new column with HELLO!, which sees the mum-of-two give inspiring insight into what makes her happy, with a side helping of her flawless fashion taste.

Read on to find out the unexpected way motherhood changed Frankie's anxiety, how she deals with social media criticism and how she juggles it all.

Frankie Bridge in a three piece suit© Sean Butler

Franke Bridge is writing a brand new column for HELLO!

Frankie, we're so excited about your new column – how are you feeling about the project?

I'm so excited about my new column. Writing is something I've always really enjoyed. When I was at school, I was that weirdo that loved writing essays, so I can't wait to start my column. It's something different from what I do on a daily basis so it's really exciting.

You're so busy with Loose Women, your FW Bridge fashion range and now your column, how do you juggle it all?

Wayne is a great help. Because he's retired, he can do the school drop-off, but as a mum, I naturally take on the mental load of things

I'm always thinking about who's picking them up when, what they need in their school bag and then I try to fit my schedule around them. There are always so many things to remember and I'm always trying to think of what's next.


Wayne and Frankie Bridge are parents to sons Carter and Parker

Do you find it hard being a parent in the spotlight?

I'm reluctant to talk about parenting on social media. Instagram can be a really judgmental place and you'll always find someone that has something to say, and that's the one thing that really hurts me when people criticise.

Back in the day, if someone said something about how I looked it would hurt more, but now it's more painful if someone says something about Wayne or about the kids or about parenting, it really annoys me. Even when someone says you're such a great mum, I feel like asking: 'How do you know? You don't see.'


Frankie doesn't like to talk about parenting on social media

It starts when you're pregnant. There's such a toxic amount of opinion, and I think it's really sad because it often comes from women. It's frustrating because everyone's just trying to do their best. Every child is different. We've all had different upbringings, so we approach things differently.

It's weird that people think they have a right to have an opinion, and I think it's really sad but I don't see it changing. It's hard for it not to bother me. But I think I'm just kind of slowly learning that it just doesn't really matter.

Frankie Bridge in a blue crop top© Sean Butler

Frankie is learning to ignore social media criticism

If things do start to get you down, how do you pick your mood back up? 

I like taking the dogs out for a walk. I like to sit and watch a TV show in bed during the day, that's a novelty. You can just cut off from the world and be engrossed in something ridiculous.

But also, just seeing my friends makes a big difference. Sometimes when you're feeling overwhelmed, you want to cut yourself off and be alone and sometimes you need to know you need to get out and see people.

Frankie Bridge smiling© Sean Butler

Frankie likes to cut off from the world sometimes 

I definitely try to spend less time on my phone when I'm feeling low, but equally calling a friend or Facetiming my sister and my nephews pick me up too.

It depends on what I feel slipping and what I've done too much of, whether I need to reconnect with people or disconnect from people and social media and be on my own.

Frankie Bridge in a crop top© Sean Butler

Frankie believes happiness is all about balance

It's about working out what you need, because I think it's all about balance all the time and it's trying to keep that balance is quite hard.

What makes you the happiest? 

What makes me happy has changed as I've got older. There were things that I used to think would make me happy, I'd think: 'When I do that next project or achieve that next goal, that's going to make me happy,' but I've learned that's not true.

It's really small things that make me happy now, such as laughing with my friends or having time to sit and watch Netflix in silence. I've got two kids and simple things like that are what lift my spirits.

Frankie Bridge in a jumpsuit© Sean Butler

Frankie's friends and family make her happiest

My family and my friends make me happy, because they're the people that know me best, and they're the people that make me laugh. There's nothing better than people you can relax around.

WATCH: Frankie Bridge shares the 8 things that make her happiest

What is it about fashion that makes you happy?

I think it's just finding clothes that work for you and playing around with them. I enjoy seeing other people enjoying the outfits that I have shown them on social media, and seeing them feeling good is something I really love.

It sounds cheesy, but fashion is a way of expressing yourself. It's finding that happy medium of knowing what's in fashion but also sticking to what you know what you like.


Frankie Bridge wows in figure-hugging midi dress - and it’s just £22

Frankie Bridge shares her most flattering high street jeans and they’re just £35

Frankie Bridge enchants in flattering leather skirt you can pick up at Tesco

You look incredible in our new shoot, have you always been this confident?

I was less confident in my Twenties and it's no surprise that that coincided with being in a girl band and being in the public eye. I'd find myself comparing myself to the other girls when I was in the group

As sad as it was, if someone lost a bit of weight, you'd be aware of it, the same happened if you put on weight.

Frankie Bridge in knee high boots© Sean Butler

Frankie felt less confident in her twenties

When I was pregnant, I was really self-conscious. This comparison thing is just so unhealthy, but I do find I do it less now, but sometimes I do fall into and I still struggle comparing myself to others.

I think it's so hard not to do it with social media. I think it's something as humans we've always done, but now it's so much easier for us to do it.

Did becoming a parent impact your confidence? 

Becoming a mum made a huge difference to my confidence. I've always had such anxiety and I always assumed that having kids would make that worse, but actually, it got better because I don't really have time to think about all the things that might go wrong. There's nothing like a child to make you realise that you can't control everything in life.

Frankie Bridge in a slip dress© Sean Butler

Becoming a mum impacted Frankie's confidence

I can try and wrap my kids up in cotton wool, but they're going to fall over. Someone's going to make them cry. I can't protect them from everything, and I think just seeing how much kids live in the moment helped me feel more confident.

What's next for you – will we be seeing an S Club Juniors reunion? 

I loved being in the group. I was just enjoying performing and doing what I loved doing and not being at school, but I don't think a reunion is on the cards!

Frankie Bridge in a trench coat© Sean Butler

Frankie loved being in S Club Juniors

It's hard enough to get your mates together, let alone eight band members!

Photography: Sean Butler

Makeup & hair: Malin Coleman 

Styling: Jodie Nellist

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