Scarlett Moffatt: ‘Women Shouldn’t Have To Grow A Thick Skin To Put Up With This Abuse’

The TV favourite tells Grazia why she's become an ambassador for the Samaritans - years after she used the charity at the height of her fame.

scarlett moffatt

by Bonnie McLaren |
Updated on

Four and a half years ago, Scarlett Moffatt was propelled from the Gogglebox sofa to a status as one of the most popular woman in Britain, winning I’m A Celebrity and becoming a household name in the process. Her life, she says, seemed ‘amazing on paper’, but nobody knew that Scarlett was becoming so anxious that she was unable to leave her house for work, and she was regularly calling The Samaritans under an alias, not knowing who else she could reach out to.

‘I felt almost guilty for feeling that way,’ Scarlett tells Grazia. ‘I thought, well, I can't feel sad because everything I dreamed of is happening, but obviously with positives come negatives as well. So I called the Samaritans because I just needed to offload; it was getting to the point where I was pretending I was going go to work when I was literally just sat in the house. And as soon as I called, it was just this little voice of hope. I remember I hadn't slept well for a full week, but that night, I slept well after speaking to them.’

It’s understandable why the presenter felt like this. Not only was Scarlett everywhere in the press, but she was also facing relentless trolling online, where everything from her weight to her facial features was being scrutinised by anonymous strangers. Including her nose, which she used to consider one of her favourite features. ‘I just remember there were so many articles saying that rhinoplasty surgeons had gone too far,’ Scarlett says. ‘And I was like, “This is my real nose.” And I remember trying to find places on Google that did surgery to make my nose bigger. I even remember speaking to my friends who do drag, and asking for contour tips on how to make my nose look bigger.’ She adds, ‘I look back now and I can't believe that I let people's opinions really get to the point where I looked down when I walked about the streets, because I thought everyone was looking at my nose.’

It was only after speaking to the Samaritans that Scarlett reached out for help from her GP. The star was diagnosed with anxiety, and took part in cognitive behavioural therapy to help her deal with panic attacks. ‘You shouldn't have to get a thick skin, women shouldn't have to grow a thick skin to put up with all of this abuse,’ Scarlett says matter-of-factly. ‘But I think until things start and change, it's good to have good coping mechanisms in place.’

Now, thankfully, Scarlett is in a far better place. And things have come full circle for the 30-year-old. She is now an ambassador for the Samaritans - something which has just been announced this morning. ‘I was in such a dark place that I almost felt like I wanted to disappear for a while but now I'm reaching out and trying to help others,’ she adds. ‘Hopefully people can see there's light at the end of the tunnel.’ She is also supporting Bauer’s Where’s Your Head At? campaign, which is our mission to make mental health first aid available to anyone in a workplace or college.

If you feel like you're struggling, her biggest advice is to reach out, even if - personally - you're worried the issue you’re facing isn’t big enough to warrant help. ‘A big thing that I want to try and shout from the rooftops is that Samaritans aren't just there when things get really bad,’ she says. ‘They are a suicide prevention line, but also no matter how small groups think the issue is that they want to try and intervene when it's just a small worry, or you're feeling lonely or a little niggle in your brain.’ Scarlett also wants people to stop apologising for not feeling OK all the time. ‘When we feel sad, we apologise. We're like, “I'm really sorry, I feel sad today.” But you have nothing to feel sorry about,' she adds, 'especially with the way that the world is right now.’

Find out more about the Where's Your Head At? campaign here.

NEED HELP?

Anyone can contact Samaritans free at any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email jo@samaritans.org or visit Samaritans.org to find the nearest branch, where you can talk to a trained volunteer face to face.

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