It’s been quite a decade for Jacqueline Jossa.
She started it by being cast in one of the country’s most famous families, taking over the role of Lauren Branning in EastEnders.
And the actor has ended the 2010’s on an even bigger high – being crowned Queen of the Jungle on I’m a Celeb.
But along with it being her big break, her role in EastEnders has also brought Jacqueline some difficult moments during the past decade.
In an Instagram post, she’s revealed how a picture that was released when she got the part sparked online bullying which still affects her to this day.
While Jacqueline describes EastEnders as “the best job in the world”, her post talks about how tricky being on a soap with millions of viewers can also be.
“I got trolled so so badly,” she recalls.
“‘The new fat Lauren’. ‘Why recast and then get someone so much uglier and what is the hair cut,'” she says were examples of the abuse she got.
Jacqueline was just 17 when she took over the role of Lauren.
The character returned to the soap after a short spell off-screen. Before her temporary exit she’d been played by Maddie Duggan.
The trolls attacked Jacqueline’s looks and in particular her hair style.
“I admit I really hate the hair cut now,” Jacqueline wrote.
“But jeez people can be mean, and to a 17 year old girl, words hurt a lot!
“It effected [sic] me for a LONG time! Probably still does actually if I’m being honest.”
Sharing a recent selfie alongside the the throwback shot of herself in 2010, Jacqueline – who left EastEnders in February 2018 – reflected that becoming a mum to “two beautiful children” has also helped her feel more confident.
“To end this year I just became QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE! WOW!! I can honestly say heading into 2020 I’m excited, happy and content!”
The reflective post isn’t the first time the actor has spoken out about body image.
In another Instagram post over the festive period, which has had over 232,000 likes, she urged fans to learn to love their “wobbly bits”.
“As soon as you look at the positives in your imperfections the easier it is to love them, and you look at pictures and yourself in general differently,” she added.
How to deal with trolls
A report published in September from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), says trolls aim to “generate outrage” and spread “misinformation” often but not always, by targeting celebrities.
But it’s not just famous people who can attract abuse online. If, like Jacqueline, you have ever suffered abuse online here are some tips from the CCDH on how to limit its impact.
- Don’t respond
- Block the trolls’ accounts
- Don’t post online that you’re being targeted
- Take some time out from social media
- If the abuse you receive makes you feel at threat or is otherwise unlawful – report it to the social media platform and the police.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article help and advice is available here.