Rebecca Adlington and Body Image Anxiety



We say we really admire sportspeople for their achievements but in reality when the sportperson in question is a woman, it seems that appearances count more than gold medals. In our previous blog post about female athletes and body image we found that Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson considers that “body image is still a massive issue for women in sport”.


In the reality TV show I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! by ITV, Olympic champion, world record champion and gold medallist Rebecca Adlington laments that she is anxious about her body and how it is seen on TV.


Competing alongside Miss GB winner Amy Willerton, Rebecca Adlington’s anxieties are understandable as she compares her body to a beauty queen but why should such a high achiever lose confidence and have a public breakdown because of the way she looks?


Is image really everything? Are women only supposed to be pretty? Amy Willerton is proving to be more than just a pretty face and showing she is smart and caring but unfortunately her presence alone has triggered Rebecca’s deep insecurities about her own body.


Just look at this picture: on Wikipedia Rebecca’s weight is mentioned and it appears before her Laureus World Sports award.



To other women, this is a familiar scenario: being ignored for a promotion or feeling less desirable for not meeting today’s standards of beauty.


What emotions lie behind such insecurities? Do we need to constantly seek approval? Is our body everything there is about ourselves or is there more to us than just our outer shell?


Here at Weightmatters we help you explore your feelings about your body and support you on your journey to gain more confidence. Please email us at for more information.








Words by Paola Bassanese