Maya Jama insists she will dress how she wants ‘no matter what size I am’ as she hits back about the furore over her revealing outfits on BBC1 series Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer.
The TV presenter, 26, accused critics, some of whom threatened to report her to the BBC, of ‘hyper sexualising’ her body rather than celebrating the fact a woman was fronting a primetime show during a Twitter riposte in June.
Five months on, the former Radio One DJ still finds it ‘weird’ her revealing outfits caused such a stir – and made some people feel ‘awkward.’
‘I find it ridiculous’: Maya Jama insists she will dress how she wants ‘no matter what size I am’ and says people are only ‘insulted’ by her revealing outfits now she has a ‘fuller figure’
In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, Maya said: ‘I’ve always worn the same thing but when I was slimmer nobody commented on it and as soon as you have got a fuller figure people are shocked and insulted by your body, so I found it ridiculous.
‘I’ve been wearing the same outfits, the same cut tops, my entire career and there was never really that many comments on it until I started putting on a bit of weight.
‘I was like “Gosh, if you’re shocked at boobs or even just a bit of cleavage on telly, I don’t know how people cope when they go to the swimming pool or the beach because there’s a lot more boobs on show there”.
‘It’s a woman’s body – I don’t feel like it should cause such outrage. I’m going to continue to dress how I’ve always dressed no matter what size I am.’
‘It’s a woman’s body’: In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, the star opened up for the first time about the furore sparked by her fashion choices on Peter Crouch show Save Our Summer
Maya’s brutal take down of her detractors shows how much of a thick skin she’s developed since making her TV breakthrough on MTV in 2014.
She admits during her late teens such nasty comments would have ‘ruined my day’ but now she doesn’t let the abuse bother her.
Maya, who received praise for her presenting alongside the former England striker on the BBC1 series, explained: ‘The internet is outrage city. In real life, people wouldn’t say those things.
‘I just have to laugh now, I don’t let those things bother me as much as they used to.
‘I know people are angry and when they’re online they want an outlet, and it’s people in the public eye who they want to go for. It is what it is.’
‘I just have to laugh now’: The presenter accused critics of ‘hyper sexualising’ her body rather than celebrating the fact a woman was fronting a show during a Twitter riposte in June
Another reason why Maya refuses to get bogged down by the abuse is because she’s happy with her body shape, which she regularly showcases to her 1.9million followers on Instagram.
Indeed, having fluctuated during her career, she knows which type she prefers.
Maya said: ‘Everybody has got different ideas of what they have as an ideal body shape, some people want to look really skinny, some people want to look really curvy, some people don’t care, some people really do care.
‘It depends on each person, it’s subjective. So I just do what makes me happy and in terms of my body, I prefer myself as fuller.
‘Other people have their own opinions on how they prefer me to look but I’m certainly not letting that influence my own ideas.’
Speaking out: Maya told MailOnline: ‘I’ve always worn the same thing but when I was slimmer nobody commented on it and as soon as you have got a fuller figure people are shocked…’
‘I prefer myself as fuller’: Maya refuses to get bogged down by the abuse because she’s happy with her body shape, which she regularly showcases to her 1.9million followers on Instagram
Refreshingly for a high-profile celebrity, Maya revealed she doesn’t analyse everything she eats and abides by the ‘if I want cake, I’ll eat cake’ mantra.
She said: ‘I’m definitely not a trainer or nutritionist who gives out advice, I don’t exactly do the right things myself. I would never give people advice on how to look after themselves.
‘For me personally I’m a bit of a panic exerciser. When I know I have something coming up or I’m going on holiday I’ll exercise two weeks before, eat less bread before bedtime – things like that.
‘There’s all these tips and health guides but everyone’s body is different, people carry weight at different places. I’ve been alright with eating bread for this long – but I won’t have much longer.’
‘I’m definitely not a trainer or nutritionist’: Maya revealed she doesn’t analyse everything she eats and abides by the ‘if I want cake, I’ll eat cake’ mantra
‘Beige diet’: The former Radio One DJ is concerned she will have to cut back on bread and heavy carbs in the near future after her mum said ’26 is where it goes downhill for our family’
Her changing attitude towards bread and heavy carbs in general was sparked by advice from her mum.
Maya explained: ‘My normal diet is quite beige – I’m a beiger. I like pasta, bread, cheese and pizza.
‘I’m going to have to stop now. I’ve been riding my metabolism and genetics up until 26 and it’s about to start going down, this is when I’m going to have to introduce vegetables to my diet. My mum always said 26 is where it goes downhill for our family.’
The Bristol-born star has taken part in an experiment with Peperami called Love at First Bite based on research which discovered one in five Brits persevere with a date due to their food preferences.
She tries three dishes made by three mystery chefs and her preferred choice is matched to a complete stranger who has similar taste.
Work: Maya has taken part in an experiment with Peperami called Love at First Bite based on research which discovered one in five Brits persevere with a date due to their food preferences
Not that the cooks needed to make much effort as Maya insists her pallet is like a child’s.
‘I’m not really into healthy food as much,’ she admitted. ‘Anything you would feed your children or teenagers I’ll probably enjoy.’
Maya has been single since her high-profile split with grime star Stormzy, 27, in August 2019 after four years but she’s certainly not looking to settle down right now.
She added: ‘I do not go out looking for somebody in the same field. I’m actually not even on the lookout at all. I’m just just doing my own thing and spending time with my friends.
‘My friendship base is 50/50 male and female, so it does get annoying when I’m linked to one of my guy pals just because I’m in a photo with him!’
Maya Jama has been challenged by Peperami Chicken Bites to find love at first bite, taking part in a unique dating experience that matches the superstar with singletons, based on food preference alone. To watch the episode, visit @PeperamiTV on Instagram
‘Not on the lookout’: Maya has been single since her high-profile split from Stormzy in August 2019 after four years but she’s not looking to settle down right now