Being Sophie - Sophie Stonehouse

Sophie Stonehouse on body positivity, self-love and flawless skin

sophie in black underwear with white shirt over the top but open
Credit: James Rudland

Social media sensation Sophie Stonehouse, is perhaps best known for her appearance on the fourth series of Netflix's reality dating show, Too Hot To Handle. Hailing from Brighton, she was the only British cast member and made her mark as the group of risqué singletons were put to the test of abstinence in order to keep their prize money high and stay in with a chance of winning it. Since leaving the villa, she has dedicated her time to producing fashion and style content for her social media followers, now numbering in their hundreds of thousands.

Lesser known however are her struggles with body dysmorphia and her fight to achieve body positivity. Being the centre of attention on their wedding day, isn't every couple's dream with issues such as Sophie's becoming more prevalent, and importantly more commonly discussed.

So, CWM's beauty and wellness editor, Kelly Andrews, caught up with Sophie to find out how she overcame these personal challenges, as well as discovering her top health and wellbeing tips.

What will you take away from your time on Too Hot To Handle? The experience really taught me about self-love and respect. It also taught me that the most incredible experiences in life, happen when you least expect it. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to go on the show.

What have you been up to since you left the show? I've completely transformed my career to become a full-time content creator. It's a job I've always wanted to do. It's definitely not an easy one, but it's very fulfilling. I've also found a new relationship since leaving the show, and I'm very happy.

You seem very at home in your own body. How did you find this confidence? Body confidence is something I've definitely struggled with, and I'm definitely a victim of body dysmorphia. But, I found the confidence to be at home in my own body, when I realised that I was never truly going to be happy with it. I noticed that I was always finding something to complain about whether I was overweight or underweight. Once I learned to accept myself, only then did I truly feel at home. 

Are you able to tell us a bit about your battle with body dysmorphia and coming out the other side? I’ve suffered badly with it over the past couple years. Since being a young adult, my weight has fluctuated year after year, and when I turned 18, I put on quite a bit. Then, as the first Covid lockdown hit I fell in love with fitness and completely transformed my life and body. However, that did come with its own disadvantages. I became obsessed with it all and would really get down on myself when I didn’t work out or eat right. Ultimately though, it taught me that no matter where I am with my body, I’m always going to want to change something whether I’m in perfect shape or not. I feel that now I have a happy balance and have accepted myself the way I am. I know that I want to look good, but I also want to enjoy my fried chicken burger, fries and a gallon of mayo without feeling bad!

sophie in black evening dress
Credit: James Rudland

How do you want to encourage and inspire women to discover their own self-love? I think it's important to remember that no one really cares. That's what I learnt after suffering with pretty bad acne. I thought everyone was looking at me and the reality was that they just weren't. As soon as you start putting yourself outside of your comfort zone, your confidence will grow. Another big one: don't be mean to yourself, give yourself a break.

Wedding dress shopping can be a stressful time for those with worries about certain aspects of their body. What should they be looking for to feel more confident on the big day? I think it's so important to leave any expectations at the door. Go into the shopping experience with an open mind and a clean canvas. I'd be looking for something I feel comfortable and myself in. I think it's important to remember that most people aren't completely happy with themselves, and that's okay. Go with what feels right and remember: on the day you really won't care about the little things.

For many, their wedding day is the first time a couple will find themselves the centre of attention with all eyes on them. Some may find this uncomfortable, particularly if they're feeling self conscious about their body. What advice would you have for them? As long as you've made the day enjoyable for yourself as well as your guests, you'll get lost in the experience. I think a lot of couples get caught up in making the experience great for their guests, but forget about their own wants and needs. I think it's important to have fun with the whole thing, don't do anything or wear anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or not yourself. This is your day to shine. If you don't like wearing a high heel and it isn't for you, then don't! Make the day perfect for you and throw on those trainers.

What does a typical day look like for you? My typical day at the moment starts with a dog walk and a coffee. I live next to a canal, so I walk my dog there every morning. I then get back and make myself some breakfast and start my working day. After work I'll try to walk him again before heading home to make dinner and relax. At this point in my life, it's all about career and I'm happy with that.

Your skin is flawless! Tell us about your daily skincare routine. Surprisingly I don't do a lot! I have very sensitive skin, so I like to keep it minimal. My go-to everyday skincare routine consists of my Garnier Micellar Water on a cotton pad, which I use to clean my face and remove all make-up. I follow that with Simple's Replenishing Rich Moisturiser and Eye Cream. It's really just that simple... less is more!

Are there any products you'd recommend to a nearlywed looking to get their skin in top condition for the big day? I'd highly recommend GlamGlow's face masks. They're incredible and will help to get your skin looking perfect for the big day. For those suffering with acne, my top tip is: stop touching your face! I'm a picker and once I stopped it went away, very quickly.

What make-up products can't you live without? Cream contours and eyebrow gel!

What's next for Sophie Stonehouse? At the moment I'm working towards growing my platform. We have some exciting things in the pipeline for this year so you'll just have to wait and see!

You can follow Sophie on Instagram at instagram.com/sophiestonehouse and on Tik Tok at tiktok.com/@sophiedeanstonehouse

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