Bolsover Mum, 50, releases single to tell big girls ‘learn to love yourself’

Bolsover singer Davina B has released a single to reach out to girls with low self esteam.
Bolsover singer Davina B has released a single to reach out to girls with low self esteam.

Amazing mum Divina tells of how she learned to love her self as a big, beautiful woman – and now she’s released a single to help others do the same.

She was a bored housewife for years, and after struggling with her weight all her life, a 50-year-old mum has released a single to help other confront ‘body shaming’.

Divina Bates said she suffered from depression and beat her self up for not living up to society’s ideals.

She told: “I’ve been fat all my life. I battled against my weight for many years – I hated myself until finally in my late 30s I started to accept and like the person I am.

“I’m just a normal every day person and I thought why am I giving myself such a hard time?”

And it was when tragedy almost struck a decade ago that everything changed.

Divina Bates recording her single 'Big & Bootful'

Divina Bates recording her single 'Big & Bootful'

“I developed deep vein thrombosis and had a Pulmonary Embolism, a blockage of blood getting to the lungs. It almost killed me,” she said.

“I spent nine weeks in hospital, and it really makes you evaluate your life and I realised that I wasn’t a bad person, and I deserved to be liked.”

It was by chance when she was pushed into doing Karaoke with her daughter, that Divina, who lives with her fiancé Mark in Carr Vale, started thinking about singing.

“I was terrified – my mum always said I sang like a cat so I had no faith in my voice at all,” she said. “But my daughter made me and everyone in the pub was saying ‘you’re quite good, you should get up again’.”

Divina at her home in Bolsover

Divina at her home in Bolsover

It was after an open mic night her daughter insisted she get a studio session and record some demo CDs.

The single was three years in the making.

She worked with a producer, wrote the lyrics and after making number four in the Unsigned Top Charts, ‘Divina B’ had her first airplay on BBC Sheffield last week.

“I’m going to be back on soon – we’re still working on the video and I’m in the middle of writing a second song,” she said.

“I wanted this song to send the message that we can be just as beautiful in our own skin as any person can. I want to show other big girls they have what it takes to be happy.”

Media representations of zero-size models and Photoshopped glamour photos – Divina believes none of the ways women are presented these days bear any resemblance to reality.

“The media has always dictated there is no room in society for fat people,” she says. There is indeed ‘fatism’ in our society, although you don’t hear about it because people are more concerned with racism and discriminations of disabilities.

“I’ve seen other girls made to feel downtrodden and unworthy – like they’re fat and ugly. And I’ve got to this stage where I deserve to be loved and respected, but it has to start with you – you need to love yourself or how will anybody else?”

Her song also tries to change men’s perceptions, as Divina sings the lyrics “If you want the best guys, you’ve got to raise those sights a dress size.”

And for many there is no need to be shamed by appearance, she adds.

“People are all different, just like animals we come in all shapes and sizes,” she says. “We’ve discovered the fat gene now - some people are simply more predisposed to put on weight than others, so people are depressed, dieting and worried about their weight - but life is passing you by. You need to just accept it and get on with it.”

She’s big and beautiful - what else makes Divina special?

Divina is a mum of three who loves animals - she has four french Bulldogs two Chihuahuas a parrot as well as rabbits and some Red Foot Tortoises.

She grew up in Cornwall and ended up in an abusive relationship – so it took huge strength for her to move away some 25 years ago and start a life on her own.

“I was with a violent man, and when he cheated on me I left and ended up in Sheffield. I felt like I was being suffocated - a country girl living in a city like that, I couldn’t cope with it so I moved to Bolsover and been here ever since.

“I was a housewife – when I was growing up it was the done thing, that you got married and you had children. So I didn’t go out, didn’t socialise. Now I go out, I have fun and I don’t care what other people are thinking.”

Big & Bootiful is available for download on iTunes, Google Play, Apple Music, Amazon, CD Baby and other music sites.

Watch the trailer {here