The Raining Diamonds singer looks fantastic, thanks to a year-long health and fitness campaign that has seen her slim down from a curvaceous size 14 to a very sexy size 8.
Chatting to Australia’s Next Top Model winner Alice Burdeu, Ricki-Lee Coulter cut a glamorous figure on Melbourne Cup day last week as she soaked up the atmosphere in the exclusive Emirates tent at Flemington racecourse. Dressed in a sparkling cocktail frock and arm in arm with partner Richard Harrison, the 25-year-old singer looked so comfortable hobnobbing with the model that some people mistook her for another catwalk queen.
“You’re just saying that!” she says with a laugh when Woman’s Day makes the same mistake. “But thanks!” Onlookers couldn’t believe it was the same girl who’d talked openly about being a “proud size 14” just a year before. Everyone wanted to know exactly how she’d managed to shed so much weight and reshape her body. Surely it couldn’t all be down to the efforts of her personal trainer boyfriend? “We don’t actually train together,” says Ricki-Lee, whose latest single Raining Diamonds is climbing the charts. “I’ve been doing a lot of dancing. I set myself a little challenge – I wanted to be fitter, performance-wise. I’ve been doing a lot of dance rehearsals with a choreographer for the last four or five months.
“We rehearse every day for music video stuff and all my live performances – it’s really fun.”Sounds a bit like she’s enjoying her very own Zumba lesson each day! “Yeah!” she says, laughing. “I get to perform it too, which is great. It’s all heaps of fun.” When Woman’s Day spoke to Ricki-Lee in January last year, the then-voluptuous singer was happy to stand as a poster girl for “size 14 women everywhere”. She even agreed to do a photoshoot for us in Bali, with the resulting images free of computer touch-ups. “It’s important for the women of Australia to see a real woman in the pages of a magazine,” Ricki-Lee said at the time. “This is what I really look like. I’m proud to be out there promoting size 14 beauty. It’s the average size of most women, and it’s important for people to see that and know that’s who I am too.”
Looking at Ricki-Lee now, you’d never recognise the curvaceous teen who shot to fame as a finalist on the second series of Australian Idol in 2004. At the time, people couldn’t help but hold her aloft as a role model for “normal” girls. However, as Ricki-Lee admits, the feedback wasn’t always positive. “I’ve experienced criticism about my body, and for being a size 14 woman in the spotlight,” she said. “That just feels like another symptom of how unhealthy body perception can be.” Ricki-Lee insisted she was happy with her size and would shun weight-loss endorsements. “I come from a family of tall, curvy women,” she said. “I developed in my body and my shape far earlier, so from a young age I accepted it. I embraced it and saw it as an advantage.”
Read more aboutRicki-Lee's weightloss journey in this week's Woman's Day, on sale November 7, 2011.