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KLASS ACT Myleene Klass admits 'as a kid, I wanted to fit in — now I’m happy to stand out'

Singer, businesswoman and loving mum Myleene Klass talks being diagnosed with eye condition myopia at just four, learning to love her glasses and why she can’t wait to return to Dublin

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Myleene glammed up on a night out.

Myleene glammed up on a night out.

Myleene glammed up on a night out.

Myleene Klass admits she got used to standing out from the crowd at a young age - and not always for the right reasons.

She may have been destined to become a superstar with pop group Hear’Say and a female entrepreneurial powerhouse with clothing, fitness, charity work fused with her role as a DJ for the London-based Smooth Radio network.

Yet the 43-year-old who has been leading a multi-million-pound empire feared she would be cast in a very different light, as she struggled to see through the haze that was thrust upon her when she was just four years old.

Suffering from the eye condition myopia that causes distant objects to appear blurred, Klass was the first kid in her school forced to wear glasses and admits the glamorous life that lay in wait for her seemed distant as she tried to fit in.

“I was the only kid in school wearing glasses when I was four years old and it just wasn’t cool,” Myleene told Magazine+ in an exclusive interview in association with CooperVision.

“All kids just want to fit in when they are at school and I was the only one who played the violin, loved classic music and wore glasses. That was not the ideal combination for someone who didn’t want to stand out.

“Due to my myopia, I suffered badly with headaches all the time and that was just the start of it. I couldn’t see my music unless I sat really close to the sheets, I had to take the glasses off for sport. Then I wouldn’t be able to see the ball.

“I could never find the end of the swimming pool and I kept thinking I was going to bang my head and it was such a debilitating feeling.

“As a child, I would sit so close to my sheet music or virtually on top of my workbooks at school. I found it all so embarrassing.

“Now all these years later, CooperVision have come up with these incredible contact lenses that slow down the progression of myopia.

“So I’d encourage every Sunday World reader to get their children’s eyes checked early in their lives and make sure their eyesight is in good condition because our eye health is so important for everything we want to do in life.”

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Myleene at home with daughters Ava and Hero.

Myleene at home with daughters Ava and Hero.

Myleene at home with daughters Ava and Hero.

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Her business network includes a long-running clothing range with Next and Mothercare, yet Myleene’s insists her first job will always be as a mum to daughters Ava (14), Hero (10) and her two-year-old son, Apollo.

And she admits her kids have taught her a few tricks that have allowed her to embrace TikTok.

“My kids do not understand that their mother is famous... they don’t get why people talk to me in the street,” she says with a smile on our Teams call.

“I’m just their mum, that woman who gets them socks when they can’t find them in their PE kit and I just don’t know how any celebrity, however famous they might be, can’t be humbled by their kids. They don’t see fame and that’s great.

“I also learn an infinite amount from my children. It’s not just one-way traffic in terms of me trying to educate them. It’s old-fashioned to say, do as I say not what I do.

“During lockdown, I did online music lessons with my kids and my daughter taught me how to use TikTok.

“Now I’m editing my own content for my social media platforms. That comes from listening to my daughter, who showed me how to do it.

“At the start, a lot of people were disparaging about TikTok and thought it was just kids larking around, but you need to embrace new things and that is what I’ve always tried to do.

“It’s the same with social media. I have very open conversations with my children about social media and it has given us a platform to speak to a huge audience about myopia and the challenges it can present.

“So there is some good that can come out of social media and there are also negatives, that we all know about.

“It is all about offering advice to our kids and hoping they will embrace it and make the right decisions.

“You wouldn’t allow your child loose in the kitchen with a knife, but you have to let them how to use it correctly and safely. It is the same with social media. It can be an incredible tool, but it can also be dangerous if not used wisely.”

Myleene’s face lights up as we ask her to look back on some of her best experiences in Ireland and one instantly leaps to the forefront of her mind.

“I went to my first Madonna concert in Dublin and it was amazing,” she adds. “I’ve always loved everything about Ireland.

“Every time I’ve been there, the whole place just seems ready to party and you can’t help but we swept away by how wonderfully happy everyone always seems to be.

“What we have missed over the last 18 months is the chance to jump on a plane and go and enjoy weekends away and hopefully all that will come back when this pandemic is finally over.”

  • Myleene Klass is partnering with CooperVision MiSight 1 day® contact lenses, in a campaign to raise awareness of the increase of myopia in children. Visit www.coopervision.co.uk/brilliantfutures.

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