Skinny-shaming trolls who tell me I should be SHOT are jealous – they won't stop until I hate myself, says Joey Turner

HE has suffered death threats and been called an "oxygen thief" since posting his skinny snaps online.

And former Towie star Joey Turner admits the backlash has taken its toll as he struggles with his body image.

He fears the "despicable" trolls won't stop abusing him over his body until he "hates himself".

But the 20-year-old insists the online outrage comes from "jealous" trolls who are facing their own body insecurities.

In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Joey said: "In this day and age, we believe body positivity is celebrated, but it's not.

"Apparently it only applies to people who are curvy.

"When I'm posting pictures in see-through tops and tiny shorts, they want to tear me down.

"I feel like obesity has been glorified, but when someone is thin it's like 'that's disgusting, they look malnourished'.

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"People tell me the most awful things, that I'm an oxygen thief and that I need to be shot – all because of my body.

"I think it comes from a place of insecurity and jealousy. A lot of them are projecting their own body insecurities onto me.

"It's affected the way I see myself. I look in the mirror now and ask 'am I too thin?'

"People want me to hate my body, that's their end goal.

"They won't stop until I hate myself."

After shooting to fame as a 17-year-old on Towie with close pal Chloe Brockett, Joey quit TV in May after three years.

He is now studying fashion design at university in London, focusing on a career outside of reality television.

But since uploading striking images of himself on Instagram, Joey has been targeted with abuse over his weight.

Many believe his appearance has changed dramatically since being on the show.

As the 20-year-old was bombarded with horrific messages over the last few weeks, friends begged him to stop posting.

People want me to hate my body, that's their end goal…they won't stop until I hate myself.

But Joey explains: "Someone the other day said to me, 'don't post if you don't want backlash' – but that's just ridiculous. 

"It's like blaming the victim instead of the sick people who are attacking them. It's despicable.

"It would probably stop the hate for a bit, but why should I stop posting something that interests me just because it offends other people.

"If you live your life trying to please other people, it's not much of a life at all.

"Social media is modern day public humiliation. Like when they put you in stocks and threw tomatoes. It's like that but digitally. It's heartbreaking.

And Joey says that often people's "obsession" over his weight is "hatred disguised as compassion".

"Anyone who is happy with how they look would never comment on how someone else looks," says Joey.

"They know how young I am, but they still say these things. Would they say it to children?

"People see me as a 17-year-old wild child teenager who needs help. But I'm fine, I can protect myself and look after myself.

"It would be OK if it was coming from a good place, but it's hatred disguised as compassion.

"They pretend it's coming from a motherly place, but really they're just trolls and they don't want to admit it."

Luckily for Joey, he's surrounded by support from his former Towie co-stars who he reunited with on Sunday.

The student joined Chloe Meadows and Courtney Green to celebrate pal Chloe's Miss Babe launch at the Brasserie of Light in London.

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