Lookalike Michelle lost 7st after being taunted in the street over weight and now loves being mistaken for the superstar singer

WAITING to get in a local nightclub, Michelle Ratcliffe was plucked out of the queue by the promoter.

The 33-year-old was whisked inside for free, as gawping clubbers were told chart-topper Katy Perry had turned up.

Michelle Ratcliffe
Michelle lost an incredible 7st after being taunted by strangers
Stewart Williams – The Sun

Michelle’s striking resemblance to the pop star was not always something she enjoyed — the former retail worker can still recall the humiliation of being taunted in the street as a “fat Katy Perry”.

But those cruel jibes helped her to stick to a diet and fitness plan and go from 18st 7lb to 11st.

Michelle, who has now been scouted by lookalike agencies, says: “It was being called a ‘fat Katy’ that made me start my diet, so to now get mistaken for the real one is a real compliment.

“It’s funny when people do a double take or ask for an autograph.

Michelle Ratcliffe
Michelle at 18st before she lost weight

“I used to hate the likeness when I was bigger because of the jokes about my weight, but now I love getting mistaken for a superstar.”

The mum-of-three, from Walsall, West Mids, was a size 12 until her first pregnancy with son Tristan, now 11.

Cravings for crisps and fried chicken with dumplings left her 5st heavier.

But with a baby to look after, watching what she ate was not the main priority and she continued to binge on comfort food.

Michelle Ratcliffe
Michelle was told she looked like Katy Perry because of her eyes

And when Michelle got pregnant again with daughter Kiyaira, now eight, she piled on even more weight.

She says: “I decided to just make the most of pregnancy and vowed I’d lose it after the baby was born, but after the birth I just ate more.”

As a busy working mum, she snacked on junk food and picked at meals she prepared for her children before having another meal with her then husband in the evening.

Like Katy Perry, 33, Michelle loved wearing Lycra — but unlike the singer she needed the stretchy fabric to fit around her size 24 frame.

Katy Perry
Michelle has been approached by lookalike agencies because of her striking resemblance to Katy Perry

She says: “Lycra was the only thing that stretched comfortably over me so I lived in leggings.”

On a night out with friends in 2013, two men heckled her in the street.

She says: “At first they said my eyes looked like Katy Perry’s. And then they started laughing and said it was a shame the rest of me didn’t.

“They said I was a fat Katy Perry and needed to lose weight. There were so many people around, I was devastated at the thought of everyone laughing at me. I just rushed into the nearest bar.

Michelle Ratcliffe
Michelle used to binge eat on comfort food and put on weight while she was pregnant

“Even though I was a big girl I’d always thought I looked OK, but them laughing at me changed everything. I couldn’t get their words out of my head.

“I started doing my hair and make-up differently so people didn’t notice I resembled the singer.”

Determined to slim, Michelle joined her local Weight Watchers and was astonished to learn at her first meeting that she tipped the scales at 18st 7lb. She says: “I thought I was around 15st, so it came as a big, big shock.

“I started learning about nutrition and realised I had to change how I shopped. Instead of doing a big family shop I’d separate the food I bought for me and the food I bought for the kids.

Michelle Ratcliffe
When daughter Shai was six months old, Michelle started working out with weights for the first time and transformed herself

“They still wanted treats, and that was fine, but I needed to totally change what I ate. And I also started eating off a side plate to reduce the giant portions I’d got used to.”

Michelle still felt full using a smaller plate because she had eaten everything in front of her.

She also started running. But she faced some bumps in her diet journey when she separated from her partner.

Despite the heartbreak, Michelle managed to stick to her diet and lost 4st over the next year.

Michelle Ratcliffe
Michelle’s looks has had her constantly mistaken for the pop singer
Getty – Contributor

She also plucked up the courage to join a gym where she met her current partner, Judah Brown, 34, a retail assistant.

After moving in together, Michelle had her third child, son Shai, now three. This time she monitored what she ate during pregnancy and only put on 10lb.

When Shai was six months old, she started working out with weights for the first time. Since then, her body has changed dramatically. And the new, more confident Michelle, who has slimmed down from a size 24 to a size 12, felt amazing when she was “spotted” waiting in the nightclub queue.

She says: “The last time I’d been compared with Katy on a night out had been horrific, but this time I was beaming.

“All the people in the queue were gawping, trying to work out if I was really her or not. It felt amazing.”

Her looks have seen her constantly mistaken for the famous brunette.

Michelle says: “The sweetest time was when a little girl dragged her mother over to ask if she could have my autograph.

“She was so sure I was the real Katy that I didn’t want to crush her excitement by telling her I wasn’t.
“I’ve got a lot to thank Katy for. And like her, you’re going to hear me Roar about the new me.”


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