WWE star Charlotte Flair has said that negative comments about physical appearance are a constant battle for female wrestlers and has urged fans and colleagues not to add "fuel to the fire".

With Flair portraying a villain in the WWE, barbs about her "bad guy" character are part of live events and exchanges on social media, but she says the wrestlers and fans need to "rise above" body shaming jibes.

"Negative comments in terms of body image are the hardest thing the women probably struggle with," she told the Press Association.


"But I think the best thing that we can do as WWE superstars is taking that negativity and using it in a positive way, because there are so many young kids on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to not send the message of hate on to.

"[We need to] ignore if someone is saying something bad, and not add fuel to the fire."

Charlotte Flair with her wrestling legend father Ric Flair at the ESPYS awards in Los Angeles in July 2016

Flair admitted that the negative comments are upsetting.

"No one ever has a chance to get to know the real me because I do play a bad guy, and sometimes it's hard to soak in the comments or the negativity because that's the response you want to elicit," she said.

"I am a normal person, but that's part of the job. I'm playing a character and that's my role."

Flair is the star of the new documentary Smashing Glass Ceilings: The Women of WWE, which tells the story of her Hell in a Cell encounter with fellow wrestler Sasha Banks. Having made history by taking part in the first female Hell in a Cell bout, Flair's hope is that she is seen as a role model.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

"This wasn't a journey I thought I'd ever take," she said.

"To know how far I've come as a person and an entertainer and a businesswoman, I just hope I represent independence and intelligence and athleticism - everything that a woman should want to be.

"That is a message I hope to send and that I know all the other women hope to send: that no matter what your job is or what you want to achieve in life, anything you set your mind to, you can do."