Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has declared she is a "girls' girl" in an emotional message addressed to her online haters.
The former Girls Aloud singer has become the victim of abuse from trolls on social media since her new relationship with One Direction heartthrob Liam Payne - who is 10 years her junior - was revealed last month, but the pop star has now reached out to female fans who have attacked her for dating the hunk.
Alongside an image with large bold words that read "Girls compete with each other. Women empower one another" posted on Instagram, she pleaded: "It can be so hard at times being a girl, for sooo many reasons! But we don't have to make it harder for each other ... Why do we still feel the need to do that ?? I don't understand it. I have always been a Girls girl, and love other strong women. (sic)"
She continued: "That is why I surround myself with them, and that is why I try to empower others. Trying to pull another person down, only speaks volumes about your character.! And not a thing about theirs.. There's nothing more powerful or beautiful than an inspiring, strong women that you can look up to or turn to ... Be one!!! (sic)"
Despite the outpour of negativity from upset One Direction fans, Cheryl, 32, and Liam, 22, have been proudly flaunting their romance.
The new couple have posted a series of sweet pictures on their Instagram accounts of their various dates, including one on Wednesday (09.03.16) evening where they wore matching black outfits and gripped each other's hands after dinner in London at Salmontini le Resto - showing their love for one another is only growing stronger.