Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle wants to help "smash the taboo" that surrounds people who have to wear colostomy bags.

The singer, who is launching a solo career later this year, said the "pretence of body perfection" made it difficult for patients recovering from bowel surgery to feel sexy or confident.

Nadine spoke out after her friend, hairstylist Connor Grant, had an operation in January which left him needing a colostomy bag for the rest of his life.

She said: "This was a big worry, especially in our industries where there is so much pretence at body perfection.

"I was amazed at the negative connotations that surrounds people with a stoma and also shocked at the lack of exposure in the mainstream media. This is one taboo which I am right on board in helping to smash."

The LA-based singer has agreed to be a celebrity ambassador for "designer colostomy knicker" company Vanilla Blush.

The company was founded by Glasgow-based Nicola Dames after she had major bowel surgery in 2006 which left her needing an ileostomy bag.

The 33-year-old wanted to help men and women who have had bowel surgery to cope with the aftermath of treatment and rebuild their confidence with "sexy" underwear and swimwear, turning a "medical problem into a fashion challenge". Her underwear comes with a built-in pouch to conceal the bag.

Nadine said: "Nicola has turned people's lives around with her underwear.

"You can still look and feel gorgeous whilst having a colostomy or ileostomy."