Jessy Mendiola opens up about weight gain, depression
MANILA, Philippines – Jessy Mendiola may have been named FHM's Sexiest in 2016, but the actress has admitted that she lost confidence and gained weight soon after. (IN PHOTOS: Jessy Mendiola at FHM's 100 Sexiest 2016)
On Instagram on Monday, March 12, Jessy posted two photos of herself – an old and a more recent one – saying that she was bullied after she won the title. People called her names, she said, and told her that she didn't deserve it because she was "way bigger" than the other ladies who were in the running.
The bullying led to a bout of depression and weight gain, and even caused her to turn down jobs: "I felt really down and started losing my confidence. I loved myself then (big thighs, belly rolls and round face) but when people started pointing out my flaws, I started hating myself, at times even thinking I was a bad person for having 'thunder thighs.' I stopped working out, I got depressed, binge ate my feelings [away]… and started gaining more weight than I should. I didn't even want to be seen on TV anymore, I started turning down roles and it affected my work."
Even though people still call her names to this day, Jessy said she feels better and she's lost 15 pounds through a proper diet and finding the right exercise for her body. "I realized, why should I feel so bad about myself when I loved myself even before I was called 'sexiest?' I thought of myself as sexy, strong and beautiful in my own way."
Today, Jessy said that she still sees herself as "pata (pork leg) girl” but her perspective on that name has changed. "When I decided to shift perspective, everything started falling into place. I may not be the sexiest for others, but I am sexy and beautiful for myself, that alone is enough."
"Shout out to every 'pata girl' out there, just keep going. Love yourself, love your body and it will love you back. Trust me," she ended.
So... I’m gonna post about this because a lot of people asked me to. Not to show off or anything, but rather to inspire. I’ve always thought of myself as really strong and fit, yes, even on the picture on the left. I worked out regularly (weights and all), ate what I felt was good for me and you know what? It felt good, I was happy. When I won FHM’s sexiest woman in 2016, I thought... finally, people appreciate my efforts and my body. But I was wrong. I was bullied, body shamed with bashers calling me names like “pata, baboy, taba, etc.” while others said I didn’t deserve to win the title cos I’m waaaaaay bigger than the other girls who they thought should’ve won. I felt really down and started losing my confidence. I loved myself then (big thighs, belly rolls and round face) but when people started pointing out my flaws, I started hating myself, at times even thinking I was a bad person for having “thunder thighs”. I stopped working out, I got depressed, binge ate my feelings off and started gaining more weight than I should. I didn’t even want to be seen on TV anymore, I started turning down roles and it affected my work. Then I realized, why should I feel so bad about myself when I loved myself even before i was called “sexiest”. I thought of myself as sexy, strong ang beautiful in my own way. I started building myself up again despite what other people say (until now they call me names) and have lost 15 lbs since. I learned to eat moderately and exercise to feel good, to be energized rather than by punishing myself for eating chocolates or that blueberry muffin. I started accepting my built and switched my work out according to my body type (Hi @bodybymamakat and mama @nadinetengco love you both ). I still see myself as the “pata girl” and it’s okay, it is just a matter of perspective. When I decided to shift perspective, everything started falling into place. I may not be the sexiest for others, but I am sexy and beautiful for myself, that alone is enough. Shout out to every “pata girl” out there, just keep going. Love yourself, love your body and it will love you back. TRUST ME. #thunderthighs #patagirl #pataislife #pataforevs
Jessy won the FHM's Sexiest title in June 2016. As she continued to be bullied over the win through the next few months, Lea Salonga and Pia Wurtzbach both came to her defense on social media.
"For the record, I think Jessy Mendiola is one of the sexiest people I've ever cast my eyes on. It has less to do with her physique (which, by the way, is nothing to sneeze at) and more to do with how she carries herself. She could gain 20 pounds right now and my opinion of her wouldn't change,” Lea said on Facebook in July 2016.
In August 2016, fans misunderstood a comment that Jessy made to Esquire Philippines, after she was named the magazine's Sexiest Woman Alive for 2016.
"Seriously though, enough with the Jessy Mendiola hate. Confident Filipinas should be celebrated, not condemned," Pia wrote on Twitter, adding the hashtags #NoToBodyShaming and #NoToBullying. – Rappler.com
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