Jane Dipika Garrett, the first plus-sized Miss Universe contestant, opened up about her struggles with weight gain due to a medical condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Garrett spoke about the negative reactions she received for being a contender and how she had to learn to love herself despite her mental health struggles and eating disorders.
“I really did not expect to get that much applause on the stage or that much spotlight,” Garrett said. (Trending: Biden Shamefully Removes God From National Address)
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“I came with a humble heart… but when I won on that stage, I got the loudest applause from the whole entire audience.”
“And that felt so good because it was like a breakthrough moment for me and for society that they see something different, that they see real size beauty.”
“I see things like, ‘Oh, she’s a whale,’ or ‘That’s disgusting. I’m going to vomit.’ Or like, ‘She’s promoting obesity.’ ‘Why don’t you go to the gym?’ And things like that,” she said.
“And it’s like they don’t even know my story. They don’t even know what I’m going through.”
“So it’s very easy for us to gain weight,” she explained.
“Even if we just look at a piece of cake, we can gain weight,” she said.
“[Critics are] just judging me from social media. And that’s their problem. I don’t let it bother me… Society can be very cruel. People can be very cruel sometimes.”
“Recently, I’ve gained a lot of weight because of my hormonal issues,” she added.
“And that’s also really taken a toll on my mental health and my self-esteem because I thought that I wasn’t good enough or that I wasn’t beautiful enough.”
“But I really had to get the validation for myself and learn how to have a positive mindset and to love myself despite not feeling my best self,” she said.
She emphasized the importance of accepting and embracing one’s body and pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
“It’s about being confident in your own skin and accepting who you are, where you are at. So I had to really remove all of those messages that were coming from society as well as coming from my own mind. So I had to really brainwash myself again and accept who I am and love myself.”
“You don’t have to do something like what a celebrity does or that a model does to be considered beautiful. I think that what’s most important for you, whatever suits you, is what is beautiful for you.”
“And then I think that’s so important to just embrace who you are and love who you are and not try to fit into what society says is beautiful,” Garrett added.