Jessy Mendiola reveals she got depressed, started turning down roles due to body shaming

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 13) — Actress Jessy Mendiola may be one of the fittest celebrities in the country, but that doesn't mean she didn't have her own insecurities before.

In an Instagram post on Monday, the actress revealed she got depressed and lost confidence after body shamers slammed her for bagging a men's magazine's "Sexiest Woman in the Philippines" title in 2016.

"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 (thigh), baboy (pig), taba (fat), etc.' while others said I didn't deserve to win the title (because) I'm way bigger than the other girls who they thought should've won," she said.

Mendiola said she loved her body before winning the title, but started "hating herself" when people started calling her names.

"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,'" she said.

The body shaming eventually led to depression, as she stopped working out and "binge-ate her feelings."

"I didn't even want to be seen on TV anymore, I started turning down roles and it affected my work," Mendiola said.

The actress, however, came to terms with her body after realizing she was happy with herself even without the "sexiest" title.

She said she started building herself up again despite what others said.

"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," she said. 

Mendiola, who has since lost 15 pounds, shared how this helped her achieve an even fitter version of herself.

"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," she said.

While she still sees herself as "pata (thigh) girl," Mendiola stressed it's "okay" as she loves herself for what she is.

She also gave a shout out to other "pata (thigh) girls" out there, telling them to keep going and love themselves for who they are.

"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… Love yourself, love your body and it will love you back. Trust me," she said.

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

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