More and more girls who want to become professional models are facing anorexia and bulimia. Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Mia Kang wasn’t an exception as she has opened up about her past struggles with body dysmorphia on Instagram.
But she’s managed to turn things around – learning to love her body after going from a size 6 to a 12 and becoming a professional Muay Thai fighter.
Today the 29-year-old model tells how she’s come a long way in the past three years, striving to overcome the tribulations of eating disorders and gradually learning how to embrace her body.
Mia uploaded a picture of her back in 2015, right before she was due to have her first photo shoot with Sports Illustrated Swimwear. Her goal, back then, was to look like a Victoria’s Secret Angel.
“I hadn’t eaten solid food in 10 days and smoked a pack of Marlboro Lights a day,” she writes. “I was obsessed with my collarbones, ribs and hip bones showing. I was obsessed with having a thigh gap. I was about to shoot Sports Illustrated Swimsuit for the first time and was trying to look like a VS angel. I was told by the industry I never looked better but still had a little more weight to lose. I hated how I looked so much I thought I was fat and lived in constant anxiety.”
Today, Mia has a size 12, and she says that she feels like she’s “finally become a woman”.
“I love my thighs, my curves. I love my strength and the fact I can probably whoop your ass,” she wrote.
“I still have insecurities as I adjust into my new body, just like everyone else. But I know my body, respect it, and love it.”
“It isn’t easy for me to post these pictures because I still have a disease that I have to live with for the rest of my life.”
According to Metro, she ended up halving her weight with laxatives, purging and by starving herself – and it was then that she started attracting modelling scouts. The fashion industry exacerbated the problem.
“Eating disorders and body dysmorphia don’t just disappear, but you can learn how to manage it and heal. You can reprogram your thinking. I want to put the images out there that I never had. I want to show women that it’s ok to gain weight. We have the pleasure of having fluctuating bodies, enjoy your curves, enjoy being a WOMAN.”
“Be healthy and be confident. We have one body and one life, don’t let your insecurities hold you back from happiness.”