“Now, at a Size 8, I Feel Like I Finally Became a Woman,” Model Mia Kang Shares How She Gained Weight and Found Happiness

year ago

Beauty standards are engrained in women throughout their lives, and they heavily influence us all. In order to follow them, women have to sometimes undergo plastic surgery, skin bleaching, foot binding, neck rings, hair removal, makeup, wig installations, teeth lacquering, tanning, corsetry, and many more procedures. The heroine we’re featuring today, Mia Kang, went in a completely different direction: she looked right into the face of her insecurities and challenged the beauty labels that were put on her by the beauty industry.

Here at Bright Side, we’d love for you to take a look at how Mia Kang literally won the battle with herself while ditching false beliefs about what real beauty looks like. We believe any woman can find a small dose of inspiration from Mia’s story.

Life started teaching lessons to Mia at an early age.

Mia grew up in Hong Kong, which is where she learned more about her view on life. First of all, she believed in working hard, as Hong Kong has always been a busy place with the spirit of success floating in the air. The city is also full of people from all over the world, so growing up there taught the young girl to be open-minded and inquisitive. Things like being multicultural became absolutely normal for her at an early age.

Aside from that, Mia now wishes she could go back in time and say a few words to her 13-year-old self. When she looks back, the only thing she regrets not doing is celebrating her traits. She would say to herself, “Don’t waste your energy trying to fit in. It’s okay to be different. You’re unique.

Modeling life came with a huge challenge.

Since she started modeling at the age of 13, Mia has struggled a lot. She always tried to conform to fashion standards and be a size 2 or smaller. Because of this wish to keep up with the beauty labels, Mia went “through every eating disorder you can imagine,” including but not limited to anorexia, bulimia, using laxatives, and different supplements.

Mia confessed that she was obsessed with her weight. “I was obsessed with my collarbones, ribs and hip bones showing.” She also devoted her life to a diet. She says, “My life revolved around green juice, kale, and as much exercise as I could squeeze into a day because I thought that was ’healthy’.”

But finally, there was a lucky chance for her that really changed her life and mind. She went on vacation to Thailand and discovered Muay Thai, which is a sport meant mainly for men. It’s hard to imagine a model doing a tough sport like boxing, but Mia was able to break stereotypes, even here.

Boxing made Mia do a round turn in her life, and she never regretted it.

As it turns out, Muay Thai was the answer to Mia’s stress. By boxing, she learned to be happy with her own body, which is currently a size 8, and to embrace what she looks like when she is healthy. In an Instagram post, Mia wrote a powerful message to all her followers:

I was obsessed with having a thigh gap. I was about to shoot for 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. Now. Size 8. I feel like I finally became a woman. I love my thighs, my curves. I still have insecurities as I adjust to my new body, just like everyone else. But I know my body, respect it, and love it.”

The model openly speaks about how it feels to be chained by standards.

Mia is one of the models who dared to show the other side of the industry to her fans. While we got used to seeing models performing in their perfect photoshoots, assuming they must be extremely happy with their careers, Mia wants to show us that it’s not always true.

In another revealing post, she said, “The picture on the left was 4 years ago when I was a top model in Hong Kong. From the outside, I looked like I was living the life — but the truth is, I hated my existence. I hated myself. I barely ate. I lived in constant anxiety — fear of what people thought of me, fear of having my eating disorders exposed, fear of no longer being deemed as beautiful.”

And she proceeded by describing her state now, writing, “On the right this is me today. I am the same woman, but I now know my worth. I respect myself. I am now happy and healthy. I always wanted to be a strong and confident woman, so I became one.”

Mia’s message to the whole world is dignified and powerful.

While comparing her face and body shape from the past with the present, Mia can’t help but share her only advice and message with women from around the world.

She emotionally wrote on Instagram, “Every negative thought about myself that crept in, I tried to combat with a positive one. I picked myself up and took myself to go eat a healthy meal — the absolute last thing I wanted to do was eat. But I forced myself. I reminded myself that we have the pleasure of having fluctuating and ever-changing bodies. My weight fluctuates, but my value doesn’t.

What is the beauty standard that you personally have been struggling with? Did Mia’s experience inspire you to change the way you think about yourself?

Preview photo credit miakang / Instagram


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