Wang Chi, 25, has become famous in Taiwan as one of the most stylish ladies on social media, and for taking on body shamers who claim that only thin people should consider themselves beautiful.
“As a fat person, you always need to be prepared for criticism,” Wang Chi told BBC News. “There’s always going to be someone suddenly coming up to you and saying, ‘So fat! You need to lose weight.’ These kinds of body shaming should not exist in the first place. They exist only to make you feel little, that you have no power at all.”
But the social media celebrity and women’s rights activist said that she went through an internal struggle after deciding that she did want to lose weight after all. Wang Chi was concerned about her health, but she also feared that by losing weight she could feed into the angry complaints of those who feel it’s their job to tell women what their bodies should look like. She was also concerned about alienating her fan base, which idolizes her for her unapologetic and flamboyant embrace of the curves granted by her plus-sized frame.
“I’m really afraid that people won’t like me anymore,” she acknowledged. “But actually this fear is exactly the same as fearing that you’re not attractive if you’re fat.”
So Wang Chi decided to embark on a new artistic project — a series of photo shoots documenting her weight loss journey that she says is meant to show others that beauty comes in every size.
“Whether you’re fashionable or not is not determined by your body shape,” Wang Chi explained. “It’s about being who you want to be. You’re at ease with yourself, so you’re beautiful.”
Watch BBC News’ interview with Wang Chi below.