Applause and criticism after China's 'most beautiful plus-size girl' loses weight

PHOTO: Applause and criticism after China's 'most beautiful plus-size girl' loses weight

Does being beautiful mean being thin? Ji Weijia, a woman from Hebei who gained Internet fame for being an attractive woman on the plumper side has sparked off a debate on whether beauty is linked to weight.

The 19-year-old lass first shot to fame when pictures of her went viral on Chinese social media networking site Weibo in July this year. It all started with a post by a male Weibo user, who posted pictures of her along with the comment "upon seeing a pretty girl that happens to be too fat, should I go after her?"

The post garnered thousands of comments - some expressing support and agreement with his opinion, and others slamming him for being superficial and buying into the concept that being beautiful means being thin.

"If you love her, you should do something to endear yourself to her, and then she will naturally lose weight for you," said one comment by a Chinese netizen. "What's wrong with being fat? Fat women are angels that have been sent down from heaven above," said another.

A news article on kkly.com (translated by sinopathic.com) summarised the discussion: "In today's society whereby people are trying to lose weight as a way to become beautiful, a very beautiful girl weighing 100kg has suddenly emerged in the public consciousness; it is she that is the reason many an obese woman can now raise her head and be proud. Continuing now for a series of days, this 100kg beauty has been awarded many a lavish title such as "most beautiful fatty", "100 kg goddess", and "fat goddess" among others."

In a twist to the story, she decided to lose weight. And in yet another twist, some reports say how her story came into the media spotlight is a publicity stunt to promote her appearance on a weight loss variety show.

 

Regardless of whether her introduction to fame was a publicity stunt rather than an accidental web exposure, her appearance and the comments that surrounded it were true enough, an online commentary website sinopathic.com pointed out.

Before she went off to appear in China's version of “The Biggest Loser” on CCTV-2, she said in a Weibo post that she has always thought of herself as "an ugly girl that weighs 105kg."

"I am determined to lose weight and as proof to myself that if I give up now, I will regret it. Some people lose weight not to shed the pounds but to try to heal the hole in their heart. The way I see it, every fat girl is just an angel in a plus size," Weijia had written, leading the author to question whether 'angels' only wear size zero.

According to thatsmags.com, she has lost about 30kg in the last two months. She appears to have been sponsored by a local gym, Run Free Run Happy, which claims to have helped her lose "60 pounds in 60 days."

While some of her online fans applauded her weight loss, others complained that she shouldn't have lost the weight as she looked better plump. One commented that once one is a female celebrity of any degree, there is never a "right" weight.

What do you think? Is being beautiful tied to weight? Let us know in the comments below: