Bullying is quite possibly the worst part of growing up when you’re younger. If you are on the receiving end of it, there’s not much you can do except grow thick skin and just get through it. Some persevere through it better than others, and that someone is Joanna Joseph.
For Joanna, having two first names wasn’t her biggest obstacle. Growing up she weighed over 220 pounds. She was messed with at school because of this and she eventually became very depressed. She never had a reprieve from the bullying, even family members and teachers would join in on poking fun at her expense.
“I grew up eating. I could eat five plates of rice in one go. I was 60kg when I was seven years old and the fattest child in pre-school.
My teachers would taunt me and so would my own friends. I fell into depression because of that and I had no friends to talk to. I only had my diary and music to keep me sane in school.”
When she turned 16 she knew she had to make a change. She changed her diet, dropping that rice for fruits and veggies instead.
She would also run, but not at a gym. She didn’t have facilities near her but that didn’t stop her. She would run for two hours every night in the nearby fields by her house. She lost a whole bunch of weight but the bullies just changed their tactics. She went onto say:
“Even when I lost so much of weight, everyone used to taunt me saying I took drugs and I was a ‘drug addict’ and more, which is why I decided to just let it go
I used to be bullied every single day, even by my own friends because I was overweight and probably looked ugly in their eyes. My own relatives made my life miserable.”
At this point, many people would have given up but Joanna kept her fight going. She eventually became Miss Selangor Earth back in 2016 and after that she was the runner up for Miss India Worldwide.
Now she is crushing life as a model and not looking back at the haters. She concluded with:
“I went through hell from the age of 12 till 16 until I decided to take matters into my own hands because I realised that if I wasn’t going to act, I’d be the same forever.
I had to push myself and sacrifice a lot of things in life to get to where I stand today. When I saw changes, I began to like what I see.
It was pure hard earned work without the gym, good diets and no medication at all. And here I am today.”
Just goes to show you that no matter what situation you are in, you can change it all on your own.