For most people, being overweight can be a scary feeling because of society's strict beauty standards and the bitter judgement they face with bullying and discrimination, aside from the health problems.
TikTok content creator Euleen Castro revealed these hardships to talent manager Ogie Diaz in an interview posted on Diaz's YouTube account on Sunday, July 3, wherein Castro detailed how she was bullied on a daily basis during her younger days.
A graduate of culinary arts and hospitality management, Castro is known on TikTok (where she currently has 931.3K followers) for her hilarious food reviews and feel-good clips being proudly confident of her 150-kilo body. However, right off the bat, she shared in the interview that she was unhappy with her body during her youth because of the constant harrassment she received from her classmates.
"Noong mga high school po ako, hindi ako nag-eenjoy kasi binu-bully nila ako, ayaw nila sa akin kasi mataba po ako. Hindi daw fit sa society kasi nga mataba ka, parang ang tinatanggap lang payat," Castro said.
She would frequently hear insults such as "ang taba-taba mo" from her peers, and some would even call her "monster." But the one insult that hit her the hardest is "wala ka nang pag-asa, hindi ka na papayat."
Castro recalled that it was in her second year of high school when she experienced bullying at its worst.
"'Yun po talaga 'yung nabully ako nang malala. Noong second year high school po ako, binully nila ako to the point na kumakain ako sa C.R. Kumakain ako sa C.R. kasi alam kong kapag kumain ako sa canteen, ibubully nila ako. Tititigan nila ako tapos pagtatawanan nila ako," Castro said.
"Tinitiis ko po 'yung hindi kumain ng 8:00 to 2:00 pm. Kakain na ako nang marami nung breakfast sa bahay tapos 2:00 pm na ako makakakain ulit kapag uwi ko ng bahay," she added.
However, there came a time where she could no longer control her hunger. After buying food from the canteen, she went to the comfort room to eat, and recalled overhearing someone say, "Nakita mo 'yung mataba? Grabe kadiri siya".
When this happenned, the only thing Castro could do was to stay silent, head home, and cry.
"Kapag nakakatanggap ako ng mga masasakit na salita, iiiyak ko lang po 'yun. Kailangan ko lang po umiyak. Kapag hindi ko po kasi naiyak, masakit talaga, siguro mga two days ako malungkot," she said.
The TikTok star admitted that she thought of getting slim to stop the discrimination she faced daily because of her weight. However, she did not push throught it because she wouldn't be happy with herself.
"Inisip ko pong magpapayat, na baka kailangan pumayat ako para matanggap na talaga ako nila. Kaso naisip ko naman, babaguhin ko 'yung sarili ko, hindi ako masaya. At saka babaguhin ko 'yung sarili ko para sa kanila, eh gusto kong baguhin 'yung sarili ko kapag naisip kong gusto ko na," she said.
But now, gone is the insecure woman that she was as she slowly came to accept her body, thanks to the people who showered her with love and support.
Castro said that she regained her confidence from her family, who only wanted her to be fit because of her health, not because of what other people would say.
"Kaya po siguro ganito na lang din 'yung tanggap ko sa sarili ko kasi alam ko 'yung unang mga taong pwedeng manghusga sa'kin, hindi nila ako hinuhusgahan at hindi nila ako pinipilit na magpapayat ka para sa ibang tao," she said.
Castro urged everyone to think before they speak ill of a person's body because they do not know what that person would feel from their hurtful words.
For people whose bodies do not fit the traditional standards, Castro encouraged them to always love themselves.
"Mahalin niyo po 'yung sarili niyo at saka tanggapin niyo rin po yung sarili niyo. [W]ag kayong mahiya sa ibang tao kasi hindi naman po sila 'yung nagpapakain sa inyo. Hindi po sila 'yung dahilan para mabuhay ka."
Watch the full interview below.