Body positive model and Preview Clique member Mia Franz Gelicka isn’t here to listen to unsolicited comments about her curvy body and skin color. The 25-year-old and aspiring teacher turned to TikTok not only to entertain but to inspire and educate fellow women who’ve struggled with their weight and overall body image.TOP STORY: 10 Universally Flattering Hair Color Ideas If You're Planning a Makeover
In her viral video called “Put Your Finger Down: Filipina Plus Size Edition”, Mia lists seven demeaning and judgmental statements about her weight like "Ang ganda mo sana, kaso ang taba mo" that people have said to her over the years. Her post has over 376,000 views and 68,000 likes on the app, and for good reason. A lot of comments praised the model for her honesty and shared their own gripes about society’s obsession over being skinny. “I talked about how as a child, the adults around me would scare me by saying, “Hala, pag tumaba ka, papangit ka” or “Kapag tumaba ka, walang magkakagusto sa'yo.” They were only joking around, but I believed them, which is why I had this whole idea that I would never be beautiful or worthy [of love] as long as I was fat,” Mia tells Preview.
In this exclusive interview, the model shares how her video has connected girls together on TikTok who share the same experiences when it comes to body-shaming. “When I posted the video, I asked other girls if they experienced that too, and the comments came pouring in from girls who had similar experiences. I made this video because I wanted to reach out to those women; let them know that they are beautiful, and remind them that their weight will never define their worth,” Mia shares, “I was surprised at how fast the video took off. I was happy because I wanted the message of body positivity to reach more people but at the same time [it made me] sad because I saw proof that a lot of body-shaming starts in the family.”
Scrolling through the comments of her video, Mia realized that even men and people of all gender identities experienced the same. Some users don’t even see themselves as “plus-sized” but have also been subjected to body-shaming comments. After her “Put Your Finger Down…” video blew up, Mia continued to post more body-positive content as well as styling tips and how-tos that are perfect for curvy girls.
With social media constantly propagating this image of “perfection”, coupled with influencer and celebrity culture, society seems to have misinterpreted “expectations” as “reality”. Take note that you should always look at a flawless selfie, well-edited OOTD or travelgram with a grain of salt, but it’s easy to forget that these images aren’t 100% real. Unbeknownst to you, the influx of these constantly beautiful, skinny, and picture-perfect photos could subconsciously influence you to set unrealistic beauty standards on yourself and others. And this is why Mia chooses to call out the toxicity when she sees it.
“We can change society’s standards of beauty. It is up to us to make sure that the next generation of children grow up knowing that they are beautiful and worthy of love, no matter their appearance or body type. This will only happen if we act now and call out these criticisms and share the message of body positivity to everyone,” the model shares.
“You are beautiful and you are worthy. I know that some of you still struggle believing it, but trust me, you are. I became happy and confident when I finally made peace with my body. Body positivity helped me accept myself as I am. Only then was I able to see my beauty and my worth. Body positivity is for everyone—all genders and all body types are welcome.”
Well said, Mia!