Meet Yi Chen, a student who was bullied by her classmates and teacher for having an athletic figure is now a fitness model helping women around the world embrace their physique.
Many children called her names when she was only 10, while attending school in Taiwan. She was mocked and teased by her peers, nicknaming her “King Kong Barbie” and “Elephant Legs” due to her muscular physique, and even her family declared her body as “too big”.
Today’s light leg workout, sooo.. I have been off the gym for about a week and a half due to the fact that I was in bed for a week straight because I was experiencing muscle spasms on my neck and back (I’m not sure if that would be the correct term) but I was literally paralyzed, I could not get up on my own, I couldn’t do anything. Even laying down would hurt. Literally my mom was feeding me laying down because it would hurt too much trying to get up. I’m way better now but still have a little tightness, I should still rest but I couldn’t take it any more!! So I went to the gym 😅😅😬 . . . . I didn’t do much because I didn’t want to stress my body after a lot of rest so this is part of what I did . . . Warm up_________________ -5 mins jog -fire hydrants x15 -donkey kicks x15 -outward/ inward knee circles x15 -air squats x25 -lunges x 15 ea. -side lunges x15 ea. Workout________________ -3×12 (ea.) assisted pistol squats -3×12 (ea.) single leg leg press -3×15 leg curls (light ) -3×15 leg extensions (light) . . . . . #fitnessgirl #fitasiangirls #fitgirls #fitspirational #fitness #bootybuilding #girlswholift #fitfamdk #fitnessworlddk #fitnessjourney #brazilianbooty #fitnessaddict #fitnessmotivation #strongissexy #bootypump #bootyprogress #beastbeauty #fitnessgirl #fitfun #girlpower #girlswithmuscle #instafit #gymsharkwoman #gymshark #gymlife #mitfw #fitnessdk #fitnessnord
“When I was called ‘elephant legs’ in front of the whole class it was like giving approval for all my peers to make comments about my legs too,” the business management student said.
“It was very wrong and horrible, from there the kids would call me other names like ‘King Kong Barbie’, ‘big thighs’ and a lot of cruel things behind my back. The everyday negative comments weren’t just from other people but my family and then myself because I started to believe I should be petite too.”
Because of all the bullying, she stopped participating in sports and drastically cut back her food intake. Yi sometimes skipped a full meal entirely, slashing her weight to 22.6 kilograms (50 pounds) to make her look “thin”.
I haven’t deadlifted in months cuz I hurt my back a while ago, slowly getting back at it, I know I got horrible form but it’ll get better💪🏽🙏🏼 makin “one day” my “day one” 😼 also just took 2 weeks off the gym, don’t mind the baby weights and shrunkened muscles 🙈🙊 #fitpo #fitness #fitnessmotivation #fitgirls #fitfam #fitwomen #fitnation #healthylifestyle #gym #gymrat #aesthetic #aesthetics #squat #gymmotivation #gym
“All my life I was told to be skinny, it was imprinted on me from my family and culture,” Yi said. “Asian women are supposed to be like a little bird, petite and not muscular.
“I was completely the opposite, I was athletic in build, so while they were skinny and lean, I was on the thicker side,” she continued. “Growing up my family would constant quiz me about why I was so muscular and big, for them there was no in between, there was only skinny or fat.”
Things began to drastically turn in Yi’s life after she moved to the United States at the age of 15. All of a sudden, people began to compliment her athletic physique, giving her the confidence to wear shorts and dresses again.
Fitness is art, you determine the shape and size of your own body! It takes time but the product is always unique and beautiful💕 craft it for yourself, the way you like it, because you live with it, don’t do it for others. . . . . . . Self love 💗 fitpo #fitness #fitnessmotivation #fitgirls #fitfam #fitwomen #fitnation #healthylifestyle #gym #gymrat #aesthetic #aesthetics #squat #gymmotivation #gym #legday #legs #quads #abs #girlswithabsmuscles #asians #asianswithmuscles #tonedasians #lingling #abs #mentalhealth #mentalhealthmatters #thickthighsavelifes #sandiego
Now 21, and living in San Diego, California, Yi aims to help boost other women’s confidence through her Instagram account, which now has nearly 50,000 followers.
Since taking up a diet combined with exercises two years ago, Yi is now at a healthy 154 pounds.
“I decided that no matter of the positive or negative comments I would ignore them and learn acceptance from myself,” Yi said. “I started wearing dresses about two years ago, before I would cover my legs so you wouldn’t realise how curvy they are but now I like my physique.
“I’ve learned to love my legs, I see them as something positive, before they always seemed like a bad thing, but now I think it’s great having curves and little booty,” Yi added.
Follow Yi Chen’s Instagram to feel inspired to love your body.