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Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu opens up about weight gain and bullying

Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu opens up about weight gain and bullying

New York: Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu said that she gained weight after winning the pageant crown in December. While she doesn't mind the change, many resorted to online bullying and body shaming.

The Indian pageant winner said the cyberbullying got to her and she "broke down" several times. She added that it was surprising to see how people started having their opinions, which should not really matter.

The 22-year-old added that she feels like she has physically grown. "I gained more pounds and increased my weight, which I am totally comfortable with," reported People.

She revealed that diet and exercise in the days leading up to the competition were all about winning. "I was really focused towards my goal and I was (not) thinking about my health." Sandhu further said she relaxed for about a month after winning.

"During that time, I actually didn't work out. I was just eating and just enjoying that time with my family. I never realised that it would start showing on my body," said the former beauty queen.

She added that some of the online comments were very cruel and she broke down at the most unexpected times. "I'm just about to go on stage or something and this whole thing comes to mind. It's really sad."

Responding to the cyberbullying, she said: "It's not about how you look. It's about who you are from inside and how you treat people and what you believe in."

The weight gain and mental health crisis also brought some of her allergies to light. The doctor diagnosed her as allergic to gluten, coconut, eggs, and soy. "I've gone through that phase of my life where I used to feel bad about everything. Now, I started loving everything. It's okay to cry. It's okay to feel sad," said the model.

She added that she is sharing the experience to help others who are struggling with body image and self-love. "We all are imperfect. We need to realise that there's a point where we understand that we need to embrace our flaws. When you do that, you can conquer anything in this world."

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TAGS:Harnaaz Sandhu Miss Universe weight gain bodyshaming cyber bullying online bullying 
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