Miss Universe Philippines 2010 Venus Raj opened up about losing confidence after gaining weight, but tells women not to let their weight define them.
In a new Instagram post, Raj shared shots from her recent photoshoot, which, to her, became "an instrument for many realizations."
The former beauty queen recalled her struggle with accepting her body and how it affected her confidence. Raj, who was known to have a 22-inch waistline, then penned a note on loving our body, and also said that she is learning to love herself again.
"You know that feeling when you can’t do the things that you used to do excellently," Raj, who wore a gold intricate Filipiniana with a matching fan by Francis Libiran, said on her post.
Raj explained that she felt "so rusty" after doing a photoshoot after a long time and admitted to losing confidence "to model in front of the camera."
"[I] was so conscious about my body because I gained weight. And a bit sad that I can’t do excellently this thing that was so easy for me to do in the past," Raj continued.
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She feels for other women who "feel the same way" when people make unnecessary comments about their weight or "when they feel unhealthy and cannot do the activities that they used to enjoy."
"Ladies, I feel you. But let us not allow others and even our self-perception to steal the joy in our hearts," she wrote. "Yes! Let’s live a healthier life. Eat healthy food. Exercise for the right reasons. LADIES, YOUR WORTH IS NOT DEFINED BY YOUR WEIGHT!"
After Miss Universe Philippines in 2010, Raj took up a master’s degree in Community Development from the University of the Philippines Diliman in 2017. In June 2021, she graduated from Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA) in Oxford, England.
Photo by Jacques Arado. Taken from @onlyvenusraj on Instagram