updated 14 May 2013, 06:37
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Tue, Apr 30, 2013
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Being overweight can be attractive, say these women
by Jennifer Dhanaraj

Big and beautiful?

These women are proud advocates that being overweight can be attractive.

Three of them have put their money where their mouth is, having appeared in a charity calendar in the nude.

The 2011 calendar, called Big and Beautiful, was a turning point for marketing manager Regine Guo.

"I was nervous, but the experience taught me to embrace my curves," she says.

The New Paper on Sunday caught up with her and her sassy friends last week, after news emerged of how one girl here gained fame after sharing her weight loss story on YouTube.

Once teased and bullied, Miss Laura Patricia lost 24kg within a year. Since then, she's earned herself hoards of fans.

Would our big and beautiful women do the same?

Absolutely not.

"We are happy now because there is more to us than our appearance. We are blessed with great personalities," says Miss Hesper Lee, 41, who works in corporate marketing.

Sporting a stylish pixie crop, she says: "In fact, we have so many friends now because they are attracted to our bubbly disposition." The rest wholeheartedly agree.

It is almost refreshing for this reporter to hear the four talk about how they want to change perceptions of beauty here, and how they want young people to learn that they don't have to conform to ideals if they don't make sense.

But they will admit that they weren't always this comfortable in their own skin.

They've all tried diets and dangerous pills.

Madam Syafinaz Sahlan, a 38-year-old administrator, recalls taking diet pills when she was a undergraduate. "I would grab whatever that was available on the shelves that guaranteed some weight loss."

"All my skinny friends had boyfriends, but no one would look at me. They just looked past me and my confidence took a hit," said Madam Syafinaz, who is now married with two children.

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