Appearing on the first season of Love Island Australia in 2018, Cassidy McGill was an instant fan favourite.
But the 25-year-old reality star has revealed she was trolled over her appearance on the show, causing her to spiral into a space where she “hated myself”.
In a post on Instagram, Cassidy shared a promo photo of her taken for Love Island in April 2018, explaining in the caption how she had been labelled the “plus-size girl” despite being a size 10.
“This rocked me to my core,” she wrote. “This was the first moment in my life where I felt truly ashamed of my body and felt that unsettling feeling of constantly being self conscious. It was awful.”
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Cassidy said she would also read comments about her ”thunder thighs” and that her “boobs are so saggy”, as well as the “most unflattering pap shots” of herself which saw her go “into an obsession with training to fit a certain standard”.
“I honestly hated the world and I hated myself,” she wrote. “So I trained. Really, really hard. I ate super clean.
“It was sh*t and boring. I was doing it for nothing other than to be skinny enough to feel beautiful to the public.”
But Cassidy said that things didn’t improve for her once she lost weight and dropped to a size six by October 2018.
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“I GOT BODY SHAMED AGAIN,” she wrote. “This time it was ‘oh she’s too skinny’, ‘she looks better with meat on her bones’, ‘she looked better before’.”
Cassidy had an “earth shattering” moment where she realised “I may as well do whatever the f**k I want” as “you will NEVER please everyone”.
“I am now a comfortable size 10. I am proud of my body,” she said. “And I am so grateful for my health. I don’t train as punishment, or to look a certain way. I train to feel strong.”
Cassidy’s post soon got dozens of comments from other women praising her message.
“It’s ridiculous how many women are considered plus size or ‘overweight’ when they are bigger than a size 6 … when the average size for women ranges about 12-14-16,” one person wrote.
Others said they were stunned to learn Cassidy had been made to feel bad about her appearance on Love Island.
“Your body was one of the reasons you were my favourites on the show … it actually boosted my confidence and made me feel more comfortable in my skin because you looked amazing!” one follower commented.
“Literally you had the best body for me! It looks like an hourglass, just beautiful, different and perfect in your way,” another person wrote.