Ria Atayde: Body positivity poster girl

Ria Atayde didn’t become popular for her plus-sized figure and positive self-image by choice. She’s got a few reasons for it – health reasons, specifically.

The actress, who is a calendar girl for a local brand of whiskey known for Barbie-like bodies, revealed in an interview that she suffered from hypothyroidism.

Aside from that, the sister of actor-congressman Arjo Atayde and daughter of veteran thespian Sylvia Sanchez, said she had her gallbladder removed already.

“Losing weight is a lot harder for me than it is for other people,” she was quoted as saying. “So, go ahead. Call me fat. Anong magagawa ninyo? I’m sick with stuff I can’t fix. So, sino ka diyan?”

The journey may be rough for her from being ‘body-shamed’ to becoming the champion of body positivity, but it was already bearing fruits, so to speak.

Whatever size, age, or color, it is more and more accepted these days.

“When the calendar was released, there were negative comments, but there are people who would reach out and say, ‘Thank you, you embraced your body and it taught me to embrace mine, too,'” said Atayde in a separate interview.

“If anything good came out of the calendar, it’s that I’ve had people thank me, saying, ‘If you can embrace yourself, why can’t I? Because of you, I’m a lot more confident too,'” she added. “Representation really does matter. You don’t realize how much it matters until you see it.”

Validating her point, even more, was her recent hosting of the Hot Summer LaHot Sexy Bikini Ball.