Suicidal at the age of ten from bullying and fat stigmatisation, Merliah Moidu now puts celebrating her curves at the forefront and is adamant about being a conductor of change when it comes to body acceptance and positivity.
In fact, head to her Instagram page and you’ll be treated to pictures of the 26-year-old in sparkling mermaid costumes, styled photo shoots, and mirror selfies captioned with inspiring messages on self-confidence and treating yourself with kindness.
“I feel like I have always been confident — it’s just that society and the people around me kept telling me that I couldn’t be. That I shouldn’t be. That I should hate myself because I am bigger,” shares Merliah, who is a mermaid performer and instructor, and bills herself Asia’s first plus-sized mermaid.
What brings me joy? Just knowing that when I share my struggles with the world, there’s at least one person out there who doesn’t feel alone anymore.Merliah Moidu
The Singaporean studied at Lasalle College of the Arts and is now based here. In an interview with The Weekly, she gets candid about the challenges of being a mermaid, the stigma that has followed her since her childhood, and what more can be done to change the stereotypes and attitudes surrounding bigger people.