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Woman labelled a tub of lard becomes a social media star
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Woman labelled a tub of lard becomes a social media star

A self-styled 'plus-size activist' is urging overweight women to embrace their figures in a bid to reclaim the word 'fat' as positive.

Julianna Mazzei who calls herself 'Jewelz', has no qualms about posing with little clothing and talking to her thousands of social media followers about 'fat problems.'

The 25-year-old from Toronto, who hasn't stepped on the scales in years and refuses to lose weight, said: 'I feel sexy in my body and I feel like everybody should.'

Although the body positive advocate is now confident in her size 22 (UK size 26) clothing, Jewelz admits she hasn't always been proud to show off her physique in revealing clothing.

After being severely bullied as a youngster, Jewelz has found herself on the receiving end of nasty songs and name-calling - and once had a boyfriend break up with her for being 'unhealthy.'

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Body confident: Jewelz has no qualms about posing with little clothing and talking to her thousands of social media followers about 'fat problems'

Body confident: Jewelz has no qualms about posing with little clothing and talking to her thousands of social media followers about 'fat problems'

'They called me a tub of lard': How years of bullying took their toll on Jewelz 

She was even told that 'skinny jeans are called that for a reason' after showcasing her figure in a series of revealing outfits.

Jewelz, who has almost 100,000 Instagram followers, recalled: 'I hated school. There were so many times where I skipped school, the bullying was so bad.

'I can give you probably a whole dictionary of names. Fatty, tub of lard, whale. 

'When people are making snarky comments about you behind your back or under their breath it's harder to stand up for yourself and say what needs to be said, that's one of the reasons why I got my "F*** Your Beauty Standards" tattooed.

'My whole life people told me that I couldn't wear pattern such as stripes or polka dots.'

Defiant: Jewelz has found herself on the receiving end of nasty songs and name-calling - and once had a boyfriend break up with her for being 'unhealthy'

Defiant: Jewelz has found herself on the receiving end of nasty songs and name-calling - and once had a boyfriend break up with her for being 'unhealthy'

Bullied: Jewelz was once told that 'skinny jeans are called that for a reason' after showcasing her figure in a series of revealing outfits

Bullied: Jewelz was once told that 'skinny jeans are called that for a reason' after showcasing her figure in a series of revealing outfits

Jewelz explained: 'Until I was 23 years old, I hated myself. Through finding inspiration online, and coming to terms with who I am and what I need to do, I knew I needed to start accepting who I was.

'I knew I was good in the inside but I felt who I was on the inside didn't make up for what I looked on the outside.'

'I found self-love': Jewelz learns to embrace her size 18 figure 

'I got there and I found self-love. And being confident is the greatest gift that I have been given.

'To be a bigger girl and then be thin and then be unhappy it was kind of a wake up call for me and I realised that being thin isn't going to make me happy' 

Her mother Catherine recalled: 'Jewelz totally changed, it was an over night thing. There was this girl that used to walk around with three or four layers of clothing and then all of a sudden one day a couple of layers came off and I started to see skin.

Resilient: The 25-year-old from Toronto, who hasn't stepped on the scales in years and refuses to lose weight, said: 'I feel sexy in my body and I feel like everybody should'

Resilient: The 25-year-old from Toronto, who hasn't stepped on the scales in years and refuses to lose weight, said: 'I feel sexy in my body and I feel like everybody should'

Sticks and stones: Jewelz has developed a thick skin and is determined to promote body positivity, dreaming of one day travelling the country educating schools on the topic

Sticks and stones: Jewelz has developed a thick skin and is determined to promote body positivity, dreaming of one day travelling the country educating schools on the topic

'She was happy to be alive, she was smiling, she was going out. Then the butterfly emerged that we call Jewelz.'

Inspiring others with her body confidence 

Now, Jewelz says she is stronger than ever, inspiring her social media fans on a daily basis and spreading the importance of body positivity and self-love through her online hashtags and modelling.

Jewelz explained: 'I started doing it so I could inspire people. I would definitely say that modelling is a career for me, I would definitely present myself more as a body activist.

'There is nothing like feeling beautiful but the main reason I do it is to remind women that they can feel beautiful to that you don't always need to see one standard size in model modelling for lingerie or for cars.

Jewelz (pictured here as a little girl) struggled with confidence as a youngster. Her mother Catherine recalled: 'There was this girl that used to walk around with three or four layers of clothing and then all of a sudden one day a couple of layers came off and I started to see skin'

Jewelz (pictured here as a little girl) struggled with confidence as a youngster. Her mother Catherine recalled: 'There was this girl that used to walk around with three or four layers of clothing and then all of a sudden one day a couple of layers came off and I started to see skin'

Jewelz pictured as a youngster, before she embarked on her 'self-love' journey She said: 'My two biggest hashtags are #BigandBlunt and #IGot99ProblemsButMyFatAintOne'

Jewelz pictured as a youngster, before she embarked on her 'self-love' journey. She said: 'My two biggest hashtags are #BigandBlunt and #IGot99ProblemsButMyFatAintOne'

'I definitely think that we have to reclaim the word "fat" as positive. As a negative word for so many years, it is about time we take it back, and realise that it is not a bad word, it is not a bad thing and it shouldn't be shaded in a negative way.'

#IGot99ProblemsButMyFatAintOne: Inspiring others on social media 

'I realise that hash-tagging and coming up with word or phrase was super important, people would see it and they would catch on to it. It would give them hope to see somebody just living a positive life and being happy. That's why hash tagging is important.

'My two biggest hashtags are #BigandBlunt and #IGot99ProblemsButMyFatAintOne.'

Jewelz says she is stronger than ever, inspiring her social media fans on a daily basis and spreading the importance of body positivity and self-love through her online hashtags

Jewelz says she is stronger than ever, inspiring her social media fans on a daily basis and spreading the importance of body positivity and self-love through her online hashtags

The social media star says: 'There is nothing like feeling beautiful but the main reason I do it is to remind women that they can feel beautiful to that you don't always need to see one standard size in model modelling for lingerie or for cars'

The social media star says: 'There is nothing like feeling beautiful but the main reason I do it is to remind women that they can feel beautiful to that you don't always need to see one standard size in model modelling for lingerie or for cars'

In order to remain confident, Jewelz refuses to step on the scales and monitor her weight.

'I haven't stepped on a scale': Model's refusal to lose weight

Jewelz also fiercely dispels claims that she is unhealthy, and says she leads a healthy, active lifestyle and is not putting her life at risk.

She said: 'Since I found body positivity I haven't stepped on a scale. A scale doesn't define who you are and it doesn't define your health what so ever so.

'I definitely think that I live an active lifestyle and I think that that's the term that people should definitely use.

Speaking about her positive attitude to her weight, Jewelz says: 'To be a bigger girl and then be thin and then be unhappy it was kind of a wake up call for me and I realised that being thin isn't going to make me happy'

Speaking about her positive attitude to her weight, Jewelz says: 'To be a bigger girl and then be thin and then be unhappy it was kind of a wake up call for me and I realised that being thin isn't going to make me happy'

Learning to ignore the trolls: While she receives many positive comments, her voluptuous body modelling bikinis and lingerie can also result in result negative and more sinister reactions

Learning to ignore the trolls: While she receives many positive comments, her voluptuous body modelling bikinis and lingerie can also result in result negative and more sinister reactions

Jewelz (pictured here flaunting her figure) says: 'I encourage body positivity by putting myself out there, by showing other people that you can love yourself at any size and be positive is for everybody' Jewelz wearing a revealing outfit

Jewelz (pictured here flaunting her figure) says: 'I encourage body positivity by putting myself out there, by showing other people that you can love yourself at any size and be positive is for everybody'

'I've never had a doctor tell me to that I have to change my diet or that I need to lose weight. I've had a doctor tell me that I was fat for sure but they were never immediately like, "Well you need to lose weight like your health is at risk"'.

'You're entitled to self-love': Jewelz's important message to her fans 

'You're not automatically unhealthy being a bigger person and you're not automatically healthy being a thinner person and even if you were unhealthy you're still entitled to self love and people need to remember that.'

While she receives many positive comments, her voluptuous body modelling bikinis and lingerie can also result in result negative and more sinister reactions.

Happier than ever: In order to remain confident, Jewelz refuses to step on the scales and monitor her weight

Happier than ever: In order to remain confident, Jewelz refuses to step on the scales and monitor her weight

The social media star said: 'I encourage body positivity by putting myself out there, by showing other people that you can love yourself at any size and be positive is for everybody'

The social media star said: 'I encourage body positivity by putting myself out there, by showing other people that you can love yourself at any size and be positive is for everybody'

Explaining her reasons for not shedding the pounds, Jewelz said: 'I've never had a doctor tell me to that I have to change my diet or that I need to lose weight'

Explaining her reasons for not shedding the pounds, Jewelz said: 'I've never had a doctor tell me to that I have to change my diet or that I need to lose weight'

But Jewelz has developed a thick skin and is determined to promote body positivity, dreaming of one day travelling the country educating schools on the topic.

Jewelz said: 'I feel like it's one of those things that need to be taught in the school like we take health classes. We do all these things to promote sex or to learn maths and I think that loving yourself is, is just as important as all those things. So, that's what we need to do to promote body positivity.

'I encourage body positivity by putting myself out there, by showing other people that you can love yourself at any size and be positive is for everybody.'