Taiwanese actress Joe Chen has always drawn envy for being able to maintain a slim figure despite her great love for food. In the words of the 39-year-old, she has a “really big appetite”, and “loves to eat everything”.
However not even the fresh-faced actress, known in the entertainment world as the “queen of idol dramas”, could escape occasional bad shots which showed her sporting a “double chin” and “butterfly arms”.
While Joe, like other celebrities, was also slammed for letting her weight go awry, the actress took the criticism with an open heart, and worked on having an active lifestyle to counter the unwanted fat instead.
“I love to eat, so it’s normal for me to gain weight,” she shared, “Others have the right to express their opinions.”
More recently, the actress revealed publicly that she weighs 53 kilograms. While that is acceptable weight considering that she stands at 1.64m tall, it is 7 kilograms more than her previous weight of 46 kilograms, which she was said to have successfully maintained for more than six years. According to her, she felt “defeated” as her weight started to plateau on the fifth day of her recent weight loss attempt.
Joe’s willingness to open up about her true weight, normally seen as a sensitive topic for many female celebrities, gained her praises. Unsurprisingly, she received new criticism as well, with one commenter claiming that she is the first female celebrity who “weighs more than 50 kilograms”.
Taiwanese host Dee Hsu has always been candid over social media, and is known to be open about her drinking habits as she has shared several clips of herself taken while under the influence of alcohol.
In 2014, however, her drinking habits caused her to gain a total of 7 kilograms, as she reportedly relied on it to cope with what the news that her husband, Mike Hsu, and her father-in-law had been charged with insider trading. Dee eventually decided to lose weight after a woman laughed at her for becoming “more like an old woman” during a party.
More recently (May 30), Dee expressed her frustration with being on a constant diet over Weibo – she’d avoid starchy food and sweet and sugary drinks, and only eat until she is partially full.
“I want out of this, because I don’t want to be struggling with ideal beauty standards my whole life,” she said.
Reason for weight gain: Being a full-time housewife
When local actress Chen Xiu Huan left showbiz 21 years ago to become a full-time housewife, she said it took a toll on her overall appearance, as taking care of her children became her top priority, instead of maintaining her own looks.
Now that she’s back, the actress said she is determined to be rid of the “auntie” label typical of women her age – she’s 52 this year – and put in hard work to ensure she is physically ready to appear before cameras. She does yoga, brisk walks and jogging as part of her fitness regime.
To be honest, we don’t think she needs to worry too much about her weight gain. She looks fabulous on screen – and looks as good as we remember her to be on her comeback TV serial, Fifty and Fabulous.
Catch Fifty And Fabulous weeknights, 9pm on Channel 8. Watch past episodes of Fifty and Fabulous on Toggle or on Toggle-It First.
Reason for weight gain: For realistic portrayal of her onscreen drama character
It has been two years since If Only I Could, but local actress Rui En’s role in the series as a frumpy housewife is still fresh on our minds, as she intentionally put on the pounds for a more realistic portrayal of her character.
The sacrifice she made earned her praises from the media and the public who called her “professional”, but it did not spare her the criticism that soon followed her heavier appearance as well.
According to the actress, her metabolism was not as it used to be as she is already in her 30s, making it tough for her to lose weight after the project. That also explains why If Only I Could is likely the first and last time she’s doing such a role.
“I felt ashamed of my weight gain initially, even though I did it willingly for the show,” she shared, “this experience has made me more aware of fat and body shaming issues.”
In the words of local actor Elvin Ng, it sure is great to see the actress back “fitter, stronger and happier”. We’re holding out for Rui En to make a drama comeback soon.
Reason for weight gain: Fibromyalgia (a condition that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain all over the body)
For many years, Taiwanese F4 member Ken Chu has been mocked for looking ‘plump’, with netizens even saying that “time waits for no man”.
While he initially tried to ignore the harsh comments, the singer eventually broke down as he opened up about his medical condition in 2016. He shared that it was difficult for him to do vigorous exercise due to the pain throughout his muscles, which was why he was unable to lose the weight he gained.
Truth is, Ken previously managed to shed 18 kilograms before his wedding to Chinese actress Vivian Han in September 2016. However, that was not the end of his struggle with weight gain, as he soon put on weight due to side effects of his medication, which caused his body to swell.
This made him “feel like crap” because he became the victim of “hurtful words” once again.
“It is very unfair that only my weight gain got harshly criticised, but somehow, nothing was said when I slimmed down,” he said.
Nonetheless, it seems that the actor is doing better mentally and physically this year, if pictures shared by his wife at the start of this year for his 39th birthday were any indication. In the photos, Ken appeared to be sporting a slimmer frame with a sharper jawline and a leaner build, and also seemed to be in better spirits.
Reason for weight gain: Pregnancy
Before she got pregnant with her first child in 2013, Taiwanese actress Barbie Hsu maintained her svelte figure by sticking to a vegetarian diet. During her pregnancy, she started eating meat to gain more weight so that her child could receive more nutrients. This decision caused her to weigh her heaviest at 79 kilograms.
The actress later shared that she took one year to lose her excess weight. During this time, the changes of her body were greatly scrutinised by the public, and she was rumoured to be pregnant with her second child in 2015 after a photo of her sporting a round belly was shared by a member of the public. Barbie, however, denied the rumours in a statement to the media. “How could such a scary photo exist? I’m not pregnant, I must have eaten too much,” she clarified.
When she got pregnant for a second time with her son, the 41-year-old actress was once again slammed for failing to regain her pre-pregnancy body a year after giving birth. Despite all the negativity, Barbie is reported to be fairly body-positive and is determined to live well instead of obsessing over her weight. She told the media she would not force herself to regain her pre-pregnancy body after experiencing heart problems from her previous dieting experience.
Instead, she sought the help of her nutritionist to plan her meals, and paired active exercise (rhumba and fitness classes once a week and twice-weekly Pilates and yoga sessions) with her careful diet. On top of that, she also openly shut down untrue rumours about her weight, which claims she only ate oatmeal to lose a whopping 20 kilograms.
Reasons for weight gain: Pregnancy and...Singaporean food?
After being introduced to local delicacies by her husband, Singaporean businessman Sean Lee, Taiwanese singer-actress Vivian Hsu admitted she gained a total of 7 kilograms, and sported a “tummy” that shocked her mother-in-law.
“My husband loves good food, and will take me around Singapore to eat,” she shared, in an interview with the media at her wedding banquet in 2014.
One year later, Vivian got pregnant with her son, Dalton, and began worrying even more about her weight gain. She shared that her L-sized pants were getting too tight on her, and figured she would soon have to begin wearing extra-large sized pants instead.
After giving birth to Dalton, the actress began her strict diet and rigourous exercise regime to regain her pre-pregnancy figure which was done not just for a better appearance, but for better health. On top of controlling her dietary intake, she also runs for an hour and does 30 minutes of stretching exercises on a daily basis
Reason for weight gain: Pneumonia
Taiwanese singer Wilber Pan worried his fans last October when he went radio silent over social media, only to reveal that he had been hospitalised for pneumonia. When he turned up in front of the public two months later, many fans realised that he had gained considerable weight, and was looking visibly chubbier.
“I had my meals with my parents every day after I fell sick. As I didn’t have much of an appetite initially, they were really glad when I started to eat, and began feeding me with more food,” the 37-year-old singer revealed, “Seems like I’d have to exercise now, even though it’s winter.”
Well, what we can we say? Just as his good friend, Taiwanese singer Rainie Yang advised, “Life is about constantly losing weight.”