Woman with rare condition told by trolls she would 'look better as an amputee'
A woman recently diagnosed with lipoedema, an abnormal build-up of fat cells, has opened up about the body-shaming she has experienced from cruel bullies.
Kelly McGlasson, who has dieted since she was 10-years-old, thought she was “just fat” until September 2017, when she was finally diagnosed with a rare medical condition. Kelly, who hails from Margate in Kent, suffered from low self-esteem as a result of her massive legs and thighs and developed an eating disorder through her desperate attempts to slim down.
However, despite all her dieting and exercise, Kelly's legs remained the same shape, and eventually she was told by a cosmetic surgeon that she had a body fat distribution condition. After 18 months of therapy she managed to overcome her eating disorder, but the comments of trolls and abusive people were just as damaging to her.
Told by friends and family she was "pear-shaped" for most of her life, Kelly even went in for liposuction on her legs in 1996. But six months after her procedure she looked exactly the same as before. Not long after that, her arms also began to be affected by her condition.
Recently this woman refused to shave her legs to defy cruel online trolls:
Commenting on her condition in a recent interview, Kelly stated: "I spent three decades of my life thinking I was just fat. I know I’ll never like how I look, but knowledge is power and now I know that my weight gain is out of my hands, it’s helped me to accept it. I can’t stand thinking how many other women out there are having the same experience though, and I hope that sharing my story will shine a light on this cruel condition."
Kelly continued: "Of course children were cruel about the way I looked, but I learned very quickly if you don’t want to play the victim you have to get in with the 'It' crowd. So I became the class clown and that’s a role that I adopted and played on throughout most of my adult life too ... Despite being a size eight from the waist up, when I looked in the mirror all I could see was my gigantic legs - it completely twisted my mind."
She added: "If I’d have started self-management 30 years ago, who knows where I’d be now. I can’t work because of this condition and it’s taken over my life but reaching out and talking to other women who are like me has given me a purpose in life again. So many people try and be supportive by saying things like, ‘Don’t worry about your legs,’ when all you want to do is not talk about it at all."
Kelly has now been fitted with compression tights to help maintain drainage and has been referred for a six-month course of lymphatic drainage to stimulates the flow of fluid in the lymphatic system and reduce swelling. She's also taken it upon herself to launch a local Facebook group – Lipoedema Social SE – for fellow lipoedema sufferers and hopes to encourage other women to see their GP and get an early diagnosis.