Celebrity Treasure Island’s Tegan Yorwarth’s message to internet trolls

The radio star won't let the keyboard warriors win

When Woman’s Day spoke to radio diva Tegan Yorwarth the day before Celebrity Treasure Island started filming, she was “a little bit worried” that she might have to go for up to a month without her phone.

However, a long spell offline would now be a blessing for the Mai FM presenter, 24, who was recently attacked by Instagram trolls commenting on her weight and calling her a “slob”.

“I was shocked and upset,” shares Tegan, who admits to gaining 10kg in the past year. “As soon as the dust settled, I had a laugh about it online, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to looking in the mirror and asking myself, ‘Have I been eating too much KFC?’

“I’m confident and I love the body I’m in, but those comments impact me, for sure. People are quick to say, ‘Don’t read the comments,’ but when you use social media for work, it’s hard to ignore them and depending on the day, it can make you feel like s**t.”

As she prepared to film Treasure Island, Tegan – who has spoken publicly about her depression and anxiety – did think, “Do I need to go to the gym and shred?” She adds, “I got caught up in what I would look like for a second as so many contestants are in really good shape, but that’s them and this is me. I don’t need to lose weight, but if it happens from a few weeks of only eating rice, I definitely won’t be disappointed.

“I still go the gym, but I eat whatever I want and I drink. It’s about balance, knowing what’s important and looking after your body, but also living life like you’ve got no tomorrow.”

Tegan hopes that her Ngāti Kurī heritage, which make her tangata whenua on Treasure Island, will give her an edge on the TVNZ 2 show. “It’s really special that I’m coming back to my ancestors’ land,” she says. “The locals said they’d be rooting for me, so hopefully that gives me a bit more mana.

“It’s actually my first time ever visiting my iwi and my whenua, so this will be a real kickstart in finding out more about my whakapapa [ancestory]. I’m excited to go on that journey. Growing up, it was hard for me to be proud of being Ma-ori because I’m more Pākehā in my look and people questioned it, but now I’m in my twenties, I’d love to scream it from the rooftops.

It doesn’t matter how much whakapapa you know – as long as you’ve got a little bit of blood, you’re on the team!”

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