Body

MAFS Australia's Jessika Power hits out after being subjected to relentless body shaming

The Married at First Sight bride has been victimised ever since appearing on the popular reality show and she's had enough.

Controversial Married at First Sight Australia bride Jessika Power has hit out at the relentless body shaming she's been subjected to since appearing on the popular reality show.
Posting an image of herself in a bikini to Instagram, she wrote "So this year I've been judged, mocked, insulted, slut shamed, been on the receiving end of endless death threats, violent threats and been told to kill myself endless times but the one thing that stood out to me and effected (sic) me the most was the outrageous and horrific body shaming I received online from one bad photo."
Posting the image in question, she continued "people even made pages dedicated to this photo so others could join in on ripping my confidence to shreds while giggling behind their keyboards.
"I would expect this sort of disgusting behaviour from a bunch of teens but I was receiving this from women as old as 50!! Mothers who had daughters of their own even."
Jess became one of the most controversial characters of the season after leaving her 'husband' Mick Gould for fellow participant Daniel Webb, only to have that relationship spectacularly fall apart on live television.
Watch: Jess and Dan's dramatic fight on live television. Article continues below.
Along with criticism of her behaviour, Jess was also trolled for her appearance. She's been open about the fact that she's had plastic surgery to enhance her looks, even admitting to spending $26,000 on more cosmetic work following her break-up with Dan.
Since the photo in question first surfaced, the 28-year-old has struggled with confidence issues.
"I've since worked hard on my body but no amount of exercise or good eating I do can take away the mental damage I received from all of the online ridiculing," she continued in her post. "To this day I don't like to wear a short shorts let alone the bikini I'm wearing in these unedited photographs.
"I like to be in a comfortable environment with people I trust so my paranoia doesn't tell me constantly 'everyone's looking at you Jess, cover up cover up!!'
"I wanted to share these photos today because, even though it's scary, I shouldn't have ever been made to feel low about my body or self conscious about how I look - NO ONE SHOULD!
Jess has made no secret of the fact that she's changed her appearance. Here are photos of a fresh-faced Jess before appearing on MAFS, and the Jess we saw on screen. Images: Supplied
"It's not cool to be nasty or unkind and we have young girls and women out there who are feeling exactly the same way I did and that just sucks! You are beautiful no matter your size, shape, hair colour even the colour of your skin!
"If you're comfortable in the way you look then stay like that and don't feed into the negative comments! A lot of what we as humans now view as "beautiful" is achievable because Photoshop doesn't exists in real day to day life and you cant always be in the "perfect" lighting while holding the "perfect" angle.
"I have stretch marks and cellulite, I have a little tummy because I love to over indulge but this is me and I'm finally able to say I'm happy with how I look because I feel comfortable.
"Please guys, I know it's fun to pick on the "mean girl" from a TV show but just think of the impact your words can have on others sometimes."
Fellow MAFS participant Mike Gunner, who wasn't Jess' biggest fan on the show, sent a supportive message in response.
"It's not easy to be trolled Jess. It's like adult bullying. It sux. Just remind yourself that in most cases they're just unsatisfied with their own lives. Happy people don't criticise others."
This isn't the first time Jess has spoken out about the trolling she's been subjected to. Speaking to NW magazine back in May, she revealed just how much of a toll it had taken.
"Watching myself back on TV, I feel insecure about my chin and lips. I'm a confident girl, but having tens of thousands of people criticise me each day has shaken me to the core. I felt like I had heaps wrong with me afterwards.
"People laughed at me and made memes and I was ridiculed. It never drove me to tears because the hate didn't affect me, but when they'd point out specific body parts that needed work, I'd stop and think."
Social media only served to exasperate the problem. "I block and delete trolls," she said. "My block list is disgusting – maybe 400 people long. I block at least 15 per day!"
Watch: Married at First Sight brides before and after plastic surgery. Article continues below.
Unfortunately Jess' experience isn't an isolated one. Fellow contestants Martha Kalifatidis, Daniel Webb, and even expert Mel Schilling have all been subjected to online bullying.
And just earlier this week, Jules Robinson revealed she'd been trolled on her honeymoon after paparazzi photos of her wedding to Cameron Merchant appeared online.
"What a way to put a damper on our honeymoon," the 37-year-old wrote in an Instagram post. "Before anyone had heard me or had any insight on my character, who I am, I was judged for my body and the way I looked. It hurt."
Jules admits she "was a little shaken by the whole nastiness of it all," but she finished her post with a body positivity and anti-bullying message.
"Here's to having curves, having big hair, having a big bum!!! And thank you to my man for always making the bad better.
"I know everyone that took part on MAFS with us had some form of online trolling / bullying too. Some more than others. It has to stop. If you can't be kind be quiet."