Beauty contestant's weighty message
FOR seven long years, she battled a eating disorder. Not only did she lose a lot of weight - she lost nearly all of her friends and almost her life too.
At her lightest, Angeline Yap Siling weighed just 33kg and was, in her mother's words, a walking skeleton.
She mutilated herself and tried to kill herself.
Only after the death of her friend, who also had anorexia nervosa, did Miss Yap finally decide to turn her life around.
She now weighs a healthy 47kg for her 1.64m frame.
The 27-year-old is hoping to win the Miss World Singapore 2014 crown against 19 other finalists next Saturday.
She told The New Paper: "I wanted to join the pageant because I know I have the potential to win and I want to use this as a platform to reach out to young girls with eating disorders."
Her eating problems started with her relatives jokingly asking if she was eating her sister's food. Miss Yap, who has an identical twin sister, was always the bigger and taller of the pair growing up.
In Secondary 3, she started comparing her body with those of her sister and her schoolmates in their girls' school.
"Looking at their bodies, I began to think that I was too fat, not pretty enough and not good enough," she said.
So the then 15-year-old started starving herself.
"The only food I had during those years was whatever my mother gave me," Miss Yap said. "Even so, if she gave me two slices of bread, I would throw one away and eat the other for the rest of the day. Some days, I would only drink water."
By the time she was 18, her weight had plummeted to 33kg.
Her dramatic weight loss led to frequent visits to doctors and psychiatrists.
She said: "My body was a wreck. I was losing clumps of hair, I missed my menstruation for several years, I felt freezing cold all the time and was wearing long sleeves every day."
The turning point came when a girl she met in the hospital died. The girl also had anorexia.
Miss Yap said: "That really woke me up."
Today, Miss Yap feels that she needs to tone up and eat more healthy food, but she knows she will never starve herself again.
She hopes that by joining the pageant, she can encourage girls in similar situations to seek help.
The aspiring actress said: "I hope to encourage girls not to succumb to societal pressures to be skinny.
"I want them to know that beauty is not defined by your weight or size."
THE NEW PAPER