'I'm not the norm': Lea Salonga opens up about weight issues during 'Miss Saigon'


Posted at Sep 15 2019 05:57 PM | Updated as of Sep 16 2019 11:36 AM


A post shared by Lea Salonga (@msleasalonga) on

MANILA -- Lea Salonga took to social media to open up about her struggles with her weight when she was playing Kim in "Miss Saigon."

In a Facebook post, Salonga shared her story along with a link to a Huffington Post article about James Corden's reaction to Bill Maher's speech about obesity.

Salonga started by saying she adores Corden, then shared how she has struggled with her own weight for as long as she was old enough to go on a diet.

"I’m not morbidly obese by any means, but by 'showbiz standards,' I’m not the norm. Imagine how this struggle became amplified while I was working on 'Miss Saigon' where Kim is envisioned to be tiny," she wrote.

She then shared how people from the theater company would monitor her weight and remind her to lose pounds.

"There was a chart in the company office that monitored my weight and I had to do weekly weigh-ins. Or the resident choreographer would be sent to my dressing room to tell me to lose the weight. Or a letter from another producer that saw the show would write to Cameron (Mackintosh) to tell him, and then Cameron would tell me," Salonga explained.

Salonga admitted it was not easy for her, and it made her feel isolated and alone.

"I know the company meant well, and I get the demands of the show and that role in particular, but this wasn’t helpful to me or my impressionable young psyche. No one else in the cast carried this on their shoulders, so I oftentimes felt isolated and alone," she wrote.

"Fat-shaming isn’t helpful, I agree. And folks that are overweight to whatever degree are already painfully aware that something isn’t right. We do really try to do right by our bodies not just to look great but to live long for ourselves and those we love," Salonga added.

According to Salonga, if she mentions something about a friend's weight, it is not shaming but out of concern.

"So know this: if you are overweight and I am around you, know that in my mind I am not shaming you, but am concerned. I want you to be around for a long, long time, and will be your biggest cheerleader holding your hand in your own quest for a healthier you. You got this," she wrote.

In a video uploaded by "The Late Late Show by James Corden" on Youtube on Thursday, Corden reacted to how Maher, the host of "Real Time with Bill Maher," said fat-shaming needs to make a comeback as he talked about obesity.

"Let's be honest, fat-shaming is just bullying, that's what it is, it's bullying, and bullying only makes the problem worse, okay. I don't think stuff like this is gonna solve the obesity epidemic," Corden said.