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Tennis star Jelena Dokic hits back at ‘online trolls’ and body shamers in latest Instagram post

"I kept receiving terrible comments and insults based on my body size."
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Content Warning: This article touches on the topic of eating disorders which may be triggering for some readers.

Former tennis star and commentator Jelena Dokic has responded directly to body shamers in her latest Instagram post.

She posted a side-by-side photo which showed her at last year’s Australian Open and a photo of her more recently during the French Open coverage, to share how turning 40 provided her with a renewed focus on her health, and that it is not about size, but making healthy choices for yourself.

“It’s not good if you gain weight and it’s not good if you lose weight,” she started.

“It’s not good if you are a size 0, 10 or 18 it seems. 🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️So you all know I am very open and honest. Whether I gain weight, lose weight, [feel] depressed, feel great, go through the good or the bad. I am always honest about both sides.”

The open and honest TV personality then took the opportunity to address comments that had been made about her recent weight loss.

“So I thought I would just quickly address my recent weight loss because a few people have written to me and also commented. I have lost 20 kilos from my heaviest weight last year. I had some health issues but also I just wanted to get healthier and fitter and when I turned 40 last year I really started to think about my family history of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems.” 

She continued to explain that her work has become more physically and mentally demanding, so the weight loss is a side effect of her health choices not the main focus.

“I didn’t have enough energy, especially mentally, to keep up. I needed to eat healthier to achieve that. So, I didn’t focus on weight so much but just making better choices to feel my best. With that the weight started coming off,” she explained.

Furthermore, she addressed those that felt she had ‘”succumbed to the ‘diet culture’” and no longer “represent[s]…plus size people.”

“Getting healthier and doing what is best for me has nothing to do with it and I have always and always will stand up for both size 0 or size 20 people and especially women.

“While I have lost 20 kilos it changes nothing. I still want people to value me and others based on whether we are kind and good people. I will always be proud of myself and not hide or be embarrassed no matter what size I am. And I will always be against body shaming and against valuing people based on their size and weight no matter if I gain or lose some kilos and dress sizes.

“I’m always against body shaming no matter what.”

When she was a commentator on Channel Nine’s Australian Open coverage in 2022 and 2023, she shared the horrific comments that had been repeatedly made about her online.

As part of the 40-year-old’s effort to fight back against the shame and stigma of dealing with mental health trauma, Jelena published her second book, Fearless: Finding the Power to Thrive.

“Ultimately, I want Fearless to be a book of strength and hope … I do also go a lot deeper into mental health and eating disorders, body shaming and trolling as well,” Jelena recently told The New Daily.

“Things that we unfortunately face today. Social media is such a big part of our lives – and even kids’ lives early on – and [it’s] my fight against trolling, body shaming and body image as well,” she continued.

jelena dokic online trolls

“I am at a stage where I was a victim, a survivor. Now, I really am in a place where I can help others and do all this good work to be able to change lives.”

For more context, Jelena was the subject of multiple body shaming comments online while she commentated for Channel Nine during the Australian Open both last year and this year.

“It was all about my body weight. I didn’t even get upset. I got really frustrated,” Jelena told The Weekly in December 2022.

“We should be looking at whether people are kind, gracious, compassionate, [and] what they try to do with it. I want to be known for inspiring someone, not what size I am and what my weight is.”

jelena dokic fearless

Jelena echoed these comments and explained why she delved into the topic further in Fearless: Finding the Power to Thrive when speaking to The New Daily to promote the new book.

“I kept receiving terrible comments and insults based on my body size.

“I wanted to fight this … I want that 14-year-old girl to see that she is worthy, and her work is not defined by what size she is … she can stand up for herself and have that courage … that is who I did it for, not even for myself,” Jelena said before adding:

“Sharing our stories literally changes lives … I feel so strongly and so passionately about that … that is what I stand for and I want that to be my legacy.”

Fearless: Finding the Power to Thrive is now available at Booktopia and Dymocks.

If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit their website.

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