Woman's powerful essay about being overweight goes viral

A Wellington woman's essay about being overweight has gone viral, as many New Zealanders positively connect with the source material.

RNZ journalist Megan Whelan joined Three's The Project on Friday to discuss the essay, which covers her early experiences of being overweight and her journey to body confidence.

Ms Whelan says she wasn't always as confident as she is now, and used to hide behind straightened hair and baggy clothing,

But the introduction of the internet introduced her to new experiences, and people such as Lindy West, Michelle Allison and Roxanne Gay.

Now she doesn't feel the need to dress the way she used to and she's willing to stand up to bullies, who try to put her down.

So far, Ms Whelan hasn't had any mean comments about the essay, even though she still expects a few.

Since publication, many readers have contacted her about how the essay helped them to feel more confident in their image.

She's grateful for the chance to share her experience and hopes others learn to talk about their insecurities too.

"Telling our stories is really important and sharing the ways that we're vulnerable is really important.

"I'm glad people have done that."

Read Ms Whelan's essay in full on the Kate Sheppard Place Women website

Watch the video for to see Megan Whelan read an excerpt from her essay on The Project.