Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu 'Broke Down' Over Hate Comments on Her Weight Gain
Cover Images/ROGER WONG

The 22-year-old 2021 Miss Universe winner gets candid in a new interview about dealing with online bullies after gaining weight since winning the coveted title last December.

AceShowbiz - Even Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu can't escape hate comments online. In a new interview, the 2021 Miss Universe winner got candid about dealing with online bullies after gaining weight since winning the coveted title in December.

"Physically I have kind of grown, got more pounds and increased my weight, which I am totally comfortable about right now," the 22-year-old revealed to PEOPLE. "I was bullied for gaining weight."

Harnaaz shared that "it was kind of uncomfortable and really surprising for me to see how people started having their opinions, which should not really matter." She went on to explain, "It's not about how you look, it's about who you are from inside and how you treat people and what you believe in."

The model added that she prioritized her diet and exercise in an effort to take home the crown ahead of the competition. "I was really focused towards my goal and I was [not] thinking about my health," she recalled. Naturally, Harnaaz went for different lifestyle choices that didn't focus on the heavy workout sessions once the beauty pageant was over.

"The whole time we were working out, doing so many activities, and just after winning, I had almost a month just to relax. During that time, I actually didn't work out, and I was just eating and just enjoying that time with my family," Harnaaz claimed. "I never realized that it would start showing on my body."

She went on to divulge that what people say about her weight gain had a negative effect on her mental health to the point she had broken down many times. She shared that sometimes it occurred "in the most unexpected times," adding, "I'm just about to go on stage or something and this whole thing comes in my mind. It's really sad."

Thankfully, Harnaaz has changed her mindset, adding that she has learned to accept that "it's okay to cry" and "feel sad." She wanted everyone to know that "we all are imperfect." She noted, "We need to realize that there's a point where we understand that we need to embrace our flaws and when you do that, you can conquer anything in this world."

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