Beyond the Stigma: Diabetes and Body Image 


Known as the “Chubby” Girl

My name is Bianca, and I’m a 17-year-old body-positive advocate from New Zealand. Two aspects of my life: diabetes and body image make up a big part of my life. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in May 2019. However, body image is something that has severely impacted my life since I was a child. 

I was known for being the chubby little girl, and while growing up, I was criticized and ridiculed for it. But when I look back that the toughest parts of my life and remember the comments I’ve received about my body,  I don’t feel bad for myself. Instead, I feel for those who felt they had to judge me to feel superior. Because even though I was chubbier than most girls my age, that wouldn’t have been the first thing you noticed about me. More importantly, I was a happy girl and always have been. I’ve worked to maintain that bright and positive spirit. However, body image is so important. We only have one body in this lifetime and it’s our duty to treat it well. But, this includes treating each other well, too. Think about how influential your positivity could be in someone’s life who doesn’t love the person they see in the mirror. 

How I Live Beyond the Stigma of Body Image

Today, I’m a proud advocate of body positivity. I’ve been running a body-positive Instagram page and successfully gained over four thousand amazing followers who I call friends! I strive to teach girls that their bodies are temples and that no matter how many stretch marks you have, how many bones stick out, you are beautiful and that is the truth. We’re put on this earth for a reason and the day I was diagnosed with diabetes, I suddenly felt I’d been given my calling and everything suddenly made sense. It wasn’t easy and it still gets hard, being told I am now responsible for my health. It did take me back at first, but then I realized I was chosen in some way, and while diabetes can feel like a curse I have made it my mission to bring out the blessing within. I was given a reason to speak and I’ll use my voice to uplift those who need it. I am more than my diabetes diagnosis. I am an entire human being and my life is so much more than a statistic.

Being positive isn’t easy but it’s super important, and even more important when being faced with a diabetes diagnosis. You’ll be pushed to your limits, but learning to be thankful and love the body we are given for all its flaws and beauty—that’s the real task. Every day, when you’re pricking your fingers to test your blood sugar, and it can be challenging to find the beauty in yourself. But, I promise you that finding love in yourself is key to happiness and balance in your life. Take the time to do the little things you love each day. Every attempt to boost self-love matters. Next time you walk past a mirror, instead of seeing a pin cushion, look at yourself as a beautiful majestic spirit who can be held back by nothing, not even a lazy pancreas!

So if you take one thing from this today, I want you to post a photo of yourself with your insulin, or pump or anything and I want to see a huge smile on your face. Use the tag, #chxsinghappiness, on Instagram to get featured on my Instagram! I’m happy to live #BeyondPowerful with type 2 diabetes! 

Stay true to yourself always

Forever yours, a fellow diabetic xxx


WRITTEN BY Bianca Grima , POSTED 09/10/19, UPDATED 12/12/22

Bianca Grima is a 17-year-old from New Zealand living with type 2 diabetes. She advocates living beyond the stigma of negative body image in diabetes. Follow her on Instagram @BiancaGrima to remain up-to-date with her journey and gain inspiration.