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SA mom who was told she was ‘too fat’ for New Zealand plans to become a plus-size model

Mondelea Bezuidenhout.

Mondelea Bezuidenhout.

Published Dec 7, 2022


Durban – A South African mom who was told that she had to lose weight before she could get residency in New Zealand, plans to become a plus-size model.

In February IOL reported how Mondelea Bezuidenhout’s residency application was rejected based on her weight.

She was told being overweight would put a strain on the country’s health system.

According to reports in “Stuff”, a New Zealand-based publication, doctors had ruled Bezuidenhout to be in good health despite weighing 128kg, a year ago.

According to reports in News24 she was told that she had to lose 30kg or leave.

Bezuidenhout, her husband and two young children had moved to Palmerston North in New Zealand in 2018.

However, the family’s application for residency was initially declined.

Speaking to “YOU”, Bezuidenhout said her family’s entire future was on her, and she did as she was told, embarking on a diet-and-exercise regime.

According to YOU, the family was eventually granted residency.

She exercises five days a week and said she had kept the weight off and was not bothered about being fat shamed.

“I’ve always wanted to be a plus-size model, like the Donna Claire ladies – I even named my daughter Donna-­Lee. I’ve always been bigger than other people and I’ve accepted myself for who I am,” she told YOU.

The experience was emotionally draining at times, but she felt better speaking about it, she said.