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Golf Influencer Paige Spiranac Calls Out Body-Shamers for Rude Comments: 'It Can Be Defeating' – PEOPLE

Vanessa Etienne is an Emerging Content Writer-Reporter for PEOPLE. Prior to joining in April 2021, she served as a reporter for Men's Health Magazine and BET Digital after freelancing for publications such as The New York Times and Everyday Health. Originally from northern Virginia, Vanessa is a proud Haitian American with a love for R&B music and mental health topics. She graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor's in Communication and Public Relations before earning her master's degree in Journalism from the City University of New York.
Paige Spiranac is calling out body-shamers on social media.
Earlier this week, the model and former professional golfer, 29, said that she's had to delete a number of rude comments under her latest golfing video.
"Honestly, the amount of men calling me 'fat' on this post is next level lol. I've had to delete so many comments which I almost never do," Spiranac wrote in a now-expired Instagram Story.
"I know my body is a big part of my brand and that comes with a territory, but it's hard to maintain my ideal weight all the time year after year. I have to work very hard in the gym and with diet," she continued. "It doesn't come naturally to me. It can be defeating when people call out my body insecurities."
Spiranac, who has 3.6 million followers, added that she'd love to start sharing more details about her fitness plan and diet for those who "feel a similar body pressure." She said she used to work out in order to look good and is now works out simply to feel good.
"Changing my mentality around working out to make it a more positive experience," Spiranac added while posting a comment box for her followers to share their own experiences.
"I know I have a male dominated audience and wanted to open up the floor to hear about your experiences with body insecurities," she wrote. "I don't think it's talked about enough how men are also body shamed. We all feel the pressure to look a certain way."
Spiranac later thanked her followers for the support and for trusting her enough to share their own body insecurities.
"We are all more alike than different," she said Thursday on her Instagram Story. "I'm excited to share more of my fitness and health journey to hopefully help you as well! We are in this together."
Back in 2018, Spiranac recalled previously dealing with cyberbullying in her golfing career due to her looks.
On the eve of one of the biggest tournaments of her golfing career, Spiranac said she had been called the "hottest golfer on the planet," and because she got an invite to the tournament to bring recognition to the event, not based on her skill, people said she wasn't good enough to play, and that she was only sᕮxualizing the game.
“It really affected me,” Spiranac told Sports Illustrated at the time. “I was sitting in the bathroom just bawling and was like ‘I don’t want to go through this pain, this feel of helplessness. Being alone. Scared.’ And I said I never wanted anyone to feel the way I felt in that moment. How scared I was. How helpless I felt in that I was bullied so bad to the point that I didn’t want to live anymore.”
She told the outlet that she hopes to spread awareness about cyberbullying so others feel supported.
"People of all walks of life are cyberbullied every single day and that's not okay," Spiranac said at the time. "It's time we start supporting the victims instead of telling them to delete social media or ignore the hate. It's time we made a difference, so I've dedicated a significant portion of my time to helping others."
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