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Lea Salonga Reveals Weight Struggles as ‘Miss Saigon’

Tony Award-winning singer and actress Lea Salonga bared her previous struggles with her weight during her time in the acclaimed musical “Miss Saigon”.

“I’ve struggled with my own weight for as long as I was old enough to go on a diet,” she said in her Facebook post Sept. 14.

Salonga’s post came after talk show host James Corden slammed his fellow talk show host Bill Maher, who said fat-shaming “needs to come back.” Corden aired his sentiments last Thursday, Sept. 12 in a video on his YouTube channel, entitled “James Corden Responds to Bill Maher’s Fat Shaming Take.”

“I’m not morbidly obese by any means, but by ‘showbiz standards,’ I’m not the norm,” Salonga stated.

She cited that her struggle with her body intensified when she portrayed Kim, the lead character in “Miss Saigon”, which is known to have a tiny and slim physique.

Salonga recounted how there was a chart in the company office that monitored her weight and that she had to do weekly weigh-ins. She also revealed how she was advised to lose weight by different members of the company.

While she appreciates the company’s good intentions due to the demands of the role, the pressure was not helpful to her or her “impressionable young psyche” at the time. The artist was 18 years old when she starred in the musical.

“No one else in the cast carried this on their shoulders,” she revealed. “So I oftentimes felt isolated and alone.”

“We do really try to do right by our bodies not just to look great but to live long for ourselves and those we love,” she explained.

Addressing those who also struggle with their weight, Salonga said, “I am around you, know that in my mind I am not shaming you, but am concerned. I want you to be around for a long, long time, and will be your biggest cheerleader holding your hand in your own quest for a healthier you. You got this.”JB (PH Inq)

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