Former top tennis star Jelena Dokic outraged about body shaming: “I’m stronger than that, I’m a survivor”

Former Australian top tennis star Jelena Dokic has been the target of body shaming on social media these days. She reacts indignantly, in an Instagram post she calls such statements “disgusting”.

Janne Eijkmans

Dokic works at the Australian Open as a commentator for CNN. She is therefore inundated with negative reactions from body shamers on social media these days because of her appearance.

Someone writes: “OMG! What happened to you? You have to stay away from the snacks.” “I really don’t think it’s fair that a whale like Jelena Dokic takes my pleasure out of watching tennis,” someone else posted. Another responds: “I bet it takes her 10 minutes to run 100 meters. Please fire her, just the sight of her puts me off.”

Indignant response

On Instagram, Dokic reacted indignantly to that criticism on Monday. “The ‘body shaming’ and ‘fat shaming’ of the last 24 hours has been insane. People who do this are just evil, bad, mean and ignorant people. Weight shouldn’t matter.”

Jelena Dokic (39) stopped playing tennis in 2014, but later wrote in her eloquently titled autobiography ‘Unbreakable’ how she was physically and mentally abused for years by her father, who was also her coach. She also struggled with obesity and depression, and considered attempting suicide in 2022. She later announced this in an Instagram post, in which she asked for more attention to mental health.

An example for young people

Even now, after her experiences with body and fat shaming, she demands more attention for and action against online bullying. She writes this today in an opinion piece for The Sydney Morning Herald. In it she describes what body shaming does to people. “No matter how many times I’m exposed to it, it never gets easier to read.” But she doesn’t want to be fooled: “I’m stronger than that. I am a survivor.”

Dokic hopes to inspire others. She received many reactions to her biography from women who were also victims of abuse. She therefore started sharing more of her experiences online. “I can help people realize that they are not alone in their suffering,” she writes.

Now she also wants to act against online abuse and be an example for young people. “They step into a world where online bullying is unfortunately a big part of their lives. I want to encourage them and teach them what is not okay and how to deal with it.”

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Jelena Dokic as a 17-year-old at Wimbledon — © Getty Images

Dokic, now 39, works as a commentator at the Australian Open — © Getty Images

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