WWE star Nikki Bella has revealed she was once branded the “fat twin” by body shaming trolls when she made her wrestling debut with sister Brie.
Nikki – one half of the Bella Twins – is one of the most successful women’s wrestlers in the world and has just made her return to WWE.
The 34-year-old is one of WWE’s most recognisable faces and chief ambassadors – heading up reality shows Total Divas and Total Bellas.
Bella stunningly revealed however when she first appeared in WWE, cruel trolls targeted her as the “fat twin”.
She said the mean comments eventually started to get to her – but said she pulled through and now wants to represent curvy women.
And the longest reigning Divas Champion revealed it was popstar J-Lo who helped her come to terms with her body as a teen.
“There was a period of time when it really got to me.”
Speaking to Yahoo!, Nikki said: “I love representing women, and I love to, as much as I can, inspire and be a role model for women and young girls.
“Being an identical twin, I’ve been compared my whole life. I’ve been the bigger twin. When I got on TV 10 years ago, immediately everyone called me ‘the fat twin.’
“I had always looked at myself as someone who was just healthy and I loved who I was, but there was a period of time when it really got to me.”
She compared her struggles to current WWE superstar Nia Jax – who has also been targeted by trolls.
Nikki first debuted with WWE back in 2008, before briefly leaving the company between 2012 and 2013, and then returning for a successful second stint.
She is a two-time Divas Champion, with her second reign lasting a record setting 301 days.
“I remember that feeling and being with Nia and having her tell me her stories and what she goes through,” Nikki said.
“[The] stuff I’ve seen just filming our show, it makes me want to represent these women and stand with them.”
Nikki was speaking as she participated int the body positive panel at TheCurvyCon.
She claimed Jennifer Lopez “changed my life” as she helped her come to terms with developing curves.
The wrestler said: “She started to make me love it. I remember being confident at a very young age, like, ‘Yeah this is what I’ve got.’
“And it was literally J.Lo that gave that to me.”
Nikki is expected to pay a key role in WWE’s upcoming all-women event Evolution in October.
Bella is rumoured to face Ronda Rousey in a bout which has WWE fans divided.
Evolution is due to be a celebration of the revival in women’s wrestling – with renewed focus on the division and females given equal billing to men.
Amid Nikki’s WWE hiatus however, she has been making headlines for her public break-up with fiancee WWE legend John Cena just weeks before they were due to wed in Mexico.