Small Body With Big Heart

Courtesy: clara_dao

By: Mai Nguyen Le

Growing up as a human being, do you remember the moment people left negative comments on your appearance? It could be “You are too skinny,” “You are too fat,” “Your hair looks greasy,” “Your teeth are missing,”, etc. I believe we have to hear that comment once in a lifetime. However, Clara Dao was bombarded with negative comments about her flat chest, jaw, and skinny body throughout her life. Even her father called her a stick when she was only 6.

Unlike most people, who choose to ignore or change themselves to get away with toxic comments, Clara goes on her way by creating a beneficial career from that. From an ordinary girl who suffered from body shaming throughout her youth, Clara is now a famous YouTuber and TikTok star with over 2 million followers on each platform.

Clara before her jaw surgery in 2018. Courtesy: clara_dao

It was 2018 when Clara decided to step onto the journey, embracing herself. She was in the hospital then, recovering from her underbite jaw surgery and questioning her existence. Every negative comment flashed through her eyes, telling her to have chest implants after this. Clara was so close to having a boob job done, but she realized a new fake chest was not what she needed but what society needed. She said it was the lowest point of her life, both mentally and physically. Rather than changing her looks to fit the beauty standard, Clara created a new standard where everybody is the standard, regardless of size. Clara posted her first video in 2019 about her flat chest and how she loves it despite the toxic comments. Her video soon received a lot of attention from people who had the same story as her. Then Clara decided to speak up and become a representative for a healthy body environment.

“If we can’t change it, then we should learn to love it more.”

Her videos do not stop at promoting body positivity but also women’s rights. Clara understands how frustrating it is to live in a society where some men still believe they are above women. Clara does not trap herself in one specific content but various. She makes videos about teenagers’ problems; she speaks up about racism; and Clara tries to include as many people as possible to help them feel sympathetic and reassure them through her words and videos.

“I feel lucky that I can use my platform to help people. Not only do I make people believe in themselves, but I also bring people together. A father emailed me, saying that I help his goddaughter feel more confident and open up to him more.”

Clara still receives bad comments about her body to this day regardless of how hard she tries to love herself, but for Clara, bad comments now are just “children mumbling.” She believes getting used to body shaming and negative energy from other people is crucial to gaining more confidence. And not just stopping at being an influencer, Clara is also operating her own clothing brand that caters only to petite. More than anyone, Clara understands how hard it is to find clothes that fit a small body. She promises to launch her brand soon so people with small figures will no longer struggle with clothing.

Courtesy: clara_dao

Clara Dao is now operating her own corporation, determined to contribute more to society with her self-employed company. In 2023, Clara was featured in 10 Iconic Female Creators on YouTube.

Clara’s story is a true inspiration for anyone who has ever been bullied or criticized for their appearance. She has turned her pain into power and used her platform to spread positivity and encourage others to embrace their uniqueness.


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