Woman went into hiding for 21 years after gruesome bullying over ‘elephant legs’ caused by illness – World News

Yasmina Kemppainen, 36, from Finland, had pain and swelling in her legs when people commented on her “elephant legs” until she was diagnosed 21 years later

Yasmina Kemppainen from Finland has become more confident and is no longer afraid of cameras and showing her figure
Yasmina has become more confident and is no longer afraid of cameras and showing her figure

A woman who hid for 21 years using ‘elephant legs’ is now unrecognizable after spending £10,000 on surgery.

Yasmina Kemppainen, 36, began experiencing pain in her legs when she was just 12, which soon became swollen.

As a teenager, people would tell her she was “too skinny,” but she couldn’t overlook what she called “fat legs.”

Suspecting something was wrong, Yasmina eventually consulted a doctor in 2018 and was diagnosed with lipedema, a rare condition that causes abnormal accumulation of fat.

The communications executive from Espoo, Finland, retired from the age of 12 until her diagnosis 21 years later.

She said: “I was 12 years old when I started noticing pain in my legs.

“Sometimes they swelled and I knew they looked different.

Yasmina hid her body for 21 years


Before her surgery


“It was depressing to realize that. People said I was ‘too skinny’ but all I saw was my fat legs.”

Yasmina hated attending social events or going to the beach and shared how the condition slowly took over her life.

Other adults also referred to her legs as elephant legs or told her to lose weight because she was too tall.

“Others told me to lose weight because I was too tall. I didn’t like going to social events because I didn’t want to show my legs.

“I didn’t go to the beach. I couldn’t go dancing without tiring easily. I couldn’t even make it to work anymore.

Yasmina was ashamed of what others called her elephant legs


Her legs pictured after her surgery


In February and April 2019, Yasmina decided to pay £10,320 for a liposuction in Berlin, Germany, which removed the fat.

Alongside this, she also switched to a ketogenic diet, which consists of high-fat, low-carb content.

“In February 2018, I was finally diagnosed with lipoedema and my doctor explained the various options to me,” says Yasmina.

“I flew to Med Plast Clinic in Berlin, Germany and had two liposuctions that really changed my life.”

Before the surgery, Yasmina weighed 10.7 pounds and wore a size XL on her lower half. Now she weighs 8st 6lb and can wear a size XS.

Yasmina’s legs had an abnormal accumulation of fat called lipedema


Yasmina had excess fluid drained from her legs after the operation


Since the surgery, her confidence has skyrocketed and she feels like she’s in control of her life again.

Now full of energy and confidence, she began sharing her story online to help and inspire other women who may be in a similar situation.

“I feel strong now,” said Yasmina.

“I am confident. Lipoedema no longer determines my life. I want to raise awareness of lipedema for all other affected women. I hope my story gives you hope.

“The surgery changed my life, but adopting a ketogenic diet has also helped a lot.

“I was surrounded by supportive friends and my husband the whole time. My husband always tells me how strong I am.

“Without the surgery I would never have met him. We met at a party and I would never have gone to a party before.

“Don’t give up. Life can surprise you in a very positive way.”

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