Muay Thai Fighter Mia Kang Rocks Black Cut-Out Bodysuit, Reflects on Career Turning Point

The model was featured on the January cover of ‘Tatler Hong Kong.’
Mia Kang.

Mia Kang.


Muay Thai fighter Mia Kang just dropped the most stunning photos from her recent cover photo shoot for Tatler Hong Kong. The two-time SI Swimsuit model donned a figure-hugging Gauge 81 black bodysuit featuring an asymmetrical neckline and multiple cut-outs. 

She was photographed by Lara Jade in a series of up-close and zoomed-out black-and-white images, as well as a nude segment. Kang posed in a power stance and showed off her smolder and muscular body. 

Makeup artist Aya Tariq opted for a fresh and flawless base, a dramatic winged eyeliner moment and a pinky-nude matte lip. 

In an accompanying cover story, the former Victoria’s Secret model spoke candidly about her struggles with eating disorders and body image. She reflected on how Asian media and living in Asia impacted her view of the world and herself.

“The word ‘slim’ is everywhere—in ads on TV, signs advertising weight loss treatments on the MTR [subway system], in the press when talking about how gorgeous a certain celebrity looks. The societal fat-phobia is not subtle,” she said. “I think Asian media has less diversity than in the west. We are only seeing one definition of beauty, which reinforces people’s beliefs and the standards we hold ourselves to.”

In a close-up photo posted by stylist Connie Berg, Kang’s tiny tattoos, which read “dragons breathe fire” with one word on each finger, were visible.

The 34-year-old noted that for a period of time, almost every moment of her day was spent thinking about her weight and how she could be thinner. With each dropping number on the scale, and each positive nod she received from the modeling industry, her mental health and self-image struggled.

The Knockout author reached a turning point in 2016 when she visited Thailand and fell in love with martial arts. She said Muay Thai “saved” her life.

“I fell in love with the anonymity that martial arts brings. On the mat, everyone is an equal—it doesn’t matter what your occupation is, who you are, how much money you have,” she continued. “It [showed] me strength that I never knew I had—both external and in the form of discipline, determination and heart.”

Kang began to feel empowered and “at one” with her body. Though she left Thailand about a year later, Kang said she will carry what she learned during that transformative period with her forever.

“I think a pivotal moment for me as an adult was when I realized that it’s O.K. to just be myself,” she added. “My body looks different to everyone else’s and it doesn’t need to look a certain way. I am a unique person, I am who I am, and I am proud to be who I am.”

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Ananya Panchal

ANANYA PANCHAL

Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.