Being a celebrity is hard work. Whether a singer, actress, model or director, these days the job demands more than just sheer talent. Constantly under the spotlight, celebrities are always being scrutinized for their size and image. In many ways, celebrities are set on pedestals. The media demands them to be the height of perfection in every way and are often waiting for the opportunity to pounce on their wrong doings.
Of course, we are all aware that celebrities are not perfect. Despite the fact that the limelight exerts huge amounts of pressure on celebrities to be skinny, they are just humans. Many will cave into the demands, because sometimes, that’s what it takes to be famous; others do it by choice. This of course has all contributed to today’s crazy world of celebrity fad diets.
However, there are some celebrities who refuse to fall victim to the expectations of them to be thin. It takes some guts to do this, and it doesn’t happen without criticism from the media, the public and even fellow stars. The ten celebrities in this list are the ones who are withstanding the comments from every direction and refuse to let it dictate their actions and their lives. Instead, they are choosing to take pride in the way they look and quite crucially, if they are making lifestyle changes, they are doing it for themselves and what’s important to them, rather than from outside criticism.
10. Jill Scott
Singer and actress Jill Scott is proof that whilst it’s beneficial to lose some extra pounds, you don’t have to go to extremes. For most of Scott’s career, she has been a larger lady and didn’t appear to have a problem with it. The singer even has a song called “Thickness” celebrating the curves of women.
However, the singer made a staggering change in her appearance when she decided to lose weight a few years ago. The motivation was largely down to giving birth to her son Jett in 2009. In 2011, talking to US Weekly she told them, “There’s a world of discovery in his eyes, and I want to be around to enjoy it”. The talented lady also mentioned that she was struggling with her day-to-day activities, “I’d walk up nine steps and be out of breath!”
Scott decided to shed some weight, but at her own pace. In the end, she lost an astounding 63 pounds. Despite this, Jill Scott also proved she was by no means ready to move to the depths of size zero, “I’ll never be a stick figure”.
9. Amber Riley
Glee star Amber Riley, who plays Mercedes Jones on the show has previously spoken about her troubles with auditions in the past. Her problem wasn’t her singing voice, but her size. Telling People Magazine, she said she would often be told, “She’s not the look we want”.
For Riley, her weight has always been a struggle. Setbacks due to her image only made the star more determined to book better roles. Now more confident with her body image, the actress is no doubt more comfortable with herself, “I love my breasts, my face, my butt…I love myself”. In 2013, Amber made a big statement when she won Dancing With The Stars. As a result of the training for the show, Riley lost a substantial amount of weight and did find some benefit to her new size. Nevertheless, she told In Touch magazine that she warned her dance partner Derek Hough, “If I lose my butt and my hips, you’re outta here!”
8. Tyra Banks
Most women would give their right arm to have the body that Tyra Banks has. If there is anyone who knows about battling with body weight and the constant pressure to be thin, it has to be Tyra. Banks has fluctuated all over the weight chart throughout her life. Talking to People magazine last May, she recalled the times she was at her skinniest, “The summer I turned 11 years old, I lost 30 lbs. and I had a growth spurt…And it wasn’t even supermodel thin. It was more than that. Some people thought I had an eating disorder”.
In her older age, like many women, Tyra’s body has experienced changes. The media has not been afraid to criticize her image as she continues to build success with her show, America’s Next Top Model.
Despite this, Tyra doesn’t believe in diets, preferring a more natural look on herself. Speaking to US Weekly in 2013, she said, “To me, it’s like, I lost weight a couple of years ago and that just changed the way I ate, it changed the way I thought. I actually got too thin because I have tunnel vision…So when they said this is what you have to do, I was too strict, and I realized I needed to cheat way more because it didn’t look good. I didn’t realize I was too thin until I started seeing pictures and I thought, ‘Oh, I don’t like that. That doesn’t look good.’ I need some ass.”
7. Mindy Kaling
Many would shout from the rooftops that Mindy Kaling is hardly a large lady. But in the world of Hollywood where there is immense pressure to be thin, Kaling has had to address her weight in numerous interviews.
Last year, the actress was asked about her size by Vogue. In response she said, “There’s a whole list of things I would probably change about myself. For example, I’m always trying to lose fifteen pounds. But I never need to be skinny. I don’t want to be skinny. I’m constantly in a state of self-improvement…but I don’t beat myself up over it”. On numerous occasions she has proved that she is just like many other women who are trying to lose a little weight. At the same time, the actress has suggested that she doesn’t take it too seriously, especially knowing that she has achieved bigger and better things in life that far outweigh the pressures to be thin. Speaking about the criticism she receives to The Guardian, she said, “Also, when you’ve seen Instagram comments like, “You’re so ugly, you should kill yourself’…it’s like, I went to college. How could I be offended by someone who talks about what you look like?”
6. Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy started to really gain recognition for her acting when she appeared on the television series, Gilmore Girls. Since then she has picked up some impressive roles in the likes of Mike & Molly and Hollywood flicks Bridesmaids, Tammy and This is 40. As McCarthy has gained more success, her weight has also become a big talking point. The actress has been very honest about her thoughts on dieting in the past. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine last summer, she said, “I could eat healthier, I could drink less. I should be learning another language and working out more, but I’m just always saying, ‘Ah, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow”. Despite her relaxed attitude to dieting, this has not meant the actress has not been affected by her size. Talking to More magazine in 2013, she admitted how it was easy to get sucked into a cycle of being unhappy with one’s image, “I bought into it — I should be taller, thinner, have better hair. But I think that’s part of being young”.
Early this year, we saw a slimmed down version of McCarthy after she lost 45lbs. Rather than succumbing to the pressure of Hollywood however, she decided to be healthier to set a good example to her children.
5. Gabourey Sidibe
Despite her amazing talents as an actress, Gabourey Sidibe has been “fat-shamed” frequently in Hollywood. Back in 2010, talk show host Howard Stern made some cutting comments about the Precious actress. He said, “Everyone’s pretending she’s a part of show business and she’s never going to be in another movie”. Years later, Sidibe is having the last laugh with her growing success.
Sidibe rarely chooses to talk about her image in interviews. But in 2012 at the Women In Entertainment Symposium she spoke about how her previous knock backs have helped her gain confidence, “I didn’t really get to grow up hearing that I was beautiful a lot, or that I was worth anything nor did I grow up seeing myself on TV. Then at some point when I was 21 or 22 I just decided that life wasn’t worth living if I wasn’t happy with myself so I just took all the steps that I could to figure out how to love myself and become confident”.
It’s clear that Sidibe isn’t phased by the nasty remarks she hears about her size. Instead, she is too busy enjoying the perks and enjoyment of her flourishing career. This was clear when she was trolled on Twitter about her appearance at the Golden Globe Awards. In response, Sidibi graciously Tweeted, “To people making mean comments about my GG pics, I mos def cried about it on that private jet on my way to my dream job last night. #JK”.
4. Rebel Wilson
Australian actress Rebel Wilson is one Hollywood star that is truly comfortable in her own skin. Being bullied growing up, she faced some difficult times, but realized that being herself was truly the key to overcoming that.
In most of her movies including Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect, Rebel has refused to change sizes. Talking to Extra, Wilson said, “I don’t really care what I look like that much, and I think women out there should just be happy with the way they look. They shouldn’t really try to conform to any kind of stereotype. Just be happy and hopefully healthy”.
Wilson has previously admitted that choosing not to lose excessive amounts of weight is beneficial to her career. Also a stand-up comedian, Rebel feels that being larger helps keep her sketches funny. Talking to Australia’s Daily Life, she said, “It’s very hard to laugh at someone who’s very attractive, I think. And normally those people don’t have a great personality anyway”. In addition to this, Rebel has also previously revealed that even if she wanted to shed some extra pounds she wouldn’t be able to due to the contracts she’s signed with producers, telling Extra “What’s interesting is when you sign deals to be in TV shows or movies, you can’t really change your appearance”.
Singer Adele is another star in the public eye that has received criticism about her weight. In 2012, she was making big strides in the music industry after releasing her album 21, the previous year. At this point, designer Karl Lagerfield commented on her size saying Adele was “a little too fat”. Joan Rivers also picked on the singer repeatedly making fun of her weight. In 2013, on the Late Show With David Letterman, Rivers said, “What’s her song? ‘Rolling in the Deep’? She should add fried chicken”. Furthermore, before her death, the late celebrity also declared she did not want Adele at her funeral as she was “fat”.
In recent years Adele has taken steps towards losing weight. However it has been apparent that her stance on her body is not a superficial matter. In a revealing interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes, the singer opened up about her weight in 2012, “I’ve never seen magazine covers or music videos and been like ‘I need to look like that to be a success”. She also made it clear, “I don’t want to be some skinny mini with my t*ts out. I really don’t want to do it and I don’t want people confusing what it is that I’m about”.
2. Lena Dunham
Lena Dunham has done extremely well for herself showing off her talents as not only an actress, but also an author, producer and director. But her success has not come without criticism. Dunham has been attacked by other stars in the public eye about her size. The late Joan Rivers blasted her for her outfit choices according to her size. On the Howard Stern Show, Rivers said she felt Dunham was setting a bad example and basically saying, “It’s okay. Stay fat. Get diabetes”. Stern himself also called Lena, “a little fat girl who kind of looks like Jonah Hill.”
The Girls star revealed in the past that she struggled with her weight. In her book, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned, she talked about how at one point she became very obsessive about her size and made herself sick, “drinking laxative tea and coffee and smoking cigarettes and then eating weird foods at weird hours”. Dunham no longer sweats the criticism. Talking to The Guardian in January last year, she said, “My fears came true: people called me fat and hideous, and I lived. And now I keep living”.
1. Kelly Clarkson
It seems that Kelly Clarkson’s weight has attracted as much attention in the media as her talent has. The singer has struggled with her size throughout the years, especially after giving birth to her daughter in 2014. However, Clarkson herself has admitted even before her pregnancy that her weight changes have never been too much of an issue for her. In 2009, she told SELF magazine, “My happy weight changes…Sometimes I eat more; sometimes I play more. I’ll be different sizes all the time. When people talk about my weight, I’m like, ‘You seem to have a problem with it; I don’t. I’m fine!’”
After giving birth to daughter, River Rose Blackstock, Clarkson has been carrying a little extra baby weight, like most women. In recent pictures, the singer has also shown she is not in a rush to lose these pounds. Just this year, UK celebrity Katie Hopkins took to Twitter to say some harsh words about Clarkson’s size including, “Jesus, what happened to Kelly Clarkson? Did she eat all of her backing singers?”
In response to Hopkins’ comments, Kelly graciously replied, “Oh, and she’s Tweeted something nasty about me? That’s because she doesn’t know me. I’m awesome! It doesn’t bother me. It’s a free world. Say what you will. I’ve just never cared what people think”.
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