In a world where people are judged by their jeans size and praised when they stick to their diets, Hollywood may be the worst culprit of fat shaming. The standard set by the film and music industry is one where only the most sculpted, bronzed bodies rise to the top, regardless of talent.
But as with any rule, there are exceptions. Some entertainers have proven that thin isn’t better when it comes to talent. Whether these stars are racking up Grammy Awards and Oscars, or simply becoming international fan favorites, they are beginning to redefine perfection.
Though some of these stars have garnered big attention when they shed pounds over the years, most of them have experienced their greatest success at their highest weight, not their lowest. And all of them seem to eventually settle back in with a less-than-traditional physique. Read on for 10 superstars that continue to blow away the competition, regardless of the numbers on the scale.
10. Rebel Wilson
Rebel Wilson made a name for herself and proved that size doesn’t matter in films like Pitch Perfect and Bridesmaids. Fans quickly fell in love with Wilson’s confidence and raunchy, devil-may-care attitude. Though she consistently pushes comedic boundaries and has fans lining up at the box-office, Wilson is not all fun and games. She has a law degree and was a former youth ambassador for Australia before making a name for herself as an actor. In the spring of 2015, some controversy erupted over Wilson’s real age after Australian magazine, Woman’s Day, reported the actress was actually 35, not 29 as she claimed to be. The result? No one cared. Fans continue to be on the edge of their seat to see what the funny lady does next. This revelation proved that along with weight not being an issue to an actor’s success, apparently age doesn’t matter either.
9. Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill won fans with his unassuming, guy-next-door roles in films like Knocked Up, Superbad and The Sitter. The characters Hill portrays are often raunchy with a juvenile sense of humor that scores big at the box office. But it was in 2015 with True Story that Hill revealed his dramatic acting chops. Though the film and its performances were met with mixed reviews, there was no disputing Hill can carry off a serious role. In 2011, jaws dropped when Hill revealed a dramatic weight loss. Since then he has put much of the weight back on and continues to remain a hard-hitter in Hollywood, acting with stars like Leonardo Dicaprio (Wolf of Wall Street), Ben Stiller (The Watch), and joins the ensemble cast of A-listers like George Clooney and Scarlett Johannsen in the 2016 Hail, Caesar! in theaters now.
English-born Adele, born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, is a force to be reckoned with in the music world. In December 2015, concert tickets to the singer’s North American tour beginning in July 2016, sold out in mere minutes, frustrating fans and breaking records in the music industry. The powerhouse has won an Oscar, 10 Grammy Awards, and multiple other awards, continuing to raise the bar for her peers. Regarding appearance, Adele is quoted as saying, “I love food and hate exercise. I don’t have time to work out. I don’t want to be on the cover of Playboy or Vogue. I want to be on the cover of Rolling Stone or Q. I’m not a trend-setter. I’m a singer…My aim in life is never to be skinny.”
7. Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin was once a heart-throb to many adoring female fans. He was romantically linked to some of Hollywood’s most beautiful women, even marrying Kim Basinger in 1993. Over the years, as Baldwin gained weight, somewhat surprisingly, he also gained clout in the fickle world of entertainment. It was with the extra weight (and age) that Baldwin gained critical acclaim in films like The Departed, Running with Scissors and his Oscar-nominated role in The Cooler. He won 3 Golden Globe Awards for his role in television’s 30 Rock. Like many other actors struggling with their weight, Baldwin was able to shed 30 pounds in 2012, only to regain the weight later on. Despite the ups and downs of his weight, the controversy surrounding Baldwin tends to be more about what comes out of his mouth, rather than what goes into it. Known for run-ins with the paparazzi, a disturbing voicemail left on his daughter’s phone in 2007, friction with fellow actors like Shia LaBeouf, and his political rants, who has time to stop and ponder his waist size?
6. Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah, born Dana Owens, is a Grammy Award winning rapper, record producer, actress, and former talk show host. With fierce style and an approachable personality, fans and peers in the industry alike respect Latifah for her talent and skills. With memorable roles in films like Beauty Shop, The Secret Life of Bees and Chicago, Latifah proved herself not only as a singer, but a dancer and actor with great range. A former spokeswoman for the weight loss company Jenny Craig, Latifah has been quoted as saying, “I wish every woman would love herself and embrace what she was given naturally.” Latifah’s style credits include Cover Girl spokeswoman, fashion line developer (Queen Collection), and Philanthropist.
5. Seth Rogen
Seth Rogen has become a household name, starring in films like Knocked Up, Superbad, Pineapple Express and Neighbors. His comedic timing is box-office gold. Frequently collaborating with fellow industry favorites like James Franco, Jonah Hill and director Judd Apatow, Rogen is known for consistently putting out some of the past decade’s biggest comedic hits. Born in Canada and starting his career with stand-up, the actor’s credits now include Producer, Director and Writer, on dozens of films. Rogen proves that waist-size has little to do with wallet size in Hollywood.
4. Kevin James
Kevin James is one of those celebrities that has started out heavy and remained heavy over the years, not succumbing to the latest dieting trends or pressure to shrink for the sake of landing a role. In fact, it may just be his teddy-bear like size and demeanor that equates to his massive success. Fans fell in love with James on the long-running television comedy King of Queens, where he played the lovable, but often clueless husband Doug, to Leah Remini’s, Carrie. In films like Hitch, Grown-Ups and Paul Blart: Mall Cop, James keeps fans filling in those movie seats.
3. Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy has stepped into the limelight and proved herself as a true comedic genius over the past few years. Starting her career in New York with stand-up, McCarthy went on to acting in television and small film roles, but enjoyed a breakout moment in 2011’s Bridesmaids as the unforgettable Megan. From the release of that film on, McCarthy has been cranking out hit after hit with films like Identity Thief, The Heat, Tammy and Spy. Married to Ben Falcone and mother to two young daughters, McCarthy even has her own plus-size clothing line. Still, despite massive success, some critics still hit below the belt with weight comments. Quoted as saying, “I felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate. I just thought, that’s someone who’s in a really bad spot, and I am in such a happy spot”, the actress isn’t afraid to address the ignorance that still lingers in the press. Despite weight-shaming from a few critics, McCarthy seems to be getting the last laugh as she continues to rise to the status of comedic icon.
2. Jack Black
Jack Black may be shorter than the average Hollywood hunk. He may be a little weightier. But none of that has stopped him from becoming a household name with fans in pre-school on up through old age. His roles are varied from children’s favorites like Kung Fu Panda, School of Rock and King Kong, to adult mainstream films such as The Holiday, Anchorman and Tropic Thunder. Black has made a name for himself and acted alongside such hard-hitters as Kate Winslet, Will Ferrell and Cameron Diaz. Though he may not fit the typical Hollywood mold, true talent made Jack Black an A-list actor that has won a Blockbuster Entertainment award for High Fidelity, a Kids Choice Award for Kung Fu Panda, and an MTV Movie Award for School of Rock.
1. Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer is Hollywood’s “It Girl” these days. Coming onto the Hollywood scene as recently as 2010, Schumer has won fans with her raunchy, honest and unapologetic rants on sex, relationships and fumbling through young(er) adulthood. Schumer started her career in stand-up and went on to break rules and cross boundaries in shows like, Inside Amy Schumer and Amy Schumer: Mostly Sex Stuff. It was with the film she wrote and starred in, Trainwreck, that Schumer officially threw her hat in the ring to compete with the top-paid female comedians in the game. Schumer has said, “I feel very comfortable in my own skin. When someone makes jokes about me being heavy, it makes me mad. It’s not true. I’m right where I should be.” Critics seem to agree, as Schumer took home a 2016 Critic’s Choice Award for her role in Trainwreck.