You're Not Alone: 40 Stars Who've Struggled with Body Confidence
The gender-fluid Younger actor revealed on Instagram that they have long battled with body dysmorphia, to the point where they were over-exercising, dieting and taking supplements to lose weight. Tortorella said that these obsessions track with their past addiction to alcohol. "My weight has fluctuated my entire life,” they wrote. "For the past couple years, I started to really get into shape. Working out sometimes twice a day, diets, supplements, hormones, etc. Remember, I am an addict." But recently, Tortorella said, they've started to make progress. "Over the past 6 months I have worked out less, ate more, wrote a book and have tried to love myself more and more every day; body, mind, and spirit," they wrote. "I have days where I love my body, and days when I’m not happy; wishing I still looked like I did."
"I think the actual thing, if I were to be clinically diagnosed, would be muscle dysmorphia,” he told Cosmopolitan. “No matter what I do, I never feel like I’m strong enough, or muscular enough or big enough, and that comes down to being the super skinny kid that was picked on and bullied. It’s basically a misperception of the way that I look at myself compared to the way the world sees me.”
Baldoni also opened up about relaxing some of his body struggles, largely out of necessity. "This last season [of Jane the Virgin] I really didn’t get to work out that much. Because I have a life, I have two kids now, I have multiple businesses. I had to give up this intense workout schedule,” he said. “So what I decided to do was, I’d work out like three weeks, two weeks before [my shirtless scenes] and do my best and didn’t go crazy, and I was also a lot happier this year. I don’t think I personally looked as good as I did in previous seasons, but I think emotionally and mentally, I was a lot happier. And I think I was a bit more normal looking. Hopefully! I don’t know.”
Although Hough was proud of her body confidence growing up, the Dancing with the Stars pro told Redbook that "something switched" in middle school — and it only got worse when she started working on film sets. "I did a film where I basically was told I was fat every day, yet I was the skinniest I’d ever been," Hough shared with the magazine.
While the comments hurt at the time, Hough has since learned tricks to boost her confidence when she’s feeling down about her body. “Now, when I’m self-conscious, I’ll do something completely crazy or goofy to get out of my own head — something fun that reminds me of the freedom I felt as a kid before all that happened,” she said.
In the December 2017 issue of SHAPE magazine, the Scream Queens star revealed that she used to feel self-conscious about how short she was. "I used to have a complex about being short," she said. "Now I love that I’m 5'2". I'm strong, and that feels really good to me."
Speaking about the value of having confidence, Roberts said that, "I believe we are all innately confident," although she added that as people get older "we lose touch with ourselves and let other people's opinions and thoughts get louder than our own. It's important to stay true to ourselves and find that confidence we had as kids."
In 2015, the Vanderpump Rules star underwent a breast lift and breast reduction, leaving her with scars she calls "awesome." Although she sometimes catches herself feeling insecure about her scars, she told PEOPLE she's trying to snap out of it. "Especially when I was single last year and started dating and then obviously you get intimate with someone and they're like 'What is that?' and for a split second I remember being embarrassed and then like saying 'F— that.' "
In fact, Schroeder's "absolute worst fear" is not living her truth. "If this is what my body looks like with these scars, then that's what they are. I don't want to pretend that I'm something that I'm not. That is my f—ing absolute worst fear. It drives me insane when other people act like that."
"There have been times I've cried to John [Legend], where I felt like I would just never have 'that' body," the Cravings author said while taking the stage at 2017 Beautycon. "I've definitely been really upset with ... You know, everyone has a butt now, everyone has curves, and a little waist, and that's not me."
Despite facing moments of insecurity, the model is attempting to embrace a positive attitude. "I'm in a weird phase where I'm jealous of those bodies, but I also really want to be cool with my own body. I really want to be that person for you all, that says, 'You don't need that f---ing shit.'"
"I'm not going to lie and say I was completely happy with my body before," she told SHAPE, reflecting on her past body image issues. "I didn't start working out to get skinnier — I started working out to feel better. And I think it's important for women to know that. Don't be obsessed with being thin. You just have to be fit, healthy, and strong."
Lovato is no stranger to insecurities — but the singer has an effective tip that helps combat those negative thoughts, which she shared with fans on Twitter. "Sometimes when I'm having bad body image issue days, I remind myself that I'd rather live in freedom from my eating disorder than worry about what people think about my body," she wrote. "I am more than a number and a jean size," Lovato continued. "F— yeah!"
"I feel much more in control these days. I rely less on what others tell me," she told Refinery29. "No matter what we look like, sexy comes from within." Anderson added: "Nobody's perfect — imperfections are sexy. Our vulnerabilities are what makes us attractive and unique."
"I grew up believing a lot of things about myself that I had to unlearn — things that pertain to being a good woman, things about my weight or height," Ferrera told Redbook. "As women, you're taught that your value is all about your appearance, not your ideas and your tenacity and your courage and your bravery and your adventurous spirit. Look, I love getting dressed up and looking beautiful. But that’s one tiny piece of me."
Like many other child stars, Winter admits to having had a rough time growing up in the spotlight. "When I started [Modern Family] ... I was stick thin, I had no chest, I had no butt — I had nothing. Then automatically, overnight, my body changed drastically," Winter revealed to SELF.com. "I was a D cup and had a bigger butt, and my waist was expanding. Everything was getting bigger. I automatically got this hate and judgment online." The actress learned to embrace her new curves with the help of costar Sofia Vergara, who also inspired her to pay no attention to critics. "As I got older, I started to realize that as long as I'm positive in my life and as long as I feel good about my decisions and stick to how I feel and the things I want to do, that's what's most important. And that's what's going to get me through in life."
"I'm 51 years old. So it took 51 years," she said, half-joking, when asked how long it took to reach self-acceptance. "I feel like it's not always here. I have moments, because I’m human, that you can hurt me. I have good days and bad days and in-between days ... I got to the point where I was tired of beating myself up. I could not trade myself in for anyone else. I have to tell you, one of the beautiful things, is to be able to speak all over the country. There's something beautiful that happens when you share your story. The more you share it, the more you heal. The more you share it, the less shame you have."
When it comes to body confidence, the former Spice Girl has quite the positive mindset. In fact, the America's Got Talent judge revealed a part of her journey to self-acceptance on Instagram, where she posted a nude photo of herself. "As a woman, I embrace my flaws and I'm comfortable in my own skin. Might as well im gonna be in it for the rest of my life," she captioned the snapshot. "I'm the kinda girl that has absolutely no desire to fit in. Ladies, we gotta love the skin we are in."
"It was really hard, because growing up I never felt overweight or fat, so it shocked me like, 'Why would he say that?' " the Olympic gymnast tells PEOPLE of the time a coach called her fat. "But in a way it actually shaped me for the better, because it just taught me to rise above and to love my body no matter what."
"I didn't go through puberty until I was 19, and I was already a professional. So everyone's expecting your body, as your instrument, to look a certain way," the American Ballet Theatre's first-ever African-American principal dancer tells SELF. "Being told to lose weight, and being African-American, not having anyone else around who looked like me, caused me so much doubt." But the dancer persevered, ultimately proving that her athletic frame could fit in. "I want to show the ballet world it's possible to do all these things and not be rail-thin or have blonde hair."
"When I was bigger, a lot of places didn't carry my size," Kardashian tells PEOPLE, recounting her experience of being fat shamed. "I was a 30 or 31 at the time. I didn't think that was astronomical sizing but people went, 'Uh! What size are you? Oh we don't have that here but we can order it.' I was like, 'Screw you, you just made me feel like s—.' And that's how a lot of women feel." The reality star goes on to share how she exactly went about reclaiming self-confidence in her curvy frame: "The best form of revenge is a good body. I'm not seeking revenge on one particular person. It's revenge on life and being the best me," she shares. "I don't care what a scale says. Working out is the best form of therapy."
The This Is Us star "has always been chubby" and relates to the struggles her onscreen character goes through — but, she reveals in an interview with PEOPLE, her mindset changed on a milestone birthday. "When I turned 30, I had this epiphany that my life is my own and my choices are my own," she tells PEOPLE. Going on "a bit of a spiritual journey," she decided to put aside others' opinions and to "focus on who I am, business or no business, actress or no actress. And things just kind of started falling into place. There definitely was a shift."
She may have an enviable physique, but the two-time Olympic gymnast took to Instagram to reveal boys in school used to make fun of her growing up because of her hard-earned muscles — yet their comments only made her a better person. "My muscular arms that were considered weird and gross when I was younger have made me one of the best gymnasts on the planet," she says. "Don't ever let anyone tell you how you should or shouldn't look. There is no such thing as a perfect body type."
During an appearance on The Doctors, the daughter of Olivia Newton-John opened up about her past body image issues. "When I was in the height of my body dysmorphia, I had a whole bunch of fillers," Lattanzi says. "I've had that all removed from my face because I like the way I look naturally." In fact, the actress and singer regrets having stressed over her looks at a young age. "I look back at myself and I as a teenager and I'm like, 'What a beautiful young woman,' " she says. "What was I thinking? Why was I so insecure?"
CANDACE CAMERON BURE
The Fuller House star has long been vocal about her own struggles with an eating disorder. While stopping by The Dr. Oz Show, Bure opened up about how she has rebuilt her own relationship with food. "I've had to learn to view food as my fuel and something I can enjoy, and do enjoy and am allowed to enjoy in moderation," she says. "I can no longer look at food as my source of comfort because that's what I was doing. I would feed my emotions with food." And since the actress has plenty of experience when it comes to self-image, Bure understands it's vital to instill a positive body image in her children: "As a mom, I'm always telling my children, 'Love who you are.' " She adds: "'You are beautifully and wonderfully made. You are unique and there is no one like you. Embrace it and love it.' "
"I've spent an indecent amount of time pinching parts of my body in shame, imagining how much better it'd look if certain areas would just shrink, dissolve or stop making me feel so 'less-than,' " the singer wrote in an essay for Motto, recalling the early days of her music career. "Today, the comparison game is one I will not play. I refuse … When I think of all the time I've spent uncomfortable in my own skin, wishing I could just hibernate for the winter and come back skinny, I realize I could have channeled that energy and obsession into something much more productive."
The key to having a healthy relationship with one's body, according to the Quantico actress? Recruiting the mind. "People always say you should listen to your body. But I don't listen to my body. My body listens to me," she told Women's Health, adding that she eats clean to stay fit, not to be skinny. She continued: "Identify the weaknesses, shut them in a box, find your strengths, and run with them."
"The only change was that it was explained to me before I did that movie [Trainwreck] that if you weigh over 140 pounds as a woman in Hollywood, if you're on the screen it will hurt people's eyes," Schumer told The Jonathan Ross Show about struggling with body critics in the industry. Though she's caved to pressure before, it was a one-time deal: "I didn't know that so I lost some weight to do that but never again.”
"As an actress, I was like, 'Seriously?! In a world that's so vain, I have to deal with the disease that makes you not keep weight off?' " the Jane the Virgin star told Health, opening up about her battle with Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune disease that can cause an underactive thyroid. "But it actually became a blessing because then I got to represent not only women and Latinas, but also women who are dealing with this disease."
"I was young. It was just the kind of s--- that actresses have to go through. Somebody told me I was fat, that I was going to get fired if I didn't lose a certain amount of weight," the actress told Harper's Bazaar U.K.. "They brought in pictures of me where I was basically naked and told me to use them as motivation for my diet. [Someone brought that up recently.] They thought that because of the way my career had gone, it wouldn't still hurt me. That somehow, after I won an Oscar, I'm above it all. 'You really still care about that?' Yeah. I was a little girl. I was hurt. It doesn't matter what accolades you get. I know it'll never happen to me again. If anybody even tries to whisper the word 'diet,' I'm like, 'You can go f--- yourself.' "
"I'm hard on myself – I believe everything's a work in progress," Simpson said in the September issue of Women's Health. "But that's okay. I do love my legs, but my favorite physical attribute is my nose, because it's not perfect." The singer also revealed that she had once planned to have breast reduction surgery, but changed her mind following the birth of her two children. "I look at myself and I'm like, you know what, my boobs are actually really big, but I like how they are," she said. "They're an asset, and Eric [Johnson, her husband] loves them still."
"I will say, being a 'real black woman' with big lips, wide nose, short hair, a big ol' booty and hips, and not what they say a black [celebrity] should be, was kinda hard," the singer told PEOPLE, adding that she has grown to love and accept herself. "But now I'm like, 'Chocolate is good!' I accept my big lips – some people are paying for 'em!" she says. "I don't knock anybody for what they do. But for me, I'm just at that place where I'm good. I'm a woman now. I wouldn't change a thing."
"I think it's so hard, not just for me, but for every woman," the Modern Family actress told PEOPLE about living up to sky-high beauty standards. "Now with the social media and all the craziness with the Internet … you see how women look everywhere in the world. It's very overwhelming. It's like, 'Oh, I should exercise more. Should I eat less? Should I cook more greens? Should I put more makeup on?' It's a lot." Vergara added that she's found a philosophy that helps her cope with pressure, and is passing it on to her loved ones: "My niece Daniella, she's 22, and I tell her it's not about competing with anyone; just try to be the best that you can. Try to be the sexiest that you can, the most beautiful as you can."
"I was just never comfortable until about four years ago, when I started feeling comfortable with my body overall," the NBA champion told ESPN The Magazine for its Body Issue, which he fronted sans clothing. "As you go through life, you get more comfortable with yourself. It's like everything else with life – you change, you grow. People might think it's simple, but for me it was hard to even feel comfortable walking around naked when it's just me and my wife."
"I was on the beach in Hawaii and there were paparazzi in the bushes," the Pretty Little Liars star, who had previously battled an eating disorder, told Self in 2013. "I don't think anybody wants to be photographed in their bikini unless you're a Victoria's Secret model. There's always a little voice in my head that says, 'Suck it in a little more,' but you know, I'm so comfortable with who I am, I'm just like, 'Screw it! Take pictures!' "
"I still have mornings I wake up and feel fat or I feel my cellulite is really kicking that day," the model told PEOPLE. "I have to look myself in the mirror, and I take my own advice and I talk to those different parts. I tell myself I am beautiful. I tell myself I am bold and brilliant. I just look at myself and say, 'Slay girl.' "
"I stand in front of the mirror and say to [daughter] Mia, 'We are so lucky we have a shape. We're so lucky we're curvy. We're so lucky that we've got good bums.' And she'll say, 'Mummy, I know, thank God,' " the Oscar winner recounted of the self-esteem-building exercise she does with her daughter. "It's paying off."
Despite looking flawless in her nude photo shoot for the September 2015 issue of Harper's Bazaar, Stone told the magazine she isn't trying to be perfect. "I'm aware that my ass looks like a bag of flapjacks," Stone said. "But I'm not trying to be the best-looking broad in the world. At a certain point you start asking yourself, 'What really is sexy?' It's not just the elevation of your boobs. It's being present and having fun and liking yourself enough to like the person that's with you. If I believed that sexy was trying to be who I was when I did Basic Instinct, then we'd all be having a hard day today."
"Well I am entering my fifties so your body confidence isn't that good," the actress told InStyle UK. "I think it depends on the day, for everybody. There's some days you say, 'This is it,' and you love it. Then there are days when you go, 'This cannot be it! Is this really it?' So I think it's up and down all the time!"
"I do know what it feels like to eat emotionally, and … to be sad and make yourself happy with food," the Jurassic World star said during a 2014 press conference. "And then to be almost immediately sad again and now ashamed and then to try to hide those feelings with more food. I know what it's like to have body image issues."
"I was never really happy with my image, and then I realized it was because I was eating fried food and drinking beer every day," the "Thinking Out Loud" crooner told the Mirror.
"I still feel the stress over 'Am I thin enough? Am I too thin? Is my body the right shape?' " Hathaway told Glamour in a 2013 issue. "There's an obsessive quality to it that I thought I would've grown out of by now. It's an ongoing source of shame for me."
"I'm not actually very confident," Campbell revealed in 2013, proving that supermodels are also prone to insecurities. "I never want to be sure of myself, because I think if I get to that place, I'll never do another show."
"I remember the first shirtless scene I ever did on Orange Is the New Black, I was obsessively dieting, and when I saw that scene before the show ever came out, I thought I had blown it," the actor, a former competitive bodybuilder, shared with Yahoo. "I was like, 'Oh no! I didn't get as lean as I could've.' "
"I can look at a picture of Gisele [Bündchen] all day long and say, 'I'll never have legs that long or lips that big.' You have to honor who you are," the actress told Self.