Why One Riverdale Star Is Done Dieting, and 36 More Celebs Who've Stood Up to Unrealistic Body Standards
In February 2018, the Riverdale star revealed she’d battled eating disorders in the past. And though she told PEOPLE in May she still grappled with “fear of losing control when it comes to eating disorders,” she also declared she was done dieting.
“It’s fine to eat dessert when I want to eat dessert, because that will give me the peace of mind I need. I’ll know that if I ate chocolate cake, maybe I won’t the next day. I’ve learned to trust myself that I’m going to make healthy choices because I care about my health.”
“I feel like I know I have enough friends who support me through [bad days], like I’ll call a friend and be like, ‘I really don’t feel good about what I ate today,’ and she’ll be like ‘Dude, it’s fine.’ “
Dunst gave director Sofia Coppola a hard pass when she suggested losing weight for her role in The Beguiled. “It’s so much harder when you’re 35 and hate working out,” the actress told Variety. The dramatic thriller’s rural Louisiana shooting location made it even less likely that Dunst would be dropping pounds for the film. “I’m eating fried chicken and McDonald’s before work. So I’m like, ‘We have no options! I’m sorry I can’t lose weight for this role,’ ” she said. According to Dunst, Coppola was very understanding about her decision maintain her physique.
The model — and daughter of Christie Brinkley — shared a thoughtful message on Instagram after tuning into the 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. “These girls are such beautiful boss hard working strong determined women,” she wrote. “But to all the young girls watching tonight … don’t forget that if your body doesn’t look like theirs it is totally OK. No body type is superior to another. Every body is different and each and every one of those [bodies] are beautiful and strong and important and worthy of great things. Don’t freak out if your stomach doesn’t look like theirs. Don’t hate yourself for your thighs. Embrace your body type, work hard, set goals, be healthy and constantly remind yourself that you are good enough!” Brinkley went on to clarify that she has nothing but respect for the “dedicated” VS models, urging her followers not to turn the “celebration of women and awesome beauty” into “something negative.”
The star condemned body shaming, objectification and pregnancy rumors in a powerful essay posted on The Huffington Post. “For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up,” she wrote. “The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing,” she continued. “The way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty.” Aniston went on to criticize the ongoing speculation about her maternal status, writing, “We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. I resent being made to feel ‘less than’ because my body is changing and/or I had a burger for lunch and was photographed from a weird angle and therefore deemed one of two things: ‘pregnant’ or ‘fat.'” The actress wasn’t just concerned about her own personal struggles with judgment, but also the larger societal effects of celebrity culture: “The message that girls are not pretty unless they’re incredibly thin, that they’re not worthy of our attention unless they look like a supermodel or an actress on the cover of a magazine is something we’re all willingly buying into,” she warned.
Please take your ‘plus size’ label elsewhere. The Inside Amy Schumer star spoke out when Glamour included her name on the cover of their special “plus size” bonus issue without her permission, pointing out that putting her in the category might send a harmful message to young girls. “I think there’s nothing wrong with being plus size. Beautiful healthy women. Plus size is considered size 16 in America. I go between a size 6 and an 8. @glamourmag put me in their plus size only issue without asking or letting me know and it doesn’t feel right to me,” she wrote on Instagram.”Young girls seeing my body type thinking that is plus size? What are your thoughts? Mine are not cool glamour not glamourous.”
Trainor is plenty happy with her body the way it is, thank you very much. The singer spoke up when her image in the “Me Too” video was altered to make her appear thinner, and even had the clip temporarily removed. “They Photoshopped the crap out of me,” Trainor, 22, said about the video on Snapchat. “My waist is not that teeny, I had a bomb waist that night, I don’t know why they didn’t like my waist. I didn’t approve that video and it went out to the world. So I’m embarrassed.” The star elaborated on her issues with the editing on the The Howard Stern Show. “I asked them, ‘Hey, can you hide my mustache and take off my mole hair?’ ” she said. “I never said cut off my rib.”
The actress used an encounter with a cyberbully as an opportunity to express her body confidence. “I am a size six, I’m proud of what I am,” she said during an appearance on The Real. “This woman said that I was fat. And I’m like, wow, the average size in America is a size 12/14, and so I guess you’re calling a lot of women fat, which I think is really ridiculous.” She also took Instagram commenters to task in December when they insinuated that she was pregnant. “Guys, I’m not pregnant. I am just happy, and I’ve gained these extra 10, 15 lbs. because of my cooking show!” she shared. Mowry added that she was “enjoying” life – and therefore in no rush to lose weight. “When I want to drop the pounds, I will, but right now I’m happy with who I am.”
After completing treatment for an eating disorder, Kesha isn’t taking any B.S. from body-shamers inside the entertainment industry or out. “No thigh gap here,” she captioned one Instagram photo. “byeeeeeeee haters and body shamers,” she wrote alongside another pic. “bye byeeeeeee. I’m hot when my a– is big. I’m hot when it small. GET OVER IT”
“I eat like a caveman. I’ll be the only actress who doesn’t have anorexia rumors,” the actress told Elle in a 2012 interview. “I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner’ … I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong – not thin and underfed.” The Oscar-winner got even more candid about changing the Hollywood body status quo during a 2016 chat with Harper’s Bazaar. “I would like us to make a new normal-body type,” she told the mag. “Everybody says, ‘We love that there is somebody with a normal body!’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t feel like I have a normal body.’ I think we’ve gotten so used to underweight that when you are a normal weight it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, she’s curvy.’ Which is crazy … The bare minimum, just for me, would be to up the ante, at least so I don’t feel like the fattest one.”
After the 2013 birth of daughter Lincoln, Bell refused to cave to the pressure of immediately dieting for a perfect post-baby body. “I made a commitment to not allow my narrative for the year after having a baby to be about my weight,” she told E! News. “I think that freed me up, and it made me less concerned with all the pressures that revolve around body image.”
BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD
The Jurassic World actress found her Golden Globes dress in an unlikely, but yet, very obvious place: a department store. On the Golden Globes red carpet, Howard told Giuliana Rancic that she headed to Neiman Marcus to pick up her glittering Jenny Packham frock, rather than getting a loaner from a designer because she doesn’t want to be forced into a limited selection of gowns based on what’s available for her size. “I like having lots of options for a size 6, as opposed to maybe one option,” she said. “I always go to department stores for this kind of stuff.”
The Pretty Little Liars actress, who’s spoken out against excessive Photoshopping and retouching, refuses to let Hollywood’s absurd standards mess with her confidence … even though it can hurt. “I was just told I was too fat for a part,” she said in a recent interview. “I’m a size 2! I cried for 30 minutes, but then you have to let if roll off your shoulders or it could cause a serious eating disorder.” She continued: “A lot of people in this industry hear they need to lose weight more times than they should. It does make you stronger, though. Because if you let that affect you, you can’t be in this industry – you’d go crazy.”
After spending years fielding body shaming comments about his weight, the singer decided to stand up for himself in a series of tweets addressing the negative comments, revealing that he suffers from anxiety and a medical condition called a hiatal hernia. “It’s kinda hard being me,” Carter went on to say. “But I’m good I promise. I love you guys and I appreciate your support I go through s— like everyone else. And EVERYONES been talking about it and I can’t even post videos or take pictures without feeling self conscience and it f—— sucks.”
Posing for the cover of Cosmo for Latinas served as a defining moment in Rodriguez’s personal life, especially given her struggle with Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease. “To come to a place where I love the skin I am in and it isn’t defined by anyone’s expectations or limitations is beyond freeing,” the Jane the Virgin star wrote on Instagram. “I love this picture because I feel like young Gina finally made herself her own hero.”
You tell ’em, Anna! Paquin took to Twitter after people began to criticize her dress choice at The Good Dinosaur premiere. “Fun fact: Wearing a dress that is not skintight = pregnant/invites people to call you fat. I’m neither, so thanks for that,” she wrote.
Winter took Internet critics to school when they hurled insults about an “innocent photo” she took of a boat ride with her two young nieces. “The height of a girl’s skirt or whatever she is wearing for that matter, does not imply what she is asking for,” the Modern Family star wrote on Instagram in response to commenters who shamed her for posing in swimwear in a previous post. “It sickens me to think at 17 years old, a photo of myself with my nieces is suggesting that I’m ‘asking for it,’ ” she continued. The young actress used the opportunity to encourage other girls to relish in the freedom to choose how they dress: “You are not asking for anything because of what you are wearing – you are expressing yourself and don’t you ever think you deserve the negativity as the consequence to what you are wearing – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Celebrate you and don’t let anyone’s comments allow you to think less of yourself. Us girls have to stick together!!!!!!”
As fans of the singer know well, Goulding loves to work out – boot camp, pilates, running, you name it – but in an interview with Shape, she made it clear that her workout regime has never been about losing weight. “If getting stronger means getting more toned and slimmer, so be it, as long as strength comes with it,” she said. “I’m happy with my figure. I never intended or tried to be skinny. It’s just not my thing.”
With multiple gold medals under her belt, Vonn may be confident on the slopes, but her self-assurance can take a hit on the red carpet. “I’m, like, twice the size of anyone, in both height and weight!” she told Health. But through the years she’s learned that there’s no one definition of beauty. “I’m five-foot-ten, but I’m definitely quite a bit heavier than everyone else. I feel like the odd man out sometimes, but that’s even more reason to be confident, to show girls that you don’t have to be a size 2 to be beautiful. Any size is beautiful as long as you’re confident in yourself.”
After a commenter wrote on the pop star’s Instagram that Ariel Winter’s body was superior to Grande’s slimmer frame, the singer shut down the notion that people’s bodies are on display for others to judge or criticize. “We live in a day and age where people make it IMPOSSIBLE for women, men, anyone to embrace themselves exactly how they are. Diversity is sexy! Loving yourself is sexy!” Grande responded in an impassioned Instagram post. “You know what is NOT sexy? Misogyny, objectifying, labeling, comparing and body shaming!!!”
After Zendaya saw the final photos she shot for Modeliste Magazine, she was shocked to find her hips and torso manipulated in the retouched images. She then took to her Instagram to share the altered photo alongside the original. “Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self love,” read her caption. “So I took it upon myself to release the real pic (right side).” Zendaya went on to thank the magazine for pulling down the edited images.
The model took to social media to fight back against critics of her figure – and her success in the modeling world (yep, even supermodels get shamed). “No, I don’t have the same body type as the other models in shows,” she wrote in a post on Instagram. “Yes, I have boobs, I have abs, I have a butt, I have thighs, but I’m not asking for special treatment. Your mean comments don’t make me want to change my body. If I didn’t have the body I do, I wouldn’t have the career I do.”
KIM KARDASHIAN WEST
“Everyone’s body is different, every pregnancy is very different! I’ve learned to love my body at every stage!” Kardashian wrote on Instagram in response to the hurtful body-shaming comments she faced during her second pregnancy. Just as loud as her words: the nude selfie she posted, putting her growing baby bump on full display. She added, “I’m going to get even bigger & that’s beautiful too!”
The actress has long criticized the impossible weight and beauty standards imposed on models and actresses – and as a result, little girls (like her own). “It’s so disturbing, because young girls are impressionable from 11 up to 19 or 20, even. Women are very impressionable at those ages,” she said on BBC One’s Sunday AM program in 2006. Winslet makes sure to instill a positive sense of self in her teen daughter, Mia, by practicing a silly but effective body-positive exercise. “I stand in front of the mirror and say to 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,'” Winslet revealed on an episode of Running Wild.
JENNI 'JWOWW' FARLEY
The cast of Jersey Shore might have coined the mantra “GTL,” but Farley knows that some time away from the gym is equally important. She told fans just that after pictures of her looking a little curvier than usual on vacation in Mexico hit the web, writing on Instagram, “I want to sit here and say that I’m embarrassed by these pictures, but honestly I’m not. I’m a new mom that loves to work out but also loves food as well … I follow the trend of what I love in life … And what I love is me.”
After mean (and bored) people on the Internet criticized Pink’s physique in a black party dress, the singer refused to be embarrassed – instead, she took to Twitter to fire back. “While I admit that the dress didn’t photograph as well as it did in my kitchen, I will also admit that I felt very pretty,” she wrote. “I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy, and my healthy, voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much deserved time off. Thanks for your concern. Love, cheesecake.”
Posting a rare top-down selfie on her Instagram (photobombed by her adorable bulldog), Teigen showed off the stretch marks on her inner thigh, as well as a few bruises. “Bruises from bumping kitchen drawer handles for a week. Stretchies say hi!,” she captioned the pic, completely owning her so-called “flaws” and showing women that the marks on our bodies shouldn’t be a source of shame.
“In the past 15 years … I have put on 30 pounds. I live to eat. None of this ‘eat to live’ stuff for me,” Bergen wrote in her book, A Fine Romance. “I crave cookies … all the things that dilate my pupils.”
Standing up for body confidence takes, well, confidence. After a slew of body-shaming Tweets were hurled her way this year, the singer remained entirely unfazed. “Someone Tweeted something nasty about me?” she said when Heat magazine showed her the mean Tweets. “That’s because she doesn’t know me. I’m awesome! It doesn’t bother me.”
The singer reads nasty YouTube comments about her body all the time – and has even fielded jabs from figures like Karl Lagerfeld, who called her “a little too fat” – but she keeps her priorities straight: “I would only lose weight if it affected my health or sex life, which it doesn’t,” she told USA Today in 2012, beautifully working in a cheeky sex-life humblebrag.
In a 2012 interview for MTV’s This Is How I Made It, the Glee star got emotional discussing all of the body-shaming (disguised as constructive criticism) she faced as she tried to break into the industry. “Going to the auditions, and hearing the casting director say ‘You need to lose a little weight,’ I didn’t understand why people couldn’t accept me for who I was,” she said. “I’m not gonna conform and hurt myself and do something crazy to be a size 2.”
Resisting the pressure to lose weight is a non-stop battle – and we love it when celebrities like McCarthy are honest about the struggle. “Sometimes I wish I were just magically a size six and I never had to give [my weight] a single thought,” she told Good Housekeeping in 2012. “But I am weirdly healthy, so I don’t beat myself up about it – it wouldn’t help, and I don’t want to pass that on to my girls.”
The full-figured actress wants to challenge the popular notion that you have to be tiny to be healthy. “Let’s be healthy big people,” she told Jet magazine in 2009. “Everybody can’t be a size 0 or 45, but let’s be healthy.”
It’s absurd that Hollywood puts pressure on pregnant ladies to stay fit and trim – and Simpson refused to succumb to it during her 2012 pregnancy. “I’m bigger than I’ve ever been, but I want to show off my bump!” she told Extra. Her pregnancy snack of choice? Buttered Pop-Tarts (which we need to try ASAP).
While naturally slim, the actress listens to her body (even when it’s asking for French fries) and resists the temptation to follow obsessive health roles. “I don’t deny myself anything,” Jones told Allure in a 2011 interview. “I just listen to what my body craves. If I’m in a bad mood and I’m in traffic, I’ll stop at McDonald’s and get a strawberry shake and fries and not feel guilty at all because I deserve it.”
Our girl Mindy is sick of your condescending questions. “I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting,” she said in a 2013 issue of Parade. “Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?'”