Julianne Hough Was Called 'Fat' on a Film Set — 'Yet I Was the Skinniest I'd Ever Been'

Julianne Hough says that she was constantly told she was fat on a film set, and it hurt her self-esteem

Julianne Hough was proud of her body confidence growing up. But the dancer and actress says 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, 29, tells Redbook for its February cover, on newsstands Jan. 2.

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 says.

Julianne Hough, RedbookCredit: Hudson Taylor

And currently, Hough’s body is in flux — she’s prepping to play fitness pioneer Betty Weider in the upcoming film Bigger.

“Women in that era had bigger hips and bigger busts. I don’t naturally have that hourglass shape — I’m more elongated and square, to be honest,” she says.

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So for the role, Hough has been experimenting with her workout and diet regimen.

“Basically, I cut down on my cardio and was lifting a lot of weights,” she says. “And if I wanted an extra bit of ice cream that day, I would eat it and it would go right to my hips. I was FaceTiming with [my husband] Brooks this morning, and I was like, ‘Look. My butt’s bigger, my boobs are bigger, my waist is smaller.’ It’s kind of nice!”

Julianne Hough, RedbookCredit: Hudson Taylor
Hudson Taylor

But one thing that hasn’t changed about Hough’s exercise routine is her commitment to it.

“You don’t squeeze brushing your teeth or taking a shower into your schedule ‘if you have time.’ I try to treat working out like it’s the same kind of health must,” she says.

And to keep it fun, she mixes up her workouts as much as possible.

“I find it difficult to do the same thing all the time. It’s like, kill me now,” Hough jokes. “I need a class where there are people and music. Atmosphere is huge.”

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