The Big Bang Theory's Mayim Bialik talks about body shaming and why she doesn't feel empowered by showing off her "imperfections"

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While the body positivity movement focuses on embracing cellulite and stretch marks, Mayim Bialik says she doesn’t find it empowering.

The Big Bang Theory star applauds the women who show off and embrace their “imperfections” — Bialik names Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model Hunter McGrady and Amy Schumer as two of them — but says it’s not for her.

“Honestly, that’s totally great for those women. I don’t have those feelings about the ‘imperfections’ of my body at all,” Bialik, 41, tells Glamour. “It’s something I spoke to Hunter about. I said, ‘I understand there are some women who love to show off their cellulite and stretch marks; I don’t feel empowered by that.’ I think that’s going to vary, and I think both things need to be OK.”

The actress and author of the new book, Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular attributes the opposing mindsets to a generational difference.

“I don’t feel shamed. I grew up with a very different standard of beauty and attractiveness, as did many women my age,” she says. “It takes a lot of adjusting for some of us to get used to this notion that all of a sudden things women were teased for and hated for I’m now supposed to flaunt. It’s just not how my brain’s going to work, but I think both things can be OK.”

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Credit: Peter Zambouros

Bialik says it helped that she grew up without much criticism over her body, despite working in Hollywood from a young age — and was never told to change her appearance.

“I mean, I always thought about getting a nose job and all of those things because that was the conversation around prominent features when I was growing up in the ’80s and ’90s. But no, there was never anything in particular,” she says. “I was a very late bloomer, so I didn’t really get curves or anything until the end of Blossom, which was kind of good. I didn’t really think anything about my body. I was very athletic.”

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She argues in her book that this is actually the toughest time to be a woman, more “than any other time in history.”

“I think every generation feels like they’ve got it hard or ‘It’s never been like this,’ but when you look at the complexity of this generation, and how close and how far it is from the women’s movement and the civil rights movement … there’s a lot that’s brewing right now,” Bialik adds to Glamour. “We’ve swung back to what’s kind of a third-wave feminism, which I’m still sort of learning about. I feel like we’ve kind of swung back with equating empowerment with sexuality; in some cases sexuality can be very empowering, but not every single case.”

Bialik’s new book, Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular, is on sale now.