Let me start out by saying this: I’m amazed by the incredible responses I received after writing this article, which showcased ten female celebrities who have a great outlook on body image. But then again, I shouldn’t be surprised – this site is geared for everyone, but most of the readers I’ve interacted with have been smart, happy, confident individuals who have been extremely progressive towards viewing women and each other in a healthy and supportive way. I’m happy you found the list inspiring.
It made me realize that there are far more celebrities out there who promote a healthy and happy mindset, and they’ve been extremely beneficial towards educating young men and women to accept and appreciate their peers and their communities regardless of their body type. So let’s say we expand this list, shall we?
Ladies and gentleman, here are ten more celebrities who deserve some recognition over their views on body image. Let’s start the list at #11, to continue on from the original piece.
11. Zooey Deschanel
Zooey’s views on body image are just one of the many reasons why we absolutely adore her. In an article with Glamour magazine last year, she addressed the issue by saying that while growing up, her on-screen heroes (like Debra Winger, Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton) were never at a level of thinness that others would claim to be alarming. “You do not need to look or be anorexic to be successful in Hollywood,” she said. “The range of what’s acceptable is larger than what people believe.”
In a 2012 interview with Allure, Zooey admitted that she followed a healthy diet of vegetables, grains and proteins, but she wasn’t obsessed with staying thin. She believes she’s at a healthy weight (and she is!) and that she shouldn’t have to strive to get smaller. Being healthy and confident definitely makes her a great role model for pretty much everyone.
12. Christina Hendricks
I’m pretty sure that Christina Hendricks is the girl that every guy I know, including my husband, has a crush on. And that’s cool, since she’s extremely crush-worthy for multiple reasons. Who doesn’t love her portrayal of Joan on Mad Men?
Even after springing into Hollywood, Christina’s down-to-earth nature makes her extremely relatable. In an interview she did with WebMD about loving your body, she was quoted as saying, “Even now, it’s never been a focus in my life. I’ve always been fit, I’ve always been active, and I’ve always been healthy, but I’ve just tried to live my life the way I live it. It’s nice that I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about it lately, but I’m just doing what I normally do.”
13. Lupita Nyong’o
Lupita has been an amazing role model for multiple reasons. For one, she just launched into the spotlight after her very first film, 12 Years A Slave, was rightfully nominated for multiple awards at the Oscars and the Golden Globes. Her role as Patsey won her the Best Supporting Actress trophy at the Academy Awards this year, and she gave an amazing acceptance speech that ended with “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from your dreams are valid.” Note: I might be a little teary eyed while I’m writing this. It’s – uh. spring allergies.
Lupita gave another stunning speech at the ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon, which will probably never, ever be forgotten. She mentioned getting a fan letter that thanked her and told her she was lucky to be “this black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight.” Here’s part of her speech (and here’s a link to the full speech, since you definitely need to see and/or hear it.)
“…My mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.
And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul.”
14. Tyra Banks
Remember back when a picture of Tyra in a strapless bathing suit circulated and made headlines for some reason? She didn’t let it bother her – and even addressed it loudly on her talk show. Probably because weight has been such an issue in Tyra’s life, that she’s grown to accept her own absolutely gorgeous self. In fact, this year she signed on to be a spokesperson of the ‘Fight Fat Talk’ Campaign, and hopes to bring along the message that women need to stop shaming themselves.
“About 93% of women ‘fat talk’ about themselves and that struck a chord,” she said in an interview with HuffPost UK Lifestyle. “Women are doing it in front of their daughters – they’re saying my body is disgusting, it makes me feel sick and so on. And I’m thinking, your daughter is probably your size and she’s hearing that? That stuff is crazy…. For women to say that to themselves – that’s damaging and you get caught up in that negativity. And that negativity gets in the way of managing your weight.”
15. Kelly Clarkson
Back in 2009, Kelly was a speaker at a self-esteem workshop sponsored by Dove, and made sure her young audience knew that “everyone in the magazines is Photoshopped! Beyoncé is one of the most beautiful girls in the world but she gets Photoshopped too. We’re all human!”
That same year, Kelly was featured on the cover of SELF magazine, in their “Body Confidence Issue”. The problem was, she was very visually altered to appear much slimmer than she actually was. While Editor-In-Chief Lucy Danzinger didn’t outwardly apologize for the unrealistic image, Kelly made sure that the article at least rang true.
“My happy weight changes,” Kelly said in her issue. “Sometimes I eat more; sometimes I play more. I’ll be different sizes all the time. When people talk about my weight, I’m like, ‘You seem to have a problem with it; I don’t. I’m fine!’ I’ve never felt uncomfortable on the red carpet or anything.”
16. Kate Upton
Kate had quite the battle with critics in 2012 – since obviously, proving herself as a beautiful and talented swimsuit model wasn’t good enough for some people.
One critic was a blogger, who stated that Upton was “confidently lumbering up the runway like there’s a buffet at the end of it,” and also called her a “little piggie” with “huge thighs, no waist, big fat floppy boobs, terrible body definition.” Really? This is how the world still works?
Kate’s response, through The Sun, was “I’m not going to starve just to be thin. I want to enjoy life and I can’t if I’m not eating and miserable.”
17. Jennifer Lopez
The beautiful Jennifer Lopez started her career by being a Fly Girl on the television show In Living Color – and that’s where she realized how much difference a healthy sense of confidence made. In an interview with the Huffington Post, J-Lo said “When I first started on television, people, and even my own manager at the time, would tell me I had to make all of these changes. But you have to stand up and say, ‘There’s nothing wrong with me or my shape or who I am, you’re the one with the problem!’ And when you can really believe that, all of a sudden other people start believing too.”
This is absolutely amazing advice that all women (and men as well!) should hold onto. When you don’t view yourself as having physical faults, others will realize that there’s nothing for them to pick apart.
18. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah’s fluctuating weight made headlines for years – and eventually, people finally stopped caring. Probably because Oprah is a guiding light to pretty much everyone (including Lindsay Lohan), and the fact that she’s happy and confident is way more important than her dress size.
While she’ll readily admit that she struggled with her body for years, she realized that focusing on her size was merely just a part of her ego.
In an interview last year with the Huffington Post, Oprah came clean by saying “[Ego] is sick. It’s wily, it’s cunning, it’s deceptive. It’s an impostor imposing on the real you. You’re not the shape of your body. You’re not your status. You’re not your position in life. You’re not the car you drive, no matter how fancy it is. You’re not your house or your square footage.”
Know what? She’s absolutely right. (But I never doubted that. I mean – it’s Oprah we’re talking about.)
19. Drew Barrymore
I’ll admit it here – sometime in the near future, I hope to be a mother. When I was younger, my views on pregnant women stemmed from tabloid magazines that I saw at checkout lines. Celebrities slimmed down so quickly that I figured it’d be the equivalent to Pregnant Barbie. You know – you pop off the stomach, there’s a baby inside, and a thin stomach underneath. With age, I realized this is not the case.
You have no clue how happy I am for celebrities who keep it real, and realize that getting back to their pre-pregnancy shape shouldn’t be their top priority, nor should their body change be something they’re ashamed of. Drew Barrymore is an amazing example of a Mom with a great head on her shoulders.
20. Jenna Fischer
I feel like one of the reasons why we always rooted for Pam Beesley was based on the fact that Jenna made the character extremely relatable. The good news is, Jenna is pretty relatable off-screen as well.
Currently expecting baby #2, Jenna has made it evident based on her attitude towards her first pregnancy (when The Office was still going strong) that weight loss isn’t the first thing on her mind after the baby arrives.
“Let me please stand in solidarity with all of the women who are not a size 2 six weeks after leaving the hospital,” Jenna told Us Weekly at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards back in 2012. “I thought, you read all of the stuff in magazines like, ‘Oh, I breastfed my baby and I am so skinny now.’ I am breast-feeding my baby and I am not getting any skinnier!… I think I’m just going to be a little bit bigger for a little bit longer, and that’s fine with me.”
What do you think of the newest additions to the list?