Wise Words from Celebrities on Body Image

Pop culture has been recently filled with celebrities talking about body image. Body image isn’t a new topic of interest in Hollywood, but the recent comments made by various celebrities are refreshing.

In Hollywood, there are women of all sizes. Celebrities like Lena Dunham and Mindy Kaling are a little more voluptuous. Then there are women like Jennifer Lawrence, who are kind of in the middle. And then there are the skinny-mini’s like Taylor Swift and Emma Stone.

A few of these celebrities recently spoke out about body image, the ridicule they’ve received, and how they really feel about their bodies. It’s so refreshing to hear celebrities talk about the struggles they’ve had and their insecurities, but how they love their bodies, just the way they are.

Mindy Kaling, best known for The Office and The Mindy Project, is a healthy and average size 10-12, which is below the average size of women in America (size 14).

Even though she’s an average size, people still harass her about her weight:

“I am the recipient of a lot of backhanded compliments about it, where people are like, ‘It’s so nice that Mindy Kaling doesn’t feel she needs to subscribe to the ideals of beauty that other people do.’ And I’m like, ‘I do subscribe!’ They’re like, ‘It’s so refreshing that Mindy feels comfortable to let herself go and be a fat sea monster.’ By the way, I like run and work out. It takes a lot of effort to look like a normal/chubby woman. The way they talk about it, [it’s] like, ‘She’s a pioneer because she’s glued to her sofa.’ Some people were pretty mean about it, but then some people were like, ‘She’s just so courageous!’”

Mindy is a comedian, so it’s no surprise that she deals with criticism by joking about it. But it’s also refreshing to have a woman like Mindy to look up to – who strives to be healthy, but loves her body and is confident in her own skin. In another interview, Mindy gave more detail about her life and body image:

“There’s a whole list of things I would probably change about myself. For example, I’m always trying to lose fifteen pounds. But I never need to be skinny. I don’t want to be skinny. I’m constantly in a state of self-improvement”—[Mindy does Barre exercise and occasional spin classes]—“but I don’t beat myself up over it.”

It’s good to be healthy and active, but it’s also good not to “beat yourself up over it.” Mindy really understands that and although she could be starving herself to be skinnier, she has a healthy outlook on her life and body. Balance and moderation is key. Everyone loves a good donut from time to time, but to eat a dozen donuts every day is probably not healthy. And my motto is – the more active you are, the more donuts and sweets you get to eat.

Actress Jennifer Lawrence is another woman who has a really balanced view of her body. She has been ridiculed for her weight in the past and there is often media buzz about her not being a teeny-tiny actress.  “In Hollywood, I’m obese. I’m considered a fat actress, I’m Val Kilmer in that one picture on the beach,” Lawrence has joked. When she began filming The Hunger Games, she was considered “too big” to play the role of Katniss:

“When we were doing the first The Hunger Games, it was a big discussion, ’cause it’s called The Hunger Games—she’s from District 12, she’s obviously underfed, so she would be incredibly thin. But, I just kept saying, ‘We have the ability to control this image that young girls are going to be seeing,’ Girls see enough of this body that we can’t imitate, that we’ll never be able to obtain, these unrealistic expectations, and this is gonna be their hero, and we have control over that.”

What a great role model for young women and for all of us. Jennifer is one of the most popular and captivating actresses in Hollywood today, but she refuses to play the “Hollywood starvation game” and just strives to live a healthy and balanced life. Jennifer probably worked out a lot while filming The Hunger Games, but she also loves food. We need more role models like Jennifer Lawrence.

On the other side of the spectrum, there are some girls who are naturally skinny and have a difficult time keeping weight on. Actress Emma Stone, from The Amazing Spiderman 2, is one of those women:

“It can be really challenging in today’s world for anyone—especially girls and women—to feel good about their bodies. No matter how things look from the outside, we can all be super critical of ourselves and of our image in the mirror. I’ve seen articles or comments that have addressed my weight, or ‘caving to pressure to be thin. Keeping weight on is a struggle for me—especially when I’m under stress, and especially as I’ve gotten older.”

Emma followed this up with some inspiring advice. She said when people make comments about her weight and she’s feeling insecure, she asks herself, “Am I taking care of myself in a healthy way? Am I respecting myself and being responsible? And over and over, I answer yes to that question. Then I remind myself to be kind to myself, and as slightly ridiculous as it may sound, to treat myself in the same gentle way I’d want to treat a daughter of mine. It really helps.”

She concluded the discussion on body image with some wise and powerful words:

“If what someone else says can easily derail you, it means your sense of self isn’t that firmly established in the first place. It’s an inside job. You’re beautiful and worthy and totally unique. People insult each other based on their own insecurities—even though it may feel personal, it really never is. Really. Seriously.”

“People insult each other based on their own insecurities.” How powerful and true. If someone is giving you a hassle about your body (or anything else, for that matter), they are probably just insecure themselves.

The truth is – women are beautiful and captivating, no matter what size they are. It’s good to be healthy and take care of your body, so you’ll live a healthy, long life – but, the most important thing is to love who you are and love your body, no matter what size you are.