Stars Who Have No Time For Your Body-Shaming
When Hilary Duff went on vacation with her young son in the summer of 2017, she preempted any Internet body-shaming by sharing a paparazzi photo herself — along with a message to all women who struggle with body image. “Since websites and magazines love to share ‘celeb flaws’ — well I have them!” she wrote. “I'm turning 30 in September and my body is healthy and gets me where I need to go. Ladies, let’s be proud of what we've got and stop wasting precious time in the day wishing we were different, better, and unflawed.” She finished her post with a message to those who would criticize her body: “You guys (you know who you are!) already know how to ruin a good time, and now you are body-shamers as well. #kissmyass.”
Chloë Grace Moretz
Years after the fact, Chloë Grace Moretz still has troubling memories of one particular instance of body-shaming. In a 2017 interview, the actress said she was once told by a male costar, who was playing her love interest, “I would never date you in real life” because “you’re too big for me.” As if that wasn’t bad enough, Moretz was only 15 at the time, and the actor was in his mid-20s. Moretz said it was “really hard” to return to the set and act opposite him again, and that the whole experience “makes you realize that there are some really bad people out there, and for some reason, he felt the need to say that to me. You have to kind of forgive and not forget, really, but it was just like, wow. It was jarring.” Earlier in 2017, Moretz spoke out against the body-shaming poster for the animated film Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs, in which she voiced the lead role. She apologized for the offensive ad, tweeting that she was “appalled and angry” and that the film’s marketing “wasn’t approved by me or my team.”
Internet commenters went after Selena Gomez in 2015, when the singer was photographed in a bikini on vacation. The former child star responded to the hate by Instagramming a shot of herself in a plunging one-piece with sheer panels, captioning the photo, "I love being happy with me yall #theresmoretolove." A few months later, Gomez commented on the incident in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, saying on the talk show, "I don't what them to win. It's so annoying when I see it all over the place and everybody thinks they can bring me down. So my immediate response was, I’m gonna post a picture and I’m like, 'I’m happy with me y'all,' and that was gonna be the story the next day. I wasn't gonna let that be the story. That wasn’t the story."
Lena Dunham has never shied away from talking about issues of body image and health. The Girls actress made headlines in 2017 as she changed her exercise routine as a part of her endometriosis treatment. Dunham had no interest in the coverage, taking to Instagram to share an article with the headline reading "People Need to Stop Talking About Lena Dunham's Weight," and adding her own two cents by writing, "I feel I've made it pretty clear over the years that I don't give even the tiniest of shits what anyone else feels about my body. I've gone on red carpets in couture as a size 14. I've done sex scenes days after surgery, mottled with scars. I've accepted that my body is an ever changing organism, not a fixed entity- what goes up must come down and vice versa. I smile just as wide no matter my current size because I'm proud of what this body has seen and done and represented. Chronic illness sufferer. Body-shaming vigilante. Sexual assault survivor. Raging hottie. Just like all of YOU. Right now I'm struggling to control my endometriosis through a healthy diet and exercise. So my weight loss isn't a triumph and it also isn't some sign I've finally given in to the voices of trolls. Because my body belongs to ME--at every phase, in every iteration, and whatever I'm doing with it, I'm not handing in my feminist card to anyone."
Tyra Banks shut down body-shaming in one famed installment of her talk show. The then-host of The Tyra Show pulled up tabloid photos of herself on the beach in a swimsuit and stood next to the images in the same suit to deliver a powerful monologue: "If I had lower self esteem, I would probably be starving myself right now," she said. "But, that's exactly what is happening to other women all over this country. So, I have something to say to all of you that have something nasty to say about me or other women who are built like me...women whose names you know, women whose names you don't, women who've been picked on, women whose husbands put them down, women at work or girls in school — I have one thing to say to you: kiss my fat ass."
Emma Stone sounded off on body-shaming in an interview with USA Today in 2014. "I've shamed myself for it. We shame each other online. We're always too skinny or too fat or too tall or too short," she said, addressing people who feel the need to comment on her weight. "They're just confirming this feeling I have about myself. I'm trying to figure my body out. It bothers me because I care so much about young girls. We're shaming each other and we're shaming ourselves, and it sucks."
Amy Schumer has repeatedly faced commenters who attempted to body-shame her over social media. The actress posted a photo of herself in a swimsuit on Instagram in December 2016 and wrote, "Is it fat shaming if you know you're not fat and have zero shame in your game? I don't think so. I am strong and proud of how I live my life and say what I mean and fight for what I believe in and I have a blast doing it with the people I love. Where's the shame? It's not there. It's an illusion. When I look in the mirror I know who I am. Im a great friend, sister, daughter and girlfriend. I'm a badass comic headlining arenas all over the world and making tv and movies and writing books where I lay it all out there and I'm fearless like you can be. Thanks to everyone for the kind words and support and again my deepest sympathy goes out to the trolls who are in more pain than we will ever understand... Anyone who has ever been bullied or felt bad about yourself I am out there fighting for you, for us. And I want you to fight for yourself too! We need to laugh at the haters and sympathize with them. They can scream as loud as they want. We can't hear them because we are getting s--- done. I am proud to lead by example."
Lady Gaga took the national stage in February 2017, when she performed at the Super Bowl halftime show. Some viewers chose to comment on the singer's weight after her performance, prompting Gaga to Instagram a photo from the set. "I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I'm proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too," she captioned the shot. "No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don't need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That's the stuff of champions."
Jessica Simpson was targeted as her body changed during her pregnancy. The singer touched on the matter in a 2014 interview with Redbook, telling the magazine, "I never listen to it, no matter who the press talks about when they’re pregnant. It’s ridiculous and unfair. I think any woman who is pregnant and creating a life is pretty much entitled to eat whatever she wants as long as she’s healthy. I wasn’t going to let the media take away from what was one of the happiest times in my life."
Often the subject of body-shaming, Kim Kardashian shared her thoughts in an open letter on her personal website in March 2016. "I am empowered by my body. I am empowered by my sexuality. I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin," she wrote. "I am empowered by showing the world my flaws and not being afraid of what anyone is going to say about me... The body-shaming and slut-shaming — it's like, enough is enough."
Jennifer Lawrence shut down body-shamers in 2013, discussing the issue in a conversation with Yahoo. "The world has a certain idea — we see this airbrushed perfect model image," she said. "You just have to look past it. You look how you look. And be comfortable. What are you gonna do, be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That's just dumb."
Alyssa Milano rose above when a comedian took issue with her weight in 2014. Jay Mohr joked about the actress' appearance after giving birth, prompting Milano to tweet to Mohr, "So sorry you felt the need to publicly fat-shame me. Be well and God Bless. Please send my love to your beautiful wife." Mohr later apologized for what he said and for her part, Milano forgave, tweeting, "Thank you. Apology accepted. (She grunts while aggressively yet cautiously prying off her head-to-toe Spanx). #PassTheCookies"
Kate Winslet used her platform at We Day U.K. to take on bullying and body-shaming, telling the crowd at the event, "I had been bullied at school. They called me Blubber. Teased me for wanting to act. Locked me in the cupboard. Laughed at me... I wasn’t the prettiest. I was even told that I might be lucky in my acting if I was happy to settle for the fat-girl parts. [Casting agents] would say, ‘You're just not what we’re looking for Kate.’ I’d hear that a lot... I didn’t lock myself away and give up on my dream. I fought back. I had to ignore the negative comments. I had to believe in myself. I had to choose to rise above it all, and I had to work hard. You have to be indestructible to do what you love, and believe that you are worth it. And sometimes that’s the hardest part... You are being your best and you own that. Nobody can take that away from you ever."
Khloe Kardashian has repeatedly addressed critics who have spoken about her weight. "I don't care what weight I am. It's genuinely about me being healthy," she said in a December 2016 interview with Shape. The reality star took to Twitter a few months earlier to sound off on those who went from saying she weighed too much to too little, tweeting, "I need to remember the date today!! Never would I have ever thought I would be in the media for being "too skinny". What on earth?!?!... First I'm too fat and now I'm too skinny. I love this game!!"
Kelly Clarkson was targeted by body-shamers in 2015, but quickly brushed off the comments. "I’ve just never cared what people think," the singer said in an interview with Heat magazine. "It’s more if I’m happy and I’m confident and feeling good. That’s always been my thing. And more so now, since having a family – I don’t seek out any other acceptance."