Sam Smith’s body image journey has been a very public one. The singer expressed, “In the past, if I have ever done a photoshoot with so much as a t-shirt on, I have starved myself for weeks in advance and then picked and prodded at every picture and then normally taken the picture down.”
He continued, “Yesterday I decided to fight the […] back. Reclaim my body and stop trying to change this chest and these hips and these curves that my mum and dad made and love so unconditionally.”
Rihanna’s weight fluctuates quite a bit (whose doesn’t?) and now that she’s had a baby and is pregnant once again, it looks like we’re going to have baby bump Rihanna for a bit longer.
RiRi doesn’t seem like she’s going to argue that assessment anytime soon, as she’s said, “I know when I’m having a fat day and when I’ve lost weight. I accept all of the bodies. I’m not built like a Victoria’s Secret girl, and I still feel very beautiful and confident in my lingerie.”
Bella Thorne has past struggles with maintaining what she believes to be a healthy weight for herself. The actress said that she has a hard time eating when she’s stressed, which can lead to her feeling malnourished.
So as not to get worked up about gaining weight, Thorne has thrown her scale in the trash and encourages others to do the same. She exclaimed, “Throw away your scales, ladies […] As long as YOU feel better and you like the way you look that’s all that matters.”
Drew Barrymore lost a whopping 20 pounds in 2020, and expressed that she was thrilled with the results! Barrymore got a personal trainer, dedicated herself to practicing yoga, and took daily workouts more seriously than she had in the past. The actress encouraged her fans by saying, “Just so you know, if I can do this, anyone can do it.”
Well, anyone with thousands of dollars to shell out for a celebrity trainer. We get her point, though — and given that there are plenty of free workouts on YouTube, she’s right.
Demi Lovato has been very open with her fans about her struggles with body image. Perhaps she’s been a tad too forward with her feelings, for those who are familiar with the frozen yogurt shop debacle.
However, Lovato did get it right when she spoke about how she’s changed her perception of what it is to be beautiful. “All I have to say is, ‘I’m healthy.’ In that statement, I express gratitude. I am grateful for my strength and things I can do with my body.”
Hilary Duff suffered from an eating disorder when she was younger. So now, as an adult, she wants to shield her young fans from that fate. Duff has been extremely open about the fact that she exercises regularly, gets body makeup applied for photoshoots, and there’s always someone present whose job it is to make sure she looks good.
The actress has also clarified to her fans that while working on one’s body is important, Hilary wants to “work on the inside. That’s the most important part of the system.”
Rebel Wilson famously lost 77 pounds over the course of two years. Wilson attended a wellness retreat, switched to a high-protein diet, lowered her daily calorie intake, made sure to stay hydrated, and took up walking.
Some fans worried that Rebel had sold out to Hollywood’s beauty standards, but the actress quickly put those rumors to rest by saying, “For me, it was about being the healthiest version of me — it wasn’t about size or a number or whatever.”
Being a plus-sized model, Ashley Graham is no stranger to having her body scrutinized. Graham has spoken about her determination to do anything a model whose size zero would do. Ashley doesn’t believe in covering up in the summer, for fear of a belly roll or some cellulite showing.
On the contrary, she often posts photos of such instances on her social media. Alongside those pictures, Graham tells her fans, “Don’t let your mind stop you from enjoying your life to the fullest.”
Mariah Carey claims to embrace her body, but her tendency to edit her photos on social media tells a different story. We’re not judging — if we were constantly being scrutinized by the public, we’d probably do the same.
That being said, there’s some harm in creating unrealistic beauty standards. In her defense, Carey has admitted, “I have always had low self-esteem, and people do not recognize that.” If only body shamers didn’t make her feel compelled to alter her appearance…
America Ferrera knows better than most how Hollywood can mess with someone’s self-esteem. The actress has said that she used to struggle with getting leading roles because she was seen as “too brown, too fat, too poor, too unsophisticated.” Nowadays, though, Ferrera is too far up the elite ladder to be denied serious work.
She explains, “I grew up believing a lot of things about myself that I had to unlearn.” It seems like the entertainment industry had to unlearn some things, too.
Jonah Hill is proof that, sometimes, you need to make a change to improve your confidence — which is fine, as long as it’s for you and no one else. The actor lost over 40 pounds and has expressed that he’s happier in his new body type.
When asked about his secret, Hill explained, “I wish there was some crazy thing that I did, like a pill or a genie or something, but I went to see a nutritionist, and he told me what to eat to change my habits and stuff.”
Katy Perry exploded onto the music scene just as hourglass figures started to come back in style, while thinner bodies were fading out. Perry’s well aware that she’s part of this cultural shift, as she’s said, “I’m curvy, I’m not sample size, but I represent a lot of people out there.”
In recent years, Perry’s fitness routine has been moved to the back burner as she focuses on motherhood. Of course, that meant media scrutiny over her changed body, but Katy knows that she’s representing new moms everywhere.
Oprah Winfrey has often used her platform to discuss her struggles with body image and various diets over the years. These days, Winfrey has a strict exercise routine, even though she admits to hating it “so much.”
She has explained, “I think everyone’s waiting to love it. You’re not going to love it but you do the thing you need to do to make yourself feel whole and well.” For this celeb, it’s not about the number on the scale, but all about her health!
Poor Melissa McCarthy has had to deal with countless interviewers pretending to care about her health and well-being while calling her out for her weight on live TV. Truthfully, if they were really so concerned, they could’ve spoken to McCarthy about her size during the hours they were backstage in hair and makeup.
Of course, they always wait until there’s an audience. The actress isn’t buying into it, though, as she’s expressed, “My message is that as long as everybody’s healthy, enjoy and embrace whatever body type you have.”
Winnie Harlow shot to fame as a contestant on America’s Next Top Model where she got her first dose of the judgemental industry when Yu Tsai insisted on calling her “panda” despite Harlow asking him not to.
The rude nickname was a reference to the model’s vitiligo, an autoimmune disorder that causes patches of the skin to lose pigmentation. Resilient as ever, Winnie’s clarified, “I don’t find my beauty in the opinions of others. I’m beautiful because I know it.”
Due to her various health issues, Selena Gomez’s weight fluctuates often. However, in Hollywood, even a legitimate illness isn’t an excuse to pack on a few. Inexplicably, Gomez has needed to take to social media to explain her weight to critics.
The singer/actress let the public know that they don’t need to remind her of her changing body because she’s aware. She said, “Not a model, never will be. And I think they’re awesome, mind you, I just am definitely, definitely not that. So, that’s it.”
Lizzo has always been an advocate for body positivity, which is a big part of her personal brand. The singer has said, “Someone’s always going to have a critique, someone’s always going to have some negativity to say about me. So, all that matters is what I think of it.”
The singer continued, “And I had to go so deep inside myself and look in the mirror. Looking in the mirror and accepting what’s in the mirror is very, very difficult. And right now, I love it every time I look in the mirror.”
Jennifer Lawrence is a human being, so she sometimes sees herself inaccurately, as we all do. Whether that’s claiming that she’s the first female action star (she’s not) or that she’s paid less than her male counterparts (that’s true, but it’s not something normal people with ordinary salaries would think of as a big issue).
Well, another example is Lawrence talking about how overweight she is, even though she isn’t. The actress has said, “In Hollywood, I’m obese. I’m considered a fat actress.” Well, at least she’s confident about her imaginary fat.
People often seem to be confused as to why Serena Williams is famous. Williams is a tennis player, so of course, she isn’t going to have the same body type as a runway model. Hollywood likes all its celebrities to look a certain way, though, so Serena’s athletic figure is often the subject of scrutiny.
Williams, however, made it clear that her body does exactly what it needs to. She said, “I’m really happy with my body type, and I’m really proud of it. Obviously, it works out for me.”
Before she found fame with Glee, Amber Riley auditioned for American Idol but got rejected. Some believe the decision was due to her size, although that hasn’t been confirmed or denied by production.
Ironically, Riley returned to American Idol not as a contestant, but as a guest performer with the rest of the Glee cast. Amber recalled the incident, saying, “I had the full circle moment of realizing like it, it wasn’t that you weren’t good enough. It just wasn’t your time yet.”
Having found fame through a reality show rather than the traditional Hollywood channels, Kelly Clarkson doesn’t look like the typical singer who gets signed by a big record label. Clarkson has been open about producers pressuring her to go on a diet and magazines altering her photos.
Kelly herself has no issues with her body though. The singer has said, “If you gauge your life on what other people think, you’re going to be in a constant state of panic trying to please everyone.”
Given that her first hit single was the body-positive song “All About That Bass”, it’s no surprise that Meghan Trainor is a big believer in loving one’s figure — regardless of size.
Trainor spoke about the tune that made her famous by saying, “It was a song for myself about my body insecurities.” She also advised, “We should all have a big banner, or maybe a neon sign, in our bedrooms: Every inch of you is perfect.”
Cardi B’s appearance has changed quite dramatically over the years, as she had some cosmetic work done — and then undone when she suffered complications from the procedures. Nowadays, the rapper is learning to love and accept her body as it is, rather than risking her health to chase beauty standards.
Cardi apparently thought she was being unique when she said, “I like being perfect.” She either feels she’s reached that goal or that it’s no longer worth it, as she’s since announced, “I ain’t getting surgery again.”
Beyoncé is one of the pop stars who changed the beauty standards game. Relatable hits like “Bootylicious” bought Queen Bey a lot of credit to make up for whatever her newer music is. It’s not just Beyoncé’s art that’s changed, but also her concern with being a certain weight.
The singer has said, “My health, the way I feel when I wake up in the morning, my peace of mind, the number of times I smile, what I’m feeding my mind and my body — those are the things that I’ve been focusing on.”
In 2023, fans were hardly able to recognize Post Malone after his dramatic weight loss. A little less than a year prior, the singer announced that he’d be making some lifestyle changes while anticipating the birth of his first baby.
Post Malone declared, “Time to take care of my body and my family and friends, and spread as much love as we can every day.” Perhaps that’s where this change has come from? However Postie wants to show up, we’re here for it!
Halsey provided a service to women everywhere when she clarified that how she looked shortly after giving birth wasn’t a standard that every new mother needs to reach. The singer explained, “The body behind all those compliments the other night was wearing a custom-tailored outfit and lighted perfectly after much testing, so I could feel good and do my job.”
The star continued, “I do not want to feed the Illusion that you’re meant to feel and look ‘great’ immediately postpartum. That is not my narrative currently.” Thanks for keeping it real, Halsey!
When she was first starting out in Hollywood, Jennifer Lopez’s team begged the singer/actress to lose weight. Lopez held strong, though, and ironically her curves are a big part of what’s made her so famous.
JLo explained that such confidence often starts at home. She said, “My dad loved my mom’s body — all the men in our family loved the women’s bodies. […] And so, later on, when I brought that in front of the world, I wasn’t really trying to send a message. I was just being myself.”
Gigi Hadid had a tough time becoming an established model because she “didn’t have a runway body.” Hadid gave into the pressure — no judgment, we’d probably do the same — but she’s now at a point in her career in which she no longer has to play by the rules.
Perhaps she’ll try to get her old figure back? The model has confessed, “It was a body that I loved. I knew how hard I worked to have those muscles, to be curved in those places – I kind of miss it now.”
After getting a nose job that she’s come to regret, Bella Hadid has learned to love and accept her body exactly as it is. The model has said, “I’ve really learned that beauty for me is about that confidence within. And being able to work on your mental health.”
The model continued, “I look at my body now as a temple. Before, it kind of got to the point where my body wasn’t owned by me. Now I feel like I own my body again.”
Madonna has had a lot of cosmetic procedures lately, which is obviously fine and well since it’s her face. The confusing part is that she calls people “ageist” when they’re exhibiting the opposite behavior by saying they’d love to see the Queen of Pop age naturally.
Madonna announced, “I have never apologized for any of the creative choices I have made nor the way that I look or dress and I’m not going to start.” Nor should you! But also, please recognize that there’s nothing ageist about people advocating for aging naturally.
Ariana Grande has expressed concern for her young fans, given the pressure even non-celebs have to always look perfect. The singer wants to teach young women the same confidence her mother taught her.
Grande has said, “I think the thing that I want to instill in them most is [the message that] you are loved, and there are so many different kinds of beautiful. You are beautiful today if you have 10 cupcakes, and beautiful tomorrow if you do a juice cleanse. You’re beautiful because of who you are.”
Iggy Azalea was all of us when she said, “Some days I just think I want to crawl in my cave and I don’t feel confident at all, and other days I feel great.”
The rapper keeps her self-esteem up and her body healthy by exercising several times a week and eating a diet that restricts processed foods, carbs, and sugar. Of course, Azalea has had the help of cosmetic procedures too, but she’s always been honest about it.
Nicki Minaj has expressed that she regrets the cosmetic work she’s had done on her backside, but at the time, she felt it was necessary for her career.
Minaj explained, “All I would hear them talking about is big butts and I didn’t feel complete or good enough, good as those girls because I’m like ‘Oh my god, you know, this is what you’re supposed to look like in the rap culture and I don’t look like that.’” It seems that since her comeback, Nicki has embraced her natural figure.
Khloé Kardashian has suffered a lot of criticism due to her cosmetic procedures and photo editing, both of which are common practices within the Kardashian clan. However, the reality star has made it clear that she’s confident in her methods and doesn’t plan to change her ways.
Khloé said, “My body, my image, and how I choose to look and what I want to share is my choice. It’s not for anyone to decide or judge what is acceptable or not anymore.”
Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion is beloved by fans for posting relatable photos on social media, including some of her cellulite. The rapper made sure that no one has to wonder how she feels about her body when she took the time in one of her concerts to say, “I don’t know about y’all but I love my body.”
The star also exclaimed, “I do what I want to my body with who I want to with my body… if you love your body let me hear you make some noise.” Message received!
Although Dua Lipa meets Hollywood’s standards of the ideal body type, she’s still a human being and, therefore, has some insecurities about how she looks. However, the singer has a method to help herself feel confident each day.
Dua advises her fans, “I do feel quite confident in my body, there’s always going to be something you don’t like, but it’s so much healthier to tell yourself two things you like about yourself every day.”
At the time of writing, Cher is in her 70s but can still outlast a woman half her age at the gym. The singer admits that she works “twice as hard” to maintain her body these days, but is happy with the results.
Cher exercises, eats healthy, and takes care of her overall well-being. She believes that having her body type at a later age is that simple. Cher said, “I’ve killed myself in the gym to have this body. It isn’t like I have some amazing secret that nobody else has.”
Kate Hudson feels that, as a celebrity, she has a certain responsibility to her young fans. The actress has said, “If there is one thing I will never have, it is an eating disorder. […] Because it is a serious sickness, not something to plaster on the cover of a magazine.”
She has also expressed, “I’m pretty comfortable with my body. I’m imperfect. The imperfections are there. People are going to see them, but I take the view you only live once.” Finally, usage of the term YOLO we can actually get behind!
Over time, Tyra Banks has turned from runway model to full-on businesswoman, while having all sorts of careers in between. Naturally, as her roles change, so does the need to have a certain body type.
Banks is no longer required to have a model’s physique to do the work she’s currently doing (whether or not anyone should be compelled to have a model-esque body type for any job is an argument for another day). Tyra has proudly declared that, nowadays, “My body is fuller. And so is my mind.”
Former Little Mix member Jesy Nelson cites body image issues as one of the reasons that she left the girl group. While a solo career hasn’t solved all of Nelson’s problems, she does feel that it was the right move for her.
The singer says she’s been able to improve her confidence now that she’s no longer being compared to her former colleagues. Nowadays, Jesy says she’s “embracing the little pot chubs belly and I just love it.”
Christina Aguilera has been in the public eye since she was nine years old. Naturally, her body has gone through many changes — after all, no one looks the same at 40 as they did at 20. Aguilera has found herself the subject of criticism when she dared to age and put on a few pounds, rather than be forever 25.
The singer let everyone know exactly what she thinks of their judgment when she said, “As long as I’m happy in my own skin, that’s all I need, that’s all the confirmation I need.”
Amy Schumer isn’t a size zero. So, naturally, Hollywood tried to pressure her into losing weight. At first, Schumer complied but, according to her, she doesn’t look good slim — and the change didn’t last.
These days, the comedian is happy at her current weight and has the star power to ignore anyone who tries to change her. Amy has said, “I feel very good in my own skin. I feel strong. I feel healthy. I do.”
Lena Dunham doesn’t care about fitting into Hollywood’s idea of what a celebrity should look like. The actress showed her lack of concern with public opinion when she said, “Now I’m able to very proudly be in the body I’m in, recognizing what it’s taken to get here.”
Dunham continued, “I weigh the most I ever have, I love the most I ever have. I read and write and laugh the most I ever have. And I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.”
DJ Khaled knows that he’s not necessarily the most chiseled guy in the room, but he’s also not going to join the body-bashing brigade. The producer has said, “I’m not the slimmest guy — I’m not the biggest guy, but I don’t got a six-pack. But at the same time, I look in the mirror and I’m like, ‘Man, I’m gorgeous, I’m beautiful.’”
Who else finds this neutral perspective refreshing? It’s pretty ironic that we’re getting such a grounded analysis from a guy who gets paid to scream “We the best!”
Camila Cabello has received a lot of criticism for looking different now than she did in her Fifth Harmony days. Apparently, she’s supposed to look exactly the same after all these years.
Cabello spoke out about the media’s commentary on her beach body by saying, “Being at war with your body is so last season. We are real women, with curves, and cellulite, and stretch marks, and fat.” Name us a woman who doesn’t naturally have those things — we’ll wait.
Only a minimal range of body types was accepted in Hollywood for a long time. These days, though, Tinseltown has become a lot more diverse in its beauty standards. That’s not to say that there isn’t more work to do, but progress has definitely been made. However, these celebs have always been proud of their bodies — with or without the media’s approval.