All eyes are on Raven-Symoné this week as the actress returns home to the Disney Channel with the debut of the That’s So Raven! spinoff, Raven’s Home. The series follows Raven and BFF Chelsea (Anneliese van der Pol), who are divorced, single mothers raising their kids in the same household. Of course, craziness ensues when it’s revealed that Raven’s son has the same psychic powers that she does.
Symoné has grown up before our eyes since breaking out as a child star on The Cosby Show, but a lot of her growth has happened since the finale of That’s So Raven! in 2007. Here’s how the star changed over the last decade.
In 2017, everyone is sporting unicorn hair, but Symoné did it long before it was in vogue. She has shared her evolving styles and colors with her fans on Instagram over the years — from natural hair to a snow-white mohawk, no one does it better than Symoné.
The rumors about her personal life started to heat up in 2012, and she addressed the gossip with a pointed tweet.
"My sexual orientation is mine, and the person I'm datings [sic] to know. I'm not one for a public display of my life," Symoné wrote. "I'm living my PERSONAL life the way I'm happiest. I'm not one, in my 25-year career to disclose who I'm dating. and I shall not start now."
That all changed a little over a year later when the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act in August 2013. She tweeted her elation at finally being able to get married and officially outing herself on Twitter.
I can finally get married! Yay government! So proud of you— Raven-Symonè (@ravensymone) August 2, 2013
Symoné has showed off new sides of herself in the last decade. She utilized her triple-threat status as a singer, dancer and actor by dipping her toes into the Broadway waters in Sister Act in 2012.
Once her run in the show concluded, Symoné briefly retired from acting in 2013 to take some classes at the Academy of Art University to pursue a degree in fine arts. She never graduated and she ended her hiatus by joining The View in May 2015.
Symoné went from actress to TV talk show host in May 2015 when she joined the ladies at The View. Her time on the show was tumultuous at best because she constantly found herself embroiled in one controversy after another — from religious to racial debates, many viewers were over Symoné’s stances on many of the show’s Hot Topics. Yet she persisted and stood her ground throughout and never wavered on her beliefs.
She departed the show in December 2016 to focus on the reboot of her Disney Channel show. The View has returned to a much calmer place since her departure as well.
The one area she didn’t form a strong opinion in was the Bill Cosby sexual assault allegations. While Keshia Knight Pulliam escorted her former TV father to court, Symoné had mixed feelings about the situation.
"I don't really like to talk about [the Bill Cosby scandal] that much because he's the reason I'm on this panel in the first place. He gave me my first job," she said on The View in 2015. "But at the same time you need the proof, and then I'll be able to give my judgment here or there. And now there's real facts."
The only thing she did clarify is that she was never harmed during her time on the show, which was really never a question given the fact that she started the show at the age of 3.
Symoné has embraced her curves for years, but she felt she needed to focus more on her health during the last few years of her Disney Channel show.
"I didn’t understand that all I could have was 12 almonds when there was a plate of doughnuts!” Symoné told People magazine in 2011. “I was addicted to that Thanksgiving feeling of cleaning your plate.”
That all changed when she decided to put her health first and work with nutritionist Philip Goglia. The result was a 70-pound weight loss.
“It’s great to put on clothes and not wear a girdle,” she said. “And my thighs look super good!”
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