The pressures of Hollywood are real, and as a “bigger” young actress, Raven-Symoné admits she experienced those anxieties firsthand.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Raven-Symoné has opened up about the pressure to be thin, but it is the first time she talked about the extreme measures she went to to make her body look “a certain way.”
The actress said she’s been wearing Spanx since she was just 14 years old. But not just Spanx, “I used to put on two or three Spanx at a time and then a minimizer,” she explained while cohosting The View on Wednesday.
Raven-Symoné said even her mother didn’t support her daughter’s attempts to make her body look a specific way. “My mom said, ‘You have to stop ’cause you’re starting to look like a kielbasa.”
But as a young star in the spotlight, Raven-Symoné’s mother couldn’t trump the voice of TV executives, it seems. She explained in a 2014 interview with Oprah Winfrey, “I lost weight to keep people from talking to me. I got tired and irritated. I was proud at the time, and I am — I love my thick, thick self. But now that I lost weight, it’s like, ‘OK, let me go back to the gym and get it together.’ And as soon as I lost the weight, it became ‘thick girl season.’ Everyone just started to be thick on television and I’m like, ‘Are they getting the same backlash that I am?’ ‘Cause I was thick!”
Hopefully, Raven-Symoné has since learned to embrace herself and who she is inside and out. After all, she landed a coveted role in Fox’s breakout hit, Empire. She also has a role in the upcoming animated feature, Animal Crackers, in which she’ll voice the character Binkley alongside Emily Blunt, Danny DeVito and Sylvester Stallone.
Here’s to hoping “thick girl season” makes way for “you are awesome just how you are season” in the very near future.