It’s no secret that our culture has an unhealthy obsession with being thin. From the portrayal of women in the media to those retouched images of models in magazines, there are tons of factors that teach us to believe our weight determines our self-worth. Dealing with this reality as a woman is hard enough on its own, but when you’re a female celebrity who’s constantly in the spotlight, the pressure to be skinny increases tenfold – and of course, everyone thinks that they’re entitled to share their opinions on how you ought to look.
It can make a woman feel insecure about her appearance, but there are so many brave celebrities, like Adele and Ashley Graham, who’ve fired back at critics and proved that being stick thin is not the definition of “beautiful.” See which other body positive female celebrities have proudly embraced their gorgeous curves, despite the criticism.
23. Kelly Clarkson
Kelly has felt the heat of body-shaming comments from online bullies, and some even when as far as to create whole websites just to poke fun at her size. TV personality Katie Hopkins once body-shamed the American Idol winner in a tweet saying, “What happened to Kelly Clarkson? Did she eat all of her backing singers? Happily I have wide-screen.” But despite the negative comment, Kelly brushed it off with the best response.
“That’s because she doesn’t know me. I’m awesome! It doesn’t bother me. It’s a free world. Say what you will. I’ve just never cared what people think. 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,” she told Heat magazine.
After gaining some weight, she received tons of body-shaming comments from fans. But she responded in the best possible way — by writing a song about it.
“I wrote [the song “Bootylicious”] because, at the time, I’d gained some weight and the pressure that people put you under, the pressure to be thin, is unbelievable. I was just 18 and you shouldn’t be thinking about that… The song was just telling everyone to just forget what people are saying, you’re bootylicious. That’s all. It’s a celebration of curves and a celebration of women’s bodies,” she explained. *Turns on “Bootylicious” on peak volume RN*
21. Jennifer Hudson
During a red carpet event, an interviewer once bluntly asked her, “How does it feel to be plus-sized in Hollywood?” She was quite taken aback.
“I looked around, like, ‘Who is she talking to? Oh, me? I’m plus-sized?’ In the neighborhood I’m from in Chicago, a size 16 is normal. But in Hollywood, everyone looks exactly the same, so I stood out,” she said of the whole situation. What a strange question to be asked.
20. America Ferrera
In a cover photo for Glamour magazine, America was photoshopped so much that she looked almost half her original size. To make matters even worse, she was also asked about being the “spokeswoman for curvy women in Hollywood.” But on her 33rd birthday, she shared the most inspiring message about accepting her body for what it is.
“I finally understand that my body is a miracle! After too many years of criticizing, punishing, depriving, or neglecting my body for what it isn’t, I’m attempting to love it unapologetically as it is! Thank you body for 33 years of standing with me even when I wasn’t on your side,” she posted to Instagram. We love it.
19. Demi Lovato
All the criticism from fans about her looking “fat” in some of her photos ultimately turned her into the queen of body positivity. She admitted to not liking her curves before, but she eventually learned to embrace them, especially after suffering from an eating disorder.
“I’m always going to have thick thighs. I can’t change that, and obsessing over it will only make me miserable. Learning to be grateful for our bodies and taking care of them are the best ways for us to empower ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually,” she told Fitness Magazine.
18. Kim Kardashian
An unretouched image of the reality star got leaked at one point, and it showed her looking noticeably bigger with a few stretch marks. As you can imagine, the backlash was insane, but Kim stood by her curves.
“I’m proud of my body and my curves and this picture coming out is probably helpful for everyone to see that just because I am on the cover of a magazine doesn’t mean I’m perfect.” she revealed on her blog. The Kardashian crew has been a part of quite a few photoshop fails which show them altering photos before posting them online, but it’s nice to know that when push comes to shove — the mother of two is not ashamed of the curvy body she’s known for.
17. Khloe Kardashian
A lot of fans called her “plus-sized,” but she hated the label and was pretty vocal about not wanting to be called that.
“I’m a woman with curves. I’m what I would say is average-size at the time [before she lost a lot of weight]. I was very proud of who I was, and I felt so shamed … I still don’t think I was big. I know I was bigger than I am now, but I was like, ‘I am sexy and hot, and I want to be in a body-con dress and a pair of jeans,’ and that was just me. I think you should be confident and comfortable in your own skin.” Khloe explained.
16. Christina Hendricks
A fashion critic named Cathy Horyn basically insulted the actress by dissing her size and her look. She said, “You don’t put a big girl in a big dress.” The eff?!?! However, it didn’t bother Christina in the slightest.
“Sure, I’d be happier with 10 pounds off — wouldn’t every woman? But when I looked at pictures of myself I thought I looked beautiful. I didn’t tear myself apart,” she responded.
15. Drew Barrymore
People were quick to criticize Drew’s post-baby body when she shared a photo of herself in a bikini. But she made it pretty clear that she’s not so concerned about what people think.
“I’d rather be a few pounds heavier and enjoy life than be worried all the time. If you’re too thin, they kill you and if you’re too fat, they kill you. There’s no such thing as perfection and someone else’s definition of it is not good enough for me,” she once told Elle Magazine.
14. Jennifer Lopez
Although she’s well known for her curves, it’s the very thing that she’s been most criticized for. Sites have claimed that her thighs and butt are too big, but J.Lo has always been proud of her size.
“I like my body. I have a butt, I have boobs, and I have a woman’s curves; there is no way I’d see them go to zero. I hate to look in a magazine and see a picture of a girl who looks so thin she looks unhappy and as if she just needs someone to give her a good meal,” she said.
13. Jennifer Love Hewitt
When unflattering photos of the actress in a bikini surfaced, she received tons of negative comments about her curves. But Jennifer responded with: “Being a size zero doesn’t make you beautiful.”
12. Tyra Banks
It all started with one unflattering pic of the model in a swimsuit. She looked bigger than usual and people started to label her as fat. But then she addressed it on her talk show and fired back.
“To all of you that have something nasty to say about me or other women that 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 that work or girls in school, I have one thing to say to you… Kiss my fat a**,” she said. YYYAAAAASSSSSS.
Earlier this year, Barstool Sports actually published a piece called “Is Rihanna Going to Make Being Fat the Hot New Trend?” The author body-shamed the singer and went as far as asking if she would inspire “all the hottest girls [to] look like the humans in Wall-E.” Okay, so they’re canceled. But Rihanna shook it off and responded with a hilarious Gucci Mane meme on Instagram, because she’s totally comfortable with her body image.
“I realized that I actually like my body, even if it’s not perfect according to the book. I just feel sexy. For the first time, I don’t want to get rid of the curves. I just want to tone it up. My body is comfortable, and it’s not unhealthy, so I’m going to rock with it,” she once told Vogue.
10. Christina Aguilera
The singer gained weight after splitting from her ex-husband, Jordan Bratman, which of course had people passing judgements. Everyone, including media outlets and fans, pointed out that she looked “fat” and even suspected that she might be pregnant. But Christina didn’t let that faze her.
“Whatever size women are, we shouldn’t be ashamed of ourselves or our bodies,” the “Genie in a Bottle” singer said.
9. Gabourey Sidibe
The actress faced tons of backlash from fans who had a lot to say about her size and outfit at the 2014 Golden Globes, but she had the perfect comeback.
“To people making mean comments about my GG pics, I mos def cried about it on that private jet on my way to my dream job last night. #JK.” she tweeted. LOL.
8. Rebel Wilson
For the longest while, fans have openly criticized the Pitch Perfect actress because of her weight. But Rebel has made it clear that she has no intention of conforming to other people’s standards of beauty…
not now or ever.
“I don’t really care what I look like that much, and I think women out there should just be happy with the way they look. They shouldn’t really try to conform to any kind of stereotype. Just be happy and hopefully healthy.”
7. Jessica Biel
Literally, even Jessica Biel, who basically does conform to what the mass population would consider the “ideal” body type, gets body shamed. People are so mean. After being criticized because of her muscular frame being too big, Jess begged to differ..
“There is so much pressure to look a certain way in this town. But it’s nice to have a little meat on you, and I hope I inspire women to appreciate their muscular calves,” she said.
6. Jessica Simpson
While on Oprah, she opened up about how hurtful it was to hear fat jokes when she gained weight.
“The fact that I was famous last year for gaining 10 pounds is ridiculous and really sad. It’s a really hard thing for me to talk about because I celebrate women of all sizes, and I think we’re all beautiful,” she said. Even just five years ago, there were rumors that Jess was battling a nasty eating disorder so people should have been praising the “With You” songstress for finding herself at a healthier weight. Her little sister, Ashlee Simpson has publicly talked about dealing with an eating disorder when she was in her teen years, as well.
The singer wore a gorgeous black dress when she attended a cancer benefit in 2015, but some fans had an issue because they felt she looked too fat.
“I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy, and my healthy, voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much deserved time off,” she shared on Twitter.
4. Ashley Graham
A YouTube ‘comedian’ named Nicole Arbour went on a rant about Ashley’s Sports Illustrated cover and spoke out against them using a plus-sized model. To make matters even worse, she also released a controversial fat-shaming video called “Dear Fat People.” Ashley was understandably unhappy and claimed, “the subject matter is disgusting.”
“I am strong. I am powerful. I am bold. My body is capable to do more than I think I can,” she posted to Instagram soon after Nicole released her video. “I respect the skin I am in. I workout because I love my body, not because I hate it.”
While she’s got one of the best voices in the music business, Adele has also gotten a ton of hate because of her size — from fans and other celebrities alike. In fact, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld once said that she was “a little too fat.” Like, did anyone ask you, Karl?! But Adele never let the criticism get her down.
“I’ve never seen magazine covers and seen music videos and been like: ‘I need to look like that if I wanna be a success.’ Never. I don’t want to be some skinny mini with my tits out,” she said.
2. Jennifer Lawrence
Despite her slim figure, the actress once said that she’s actually considered “obese” in Hollywood.
“I’m never going to starve myself for a part… I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner. That’s something I was really conscious of during training, when you’re trying to get your body to look exactly right. I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong- not thin and underfed,” she told Elle. Technically, Katniss was supposed to be malnourished considering her district wasn’t given the resources to properly feed the people who lived there, but we understand why she decided to veer from the book description to make a statement.
1. Alyssa Milano
Actor Jay Mohr totally dissed Alyssa’s post-baby body when he made the following comment about her: “She’s very tiny, in height… It seems like she had a baby and said, ‘I don’t really give a sh*t’…I read it on her gut.” …Talk about cruel.
But the actress gave the classiest response ever. “So sorry you felt the need to publicly fat-shame me,” she tweeted to him. “Be well and God Bless. Please send my love to your beautiful wife.” Amazing.