“It’s not about your size, it’s about what you have to say,” says the “Raven’s Home” star
Raven-Symoné grew up on television, and continues to delight us on the brand new Disney Channel series “Raven’s Home.” But in her latest interview, the actress admitted that throughout her career, she was constantly feeling the pressure to have her body look a certain way.
While we still have a long way to go in terms of squashing body-shaming altogether, the star admits that her early days in the industry were so much harsher and appearance-focused than now. The “That’s So Raven” and “Cheetah Girls” actress says that early in her career, she used to be body-shamed to her face. It took a major toll on her well-being.
“[They said] I was too big to be doing an hour and a half concert. ‘I don’t know how she can dance being that big.’ And I was like, ‘I still did it!’” Raven told People in a new interview. “I was on tour forever because it’s not about your size, it’s about what you have to say, if you can sing or dance, and performing. It’s not about your size.”
The body-shaming didn’t just occur in her teenage years, though that’s what she’s talking about here: Raven has previously admitted to being self-conscious about her weight as early as 7 years old, when she appeared on “The Cosby Show.”
“I remember not being able to have the bagel or anything at – we would call it crafty, where it’s just a table of food, ready for you to eat whatever you want,” she recalled on The View. “And I remember people would be like, ‘You can’t eat that. You’re getting fat!’ I’m like, ‘I’m 7! I’m hungry!’”
After reflecting back on these rough experiences, the actress says that she loves seeing the changes being made through young women embracing body positivity.
“I wish I was living now as a younger person,” she told People. “I probably wouldn’t have so many mental issues. [Now] I love embracing your body. In this day and age you have all kinds, and it’s funny, it’s serious, it’s every color, it’s every head shape, it’s every hair. And there’s androgyny, and there’s LGBT coming in, and it feels good. We didn’t have it enough last time and I guess that’s what the past is for — to make sure the present is what it needs to be.”
After experiencing body criticism growing up, Raven now has a wonderfully refreshing view on embracing all types of beauty, which is something she wants to see more of reflected on television.
“The world is too big to have one sort of view to show beauty, because then you are literally destroying society,” she shared. “You are literally destroying it. And then you want to talk about how we are judgmental to each other and this and this. But it’s being created in the industry that we’re in. So why not break the mold?”
To learn more about the cast of “Raven’s Home,” be sure to catch out our exclusive video interview below.