Actress and TV presenter Raven-Symonè has been in the spotlight since her star-making turn as Olivia on The Cosby Show at four years old. Having been in the spotlight her entire life, she’s experienced everything an actor might, and then some. The star is now opening up about the lifelong effects that body-shaming throughout her entire career has had on her mental health, and what she’s doing about it.
In an interview with People, the singer and actor said, “I wish I was living now as a younger person, I probably wouldn’t have so many mental issues.” Having grown up in the spotlight and going on tour to support her music starting at age eight, people would comment on her body right to her face, leaving her hurt.
“[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!’” she says, looking back. “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.”
Back in 2015, while still a co-host on The View, Raven-Symonè admitted that even when she was on The Cosby Show as a very small child, she was warned against eating anything on set. “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. And I remember people would be like, ‘You can’t eat that. You’re getting fat!’ I’m like, ‘I’m seven! I’m hungry!’”
With her new That’s So Raven spin-off, Raven’s Home, the multi-talented star is turning the media’s traditional portrayal of women on its head. “The world is too big to have one sort of view to show beauty, because then you are literally destroying society,” she says. “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?”
Have you had to combat body shaming? Tell us how you did it @BritandCo!
(h/t HelloGiggles; photos via Eugene Gologursky + Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty)