I’m Fat and I’m Proud!

A tribute to those who are shaming the fat shamers

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Jennifer Livingston

When La Crosse, Wisconsin, TV anchor Jennifer Livingston (left) got an e-mail from a viewer objecting to her weight, she neither ignored it nor hid in shame. Instead, the WKBT newswoman boldly answered her critic on air: “You know nothing about me but what you see on the outside. And I am much more than a number on the scale.”
That response went viral as other women applauded her “mad as hell” spirit. But Livingston is just the latest in a long line of celebrities declaring war on the weight police. Tired of the impossibly thin bodies they are expected to flaunt and angry at media bullies who monitor every pound gained, these stars passionately defend their fuller frames.

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Lady Gaga

After a 25-pound weight gain, the previously rail-thin performer defiantly flashed it all onstage. “This is who I am,” she boasted. “And I am proud at any size.” Gaga later tweeted a photo of herself in her underwear, declaring her independence from the scale: “Bulimia and anorexia since I was 15. But today I join the body revolution. To inspire bravery.”


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Lena Dunham

The 26-year-old creator of HBO’s Girls has gained a cult following for the realism of her series—and her character, Hannah. “No, I have not tried to lose weight,” Hannah answers a boyfriend in one episode. “Because I decided I was going to have some other concerns in my life.”
Offscreen, Dunham is equally defiant. When the star was criticized for walking a red carpet in short shorts, she pointed out that a thin girl would never have received so much attention. Declared Dunham: “I think what it really was …‘Why did you all make us look at your thighs?’ My response is, get used to it because I am going to live to be 100, and I am going to show my thighs every day till I die.”


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Karl Lagerfeld called her “a little too fat.” By fashion-designer standards? Forget that. “I’ve never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines,” the chart-topping artist coolly responded. “I represent the majority of women, and I’m very proud of that.”


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Mindy Kaling

The comedian and star of Fox’s The Mindy Project defends her size 8, that “ ‘normal American woman size’ that legions of stylists detest.” Moreover, she argues, “I think half of Hollywood’s problems come from the fact that people aren’t eating.”


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Christina Aguilera

When Aguilera put on some pounds, she was widely misquoted as describing herself as a “fat girl.” The star quickly corrected the misattribution—adding that she’s grateful for her fuller form: “Actually the challenge I’ve always had is being too thin, so I love that now I have a booty, and obviously I love showing my cleavage.”


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Christina Hendricks

The Mad Men star’s curves have made her a heroine to many, but don’t get her started on the subject: “I think calling me full figured is just rude.”


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Meryl Streep

Asked if she’d consider playing snippy editor Miranda Priestly in a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada, the acclaimed actress cited one thing preventing her: “I guess I would have to lose the f—ing weight.”

Streep also kicked some sand in the weight bullies’ faces back in 2008, telling The Daily Mirror, “I don’t work out. I am fatter than any movie star you have ever met! But you know … I don’t care!”


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Rebel Wilson

The Australian star of Bachelorette and Pitch Perfect admits criticism of her weight has brought her to tears—and Jenny Craig. But as an actress, she also finds a bright spot. “I pick up the roles other actresses don’t want,” she told Indiewire. “When there’s movies where there are two sisters and one’s the uglier sister, there’s always no actress that wants to go for it. I’m like, why not! They’re the best roles.”


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Robyn Lawley

The six-foot-two Wilhelmina model this year became Ralph Lauren’s first plus-size image. But when the Lauren by Ralph Lauren mannequin was asked during a Good Morning America interview to give her weight, Lawley pushed back: “I’m a size 12. And I don’t think weight really has much to do with anything.”


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Kirstie Alley

Alley’s battles with the bulge have been well chronicled—including in her reality series, Fat Actress—but that doesn’t stop the Cheers star from cheering on others. “To all the girls that think you’re ugly because you’re not a size 0, you’re the beautiful one,” she said in defense of Lady Gaga. “It’s society who’s ugly.”


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Mama June

The matriarch of the fun-lovin’ Here Comes Honey Boo Boo clan believes in self-acceptance. “There are a lot of people who are bigger than me,” she says. “They got five hundred chins. I only got about two or three, but I embrace it.” On the other hand, she advises those in her size range to cover up a bit “because all that vajiggle jaggle is not beautimous.”


Melissa McCarthy

Her oversize roles in the TV series Mike & Molly and the movie Bridesmaids garnered multiple awards and nominations, but McCarthy is frank about her desire to be slimmer. Still, she argues, “there’s so many other things to worry about. I think the kids are healthy, I’ve got a great husband and I go to work every day and do what I want. I’ll keep working on the other. I just can’t put any time to worrying about it.”


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Roseanne Barr

When it comes to the weight wars, we’ll give the stand up comic turned sitcom and reality star the last word: “Women should try to increase their size rather than decrease it, because I believe the bigger we are, the more space we’ll take up, and the more we’ll have to be reckoned with.”


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Next: Healthy Bodies of Hollywood


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