20 Successful Female Celebrities Who Were Told They Were Too Fat for Hollywood

20 Successful Female Celebrities Who Were Told They Were Too Fat for Hollywood
Image: Axelle Woussen/Bauergriffin.com/Corbis

khloe kardashian
Axelle Woussen/Bauergriffin.com/Corbis

Hollywood is probably the only place on earth where it's acceptable for a woman who weighs 105 pounds to be told she's fat. Luckily, more and more Hollywood starlets are proudly speaking out about staying at a healthy weight and refusing to cave to crazy body-weight demands.  

Hollywood actually has social media to thank for the shift in perspective. The body-positivity movement, which originated with fat women of color, spread over social media like wildfire in early 2016. While the movement certainly isn't without its problems, it has inspired a lot of female celebrities to speak up and out about the pressures to be "perfect" at all costs.

The scary part? Everyone from unapologetically plus-size stars to celebrities no one would even consider to be "big boned" have all been criticized for their weight in the industry. Production companies seem to have no qualms demanding women to lose weight, and some have even suggested they leave the industry altogether.

Thankfully, more and more women of Hollywood are shutting down these dangerous ways of thinking. The following is a list of fierce female celebrities who ignored haters, strove for success, and flawlessly achieved it just as they were. 

  • Chrissy Metz


    Beloved This Is Us star Chrissy Metz, who plays Kate, had a long and arduous road to fame. As a child, Metz was emotionally abused by her stepfather about her weight, and by the time she was seriously pursuing a career in Hollywood, she was being told to drop pounds.

    “I had already lost fifty pounds before moving to LA, per my manager’s suggestion, but it became clear to me that I should either lose more weight or stay the butt of the joke,’ Metz reveals in her book This Is Me obtained by the Daily Mail.

    Luckily, it's Metz who's laughing now.

  • Kate Winslet

    Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

    The British actress has been fat-shamed throughout her career. When Kate Winslet was a teenager trying to break into the business, she was told that not only was her body too big, but so were her feet. The lauded Winslet, who has an Oscar under her belt, has repeatedly spoken out about the importance of self-acceptance and refuses to let magazines photoshop her.

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    Mario Anzuoni/Reuters/Corbis

    While filming a movie early in her career, Jennifer Lawrence says she was told she'd be fired if she didn't lose weight. "They brought in pictures where I was basically naked and told me to use them as motivation for my diet," she says. Now the Oscar winner is the highest-paid actress in Hollywood. "If anybody even tried to whisper the word 'diet,' I'm like, 'You can go f--- yourself.'"

  • Demi Lovato

    Joe Stevens/Retna Ltd/Retna Ltd./Corbis

    Singer and former Disney Channel star Demi Lovato was only 18 when she famously entered rehab for an eating disorder brought on by the pressure she felt to be thin. Still, the body-shaming continued, most famously when Simon Cowell reportedly told her to lose 20 pounds for The X Factor. Her new, self-accepting attitude has won her many new fans.

  • Gabourey Sidibe

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    Fat-shaming Gabourey Sidibe feels like a competitive sport in Hollywood. Cosmopolitan went through the trouble of compiling a list of some of the most vicious and sad digs taken at the Empire actress, including an early one: Once, at a party, Sidibe met one of her idols, Joan Cusack, who told her to get out of the business because it was too image-conscious. Sidebe's response: "Oh please, don't tell me to quit my job!"

    More from CafeMom: 7 Celebrity Moms Whose Post-Baby Bodies Will Shock You

  • Kate Upton


    A two-time Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl and actress (The Other Woman), Kate Upton is trashed for her voluptuous curves as often as she's praised for them. She was a Victoria's Secret catalog model early in her career, and the casting director for the lingerie company's fashion show famously said Upton would never walk their runway. Upton's reaction — in the interview for her, ahem, Vogue cover — was: "I love my body. I feel confident with myself, and if that inspires other women to feel confident with their bodies, great."  

  • Mindy Kaling

    Danny Moloshok/Reuters/Corbis

    She's had a lot of success as an actress, writer, and producer, but it wasn't all applause when Mindy Kaling was trying to break into Hollywood. One network (which she declines to name) offered her a sketch comedy show but made her audition for the part of herself — then rejected her for it, a humiliating experience. Never mind. She went on to write for and star in The Office and The Mindy Kaling Show.

  • Jennifer Aniston

    Mario Anzuoni/Reuters/Corbis

    After a manager told her during her early career that she was too big for Hollywood and should lose 30 pounds to get ahead, Jennifer Aniston took the advice. The actress now says that she beat herself up unnecessarily over her weight and wishes she'd loved herself a little more. She went on to find success on Friends and beyond. 

  • Khloe Kardashian

    Axelle Woussen/Bauergriffin.com/Corbis

    From the very first season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the refrain has been the same: Khloe Kardashian is "the fat one." Taller and bigger-boned than her sisters, she was on the receiving end of plenty of social media jokes. And though she says she never considered herself fat, the jabs got to her: She dropped 35 pounds, saying she turned to fitness "as a form of therapy and stress reliever."

    More from CafeMom: Sexist Obituary for 'Fat' Woman Prompts Us to Re-Imagine These 8 Celebrity Deaths

  • America Ferrera

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    In an industry that puts emphasis on being thin, America Ferrera says she felt the pressure, "wasting time on diets" and obsessing over her looks. She must have figured out self-love pretty early on, though, since her two most famous roles, in Real Women Have Curves and Ugly Betty, were women who were proud not to be skinny.

  • Christina Hendricks

    Mario Anzuoni/Reuters/Corbis

    At the beginning of her career, Christina Hendricks's bookings were limited to TV commercials, which didn't require her to be "5'11 or a bean pole," she says. Then she auditioned for Mad Men, whose 1960s setting proved a good home for her hourglass figure, and she became a star. 

  • Minka Kelly

    Xavier Collin/Celebrity Monitor/Splash News/Corbis

    When she first launched her modeling and acting career, Minka Kelly's then-manager got her a job at a plastic surgeon's office in hopes that it would lead to free procedures, including liposuction, which the manager said Kelly would need to break into the business. Kelly took the day job but passed on the perks. She went on to enjoy success on shows such as Friday Night Lights.

  • Kelly Osbourne

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    She first came to prominence on The Osbournes, when the criticism over her weight outpaced her more serious issues, says Kelly Osbourne. "I took more hell for being fat than I did for being an absolute raging drug addict," she says. She went on to a successful career as a TV presenter for various shows, including E!'s Fashion Police, and eventually lost 48 pounds while on Dancing with the Stars in 2009.

    More from CafeMom: Drew Carey & Other Former Fatties Who Looked Better Fat

  • Kat Dennings

    Danny Moloshok/Reuters/Corbis

    TV star Kat Dennings rose to fame for her quirky charm, but when she was first starting out, managers wanted her to change pretty much everything about herself, including her weight. Luckily, she chose to keep being (and resembling!) herself and went on to star in blockbusters like Thor and the TV show 2 Broke Girls, a top-rated CBS sitcom.  

  • Nia Vardalos

    Gus Ruelas/Reuters/Corbis

    Told repeatedly that there were no roles in Hollywood for Greek — and "overweight, unattractive, and unappealing" — actresses, Nia Vardalos went on make her own film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The movie went on to become one of the most successful indies in history. Vardalos lost 40 pounds, but she said it wasn't because of Hollywood pressure but because of dangerous blood sugar levels.

  • Raven-Symone

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    The controversial cohost of The View has worked in Hollywood since she was a child — and was told to watch her weight even then. Whenever a 7-year-old Raven-Symone would reach for food on the Cosby Show set, an adult would take it from her, saying, "You can't eat that. You're getting fat!" No wonder her body-image issues continued into adulthood. 

  • Romola Garai

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    British actress Romola Garai is a size 6 — too fat, she says, for Hollywood. Designers won't lend her runway dresses because they don't make them that "big," and she's airbrushed on magazine covers. She's felt the pressure to conform ever since she started acting. However, she's held to her natural size and has found success in movies like Suffragette (opposite heavyweights Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham Carter) and the TV series The Hours.  

    More from CafeMom: 5 Celebs With Gorgeous Cellulite on Their Thighs

  • Courtney Thorne-Smith


    No one told Courtney Thorne-Smith directly that she had to be thin to work in Hollywood, but she got the message anyway. She says working alongside ultra-thin actresses like Calista Flockhart (Ally McBeal) and Heather Locklear (Melrose Place) made her so self-conscious that she went on extreme diets (like eating only fruit for a week). After seeing herself included in an article about scary-skinny actresses, she dropped her weight obsession. She went on to star in two more successful series, According to Jim and Two and a Half Men. 

  • Ashley Greene


    Image © Jackie Brown/Splash News/Corbis

    When it comes to Ashley Greene, Hollywood can't seem to make up its mind. The Twilight star says that since the beginning of her career, she's variously been told she's too fat, too skinny, or too muscular. "I've gotten every single one of those. At this point, I care more what people are saying about my acting ability than what I look like," she told Health. Good choice. 

  • Amy Schumer

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    She's become a role model, but Amy Schumer says she struggled with body image all her life — and Hollywood made her insecurity worse. "At my first audition when I was 21, they were like, 'You should either lose weight or gain a bunch of weight, like be the fat friend or the romantic lead.'" But Schumer, whose comedy Trainwreck made more than $110 million at the box office, says, "More than other people saying it, it's a self-inflicted thing. We put pressure on ourselves and hold ourselves to this unrealistic standard." Preach on, sister.  

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