Raven-Symone Shares How Body-Shaming Impacted Her Career

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If you watched That's So Raven in the early 2000s, then you may remember the episode where Raven designs a dress for a fashion show and she thinks she is going to be modeling it on the catwalk herself -- until someone tells her that she doesn't have "the right look" to walk down the runway. Of course, she did it anyway and totally crushed it -- but that "fictional" shaming situation is way too common IRL.

As a curvy girl myself, even as a kid, I feel that these positive messages stuck with me. Raven was one of the first characters I was able to identify with both in body image and race. Considering the confidence, humor, and positivity that I took away from the show, it never would have occurred to me that the real Raven-Symone was also struggling with societal pressures and body shaming

The actress and singer opened up to People about some of the things she went through as a child star and how it still affects her today. 

  • People would actually body-shame her to her face and doubt her abilities to perform on tour.

    A post shared by Raven-Symoné (@ravensymone) on

    In her interview with People, Raven revealed:

    "[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!' 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."

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  • If you've seen her work the stage with the Cheetah Girls, then you already know those comments were complete BS.

  • Raven also said she thinks people are more accepting today than they used to be.

    A post shared by Raven-Symoné (@ravensymone) on

  • "I wish I was living now as a younger person," Raven told the mag. "I probably wouldn't have so many mental issues."

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    In her People interview, she continued to say:

    "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."

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  • Now, Raven's back on Disney Channel for the spin-off series "Raven's Home" -- and we can't wait to see what positive messages this show will deliver.

    Hopefully she'll continue to spread the inclusionary love!

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