Body shaming knows no discrimination: Nearly everyone experiences some form of body shame, regardless of their shape or size — and celebrities are no different.
But when its a celebrity being targeted, there's a good chance the person behind the harassment will get called out — on a very big stage. That's when the potential to change minds happens. Stars like Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian West and even Prison Break's Wentworth Miller have opened up about being body shamed, and are showing everyone else not only how to speak up, but how to love themselves, too.
When a meme showing Miller's weight gain circulated in March, the Prison Break star opened up about how his addiction to food began taking away from his life, causing him to feel suicidal. "Ashamed and in pain, I considered myself damaged goods. And the voices in my head urged me down the path to self-destruction," Miller wrote to his Facebook page.
But in that moment, Miller also took a stand against the hate:
I put on weight. Big f--king deal ... The first time I saw this meme pop up in my social media feed, I have to admit, it hurt to breathe. But as with everything in life, I get to assign meaning. And the meaning I assign to this/my image is Strength. Healing. Forgiveness. Of myself and others. If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available. Reach out. Text. Send an email. Pick up the phone. Someone cares. They're waiting to hear from you. Much love.
Kim Kardashian West
When Kardashian West tweeted a nude selfie in early March — with two black censor bars the only thing between us and another "break the internet" moment — she was blasted for being too revealing, with many criticizing her choice to be both nude and a mother at the same time. However, when Justin Bieber de-pantsed for Instagram, the world more or less celebrated, emphasizing very clearly the double standard that exists for how we perceive the sexuality of men versus women.
Perhaps that's why Kardashian West enlisted the help of supermodel Emily Ratajkowski to make her next social media splash. In a similar shot, the two women are seen topless, their breasts censored by the same black bar — and their middle fingers visible to everyone.
"However sexual our bodies may be, we need to hve the freedom as women to choose when and how we express our sexuality," Ratajkowski wrote in the caption. When she reposted the image to Instagram, she added, "We are more than just our bodies, but that doesn't mean we have to be shamed for them or our sexuality."
Schumer spoke up on social media after noticing she was named one of Glamour's "women who inspire us" alongside Adele, Melissa McCarthy and Ashley Graham. The special issue was sponsored by plus-size chain Lane Bryant, and Glamour did not have to drop the term "plus-sized" for Schumer to get the message.
"I think there's nothing wrong with being plus size. Beautiful healthy women," Schumer wrote alongside a shot of the coverline. "Plus size is considered size 16 in America. I go between a size six and an eight. @GlamourMag put me in their plus-size only issue without asking or letting me know and it doesn't feel right to me. Young girls seeing my body type thinking that is plus size? What are your thoughts? Mine are not cool Glamour not glamourous."
When paparazzi shots of a vacationing Selena Gomez in a bikini surfaced last April, commenters attacked her for not wearing the two-piece to their liking. Gomez quickly caught wind of the trollfest and halted the hate in its tracks by posting a photo embracing her curves to Instagram. "I love being happy with me y'all #TheresMoreToLove," Gomez captioned the photo.
"Look, I don't what them to win," Gomez told Ellen DeGeneres about body shamers, Entertainment Tonight reported. "It's so annoying when I see it all over the place and everybody thinks they can bring me down. So my immediate response was, I'm gonna post a picture and I'm like, 'I'm happy with me ya'll,' and that was gonna be the story the next day. I wasn't gonna let that be the story. That wasn't the story."
In 2007, Banks was attacked by the media after candid images of her in a bathing suit surfaced, showing she had gained some weight. She used her show Tyra as a platform slam her body shamers with an impassioned monologue.
"Luckily I'm strong enough and I have a good support system, I mean, I love my mama, she has helped me to be a strong woman," Banks said to the camera in front of her live studio audience, wearing the same swimsuit she was wearing in the paparazzi shots. "So I can overcome these kind of attacks, but if I had lower self-esteem I would probably be starving myself right now.
"But that is exactly what is happening to women all over this country. So I have something to say: To all of you who have something nasty to say about me, or other women that are built like me, women that all the time or some of the time look like this, women who's names you know, women who's names you don't, women who have been picked on, women who's husbands have put them down, women at work or girls in school, I have one thing to say to you. Kiss my fat ass!"
By all accounts, Tyra's final repartee was a landmark moment in the field of body-shaming clapbacks — and one we won't soon forget.