Mindy Kaling made headlines recently for refusing to answer a question about her weight loss from Allure during their most recent beauty-focused interview with the star. Taking control of the conversation, Kaling’s call to keep weight personal and off-limits brings to mind all of the other iconic women who have done the exact same over the years. We’re taking a look back at 7 celebrities who have spoken out against Hollywood’s weight-loss obsession, stood up against toxic diet culture and said they’re tired of constantly walking about their weight.
Kaling has been under a lot of scrutiny ever since she lost roughly 40 lbs, with headlines speculating she must have achieved it with the weight-loss drug Ozempic. For her part, Kaling has been open about her weight-loss journey and the fitness routines she committed to in order to get there.
But when Allure asked how she felt about fans who feel like they lost a body image ally, Kaling politely shut the question down.
“It’s not super exciting for me to talk about my body and how it’s analyzed,” Kaling says. “So I think I’m just not going to get into it because it takes over the conversation unfortunately and people take it so personally.”
An expert at shutting down weight-loss geared questions, Anne Hathaway has unfortunately had to navigate this field a lot. This was especially true when she played Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, when she was repeatedly asked how she fit into her outfit.
“Are you trying to lose weight? What’s the deal?,” Hathaway replies, addressing the male interviewer. “You look great. What do you want? Are you trying to fit into a catsuit?”
When she gained weight for a role in 2018, she preemptively addressed the issue in a video she posted of her working out. “To all the people who are going to fat shame me in the upcoming months, it’s not me, it’s you,” she wrote.
Earlier this year, Bebe Rhexa revealed her struggle with PCOS, a common hormone condition that comes with ovarian cysts, acne, weight gain and fertility issues. She says that she knew people were commenting on her weight gain, as it was just a fact.
“I was a lot thinner and I did gain some weight—that comes with the territory,” Rexha explains. “I’m not mad about it because it is true, but when you see things like that, it does mess with you.”
And ultimately, it isn’t really anyone’s business.
“It’s 2023, we should not be talking about people’s weight,” she says.
Earlier this year, Selena Gomez shared her struggle with body positivity when she gained weight as a result of her Lupus medication.
“I lied,” Gomez says. “I would go online and I would post a picture of myself and I would say, ‘It doesn’t matter. I’m not accepting what you’re saying.’
“All the while, being in the room posting and crying my eyes out because nobody deserves to hear those things.”
She says the brave face came from wanting to help other through the same thing.
“Though I was posting these things saying it doesn’t bother me, because I didn’t want it to bother other people who are experiencing the same thing, getting shamed for what they look like, who they are, who they love,” she said. “I just think it’s so unfair. I don’t think that anybody deserves to feel less than.”
Taking to TikTok recently, Ariana Grande shut down comments about her current weight as kindly as possible.
“I think we should be gentler and less comfortable commenting on people’s bodies no matter what your intention,” Grande says. “I was on a lot of antidepressants and drinking on them and eating poorly and at the lowest point of my life when I looked the way you consider my ‘healthy.'”
What’s healthy looks different to everyone, and most of all, she doesn’t owe anyone an explanation. But at least speaking out might help someone else.
“I know I shouldn’t have to explain that,” Grande says. “But I do feel like having an openness and some sort of vulnerability…something good might come from it.”
Subject to some of the most ruthless fat shaming in the early 2000s tabloids, Jessica Simpson is no stranger to comments about her weight. But that doesn’t mean she’s okay with them.
“Am I going to let the negativity derail me? No, I’m too old for that,” she says. “I am too connected to myself right now to let that derail me. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt.”
Back in 2021, she revealed she doesn’t even look at the scale anymore.
“I have no idea how much I weigh, I just want to be able to feel good and zip my pants up,” Simpson explains. “If I don’t, I have another size. I have every size,” she said at the time.
We’re rounding out this list with one of the most iconic moments in celebrity interview history. In 2002, Whitney Houston shut down ABC News interviewer, Diane Sawyer, for asking about her weight immediately after Houston admitted she struggled to eat when she was emotionally distressed.
“Can I ask how much you weigh now?” Sawyer asks.
“Sure,” Houston replies, shrugging.
“How much do you weigh now?”
“I ain’t telling you,” Houston says firmly.
This is the very same interview Houston told viewers “crack is whack,” in case you were wondering.