Being a child star isn't easy, and no one knows this better than Raven-Symone. The actress, now 31, got her start on The Cosby Show at just 4 years old before landing her own Disney show, which would keep her in the spotlight for the foreseeable future.
Growing up in the entertainment industry took its toll on Raven, though. “I remember not being able to have the bagel or anything at — we would call it crafty, where it’s just a table of food, ready for you to eat whatever you want," she said. "And I remember people would be like, ‘You can’t eat that. You’re getting fat!’ I’m like, ‘I’m seven! I’m hungry!'”
This early and, frankly, unnecessary exposure to body negativity had an impact on Raven, she says. Raven wishes the body posi and inclusivity movements would've taken hold earlier. In her opinion, she'd have less "mental issues" if she had grown up in present-day society.
“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,” she said.
Raven would continue to live in the spotlight, and consequently, the pressure associated with her weight would continue to trouble her. When she toured after releasing multiple albums in the 2000s, comments regarding her weight were relentless. "[People would say] ‘I don’t know how she can dance being that big,’” Raven reveals.
Raven's story sheds light on the troubling aspects of growing up famous. Let kids be kids! Life's too short... eat the damn bagel.
(Photo: Raymond Hall/GC Images)
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