Supporting body inclusivity in media and fashion is easier said than done. However, more and more these days, people with influence in these industries are using their power to change things. Others are using their platforms to directly call out the standards and practices that need to change.
Here are 21 celebs who actually did something to support body inclusivity in media and fashion:
1. When Lizzo set out to create her dance competition, Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, she prioritized changing "the narrative of what a reality competition television show looks like" because she feels that "it's hard enough in the dance world already for girls who look like [her]."
During her SXSW keynote, she said, "We don't always have to be cruel. We can be kind, and we don't have to pit people against each other. ... If I have the power to change that, why not change that?”
2. When Queen Latifah was starring on Living Single, all four leading women were asked to lose weight. Angered and disheartened, she delivered this refusal on behalf of her cast mates: "We are what women look like. We're not going to lose weight for whoever's idea of what we're supposed to look like."
On Red Table Talk, she said, "We're on the No. 1 show among Black and Latino households in America, and you're telling us we need to lose weight. Maybe you're the one with the problem."
3. Khloé Kardashian refuses to sell her Good American clothing line to retailers that won't carry the full size range. "When I used to shop at department stores with my sisters, I would be ushered up to the attic to go find my size [when I wore plus sizes]," she said.
On an episode of The Kardashians, she said, "With Good American, you have to carry the full size range and you can't separate them. There's no plus-size section, petite section, it's one section. And if people don't agree to that, then they can't carry the brand."
4. After getting "second looks quite often" throughout his life, Peter Dinklage found there's "an ownership to someone looking at [him] or approaching [him]" because "the idea of a leading actor is changing now."
He told Time, "Whether racially or whatever. It's about time. We've been stuck with this stereotype of a leading man, and it's healthy to open that up. Love life is not the domain of pretty people — everybody has a love life."
5. When Dwayne Johnson made the leap from professional wrestling to acting, he was advised to lose weight and change his diet and exercise routine so he could "separate" himself from his previous career. However, he wisely opted to ignore that advice and stay true to himself to "see what happens."
He told Vanity Fair, "I think in that authenticity moment...a funny thing happened in the world of professional wrestling, and a funny thing happened in the world of Hollywood. Both industries conformed to my authenticity and allowed me to be me."
6. When director Chloé Zhao cast Brian Tyree Henry in Eternals, he was concerned about how much weight he'd be asked to lose. However, she told him, "What are you talking about? We want you exactly as you are."
Brian told Variety, "To be a Black man, to have someone look at you and say, 'We want you exactly the way you are,' is unlike anything that I’ve ever felt. It just triggered me to be an 11-year-old kid who is watching these superhero movies, and not ever seeing anyone like me reflected. And how I would take these posters and put them in my locker, and just hope that one day there will be somebody representing me, in the way you know that I am. And I truly believe that that moment started when I sat down with Chloé. It’s unlike any feeling I've ever experienced."
7. John Boyega, who has his own production company called UpperRoom, wants to create movies that resonate with a wide audience and rebrand "the way in which we are fed a false narrative of perfection" when it comes to leading roles.
He told Hypebeast, "It's not only race to me. It's aesthetic of people. Why do leads always have to be muscular and ripped?"
8. For the 2012 Academy Awards, Melissa McCarthy asked several "very high-level [designers] who make lots of dresses for people" to dress her, and they all rejected her. That experience inspired her to launch her own plus-size clothing line, Melissa McCarthy Seven7.
9. After rising to fame for her comedic chops on Saturday Night Live, Aidy Bryant got offers for other roles — but all of them were cringey and insulting or pigeonholed her as "the fat one." So, she decided to write her own starring role and co-created Shrill alongside Lindy West, the author of the memoir it's based on.
Aidy told Adweek, "I remember being like, 'Oh, they think that this [offensive role] is a fun thing for me, and it's so insulting. Those were some of the moments where I was like, 'Is this what it is in Hollywood? I think I might have to write for myself...'"
10. In her Teen Vogue cover story, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo star Alana Thompson called out the body shaming she experiences from her Gen Z peers. She said, "I feel like my generation is probably making it worse. Everybody's all about body positivity, body positivity, until they see a body they don't like."
She continued, "I don't understand why people think this way. Just because I got a little bit of extra meat on my bones, you want to hate me? I'll never get body shaming. ... Like, I know I'm beautiful, and I know I got a banging body, so...I don't care [what commenters say]."
She told Vogue, "My body is doing incredible things right now, and I'm not going to be ashamed of that. This time should feel celebratory. Because why should you be hiding your pregnancy?"
12. Ahead of Jurassic World: Dominion, the studio asked Bryce Dallas Howard to lose weight, but director Colin Trevorrow defended her because "there are lots of different kinds of women on this planet, and there are lots of different kinds of women in [this] film."
Bryce told Metro, "I got to do so many stunts that wouldn't have been possible if I had been dieting. ... So I'm really thrilled [at] all the action I got to do, and I got to do it with my body. [The character] was at her maximum strength, and I hope it is just yet another indication of what's possible."
13. Misty Copeland was already a professional ballet dancer when she went through puberty at 19. The American Ballet Theatre asked her to lose weight to "lengthen" her body, but she refused. Instead, she focused on her health and became such an accomplished dancer that they stopped asking her to lose weight.
She told Self, "Being told to lose weight, and being African American, not having anyone else around who looked like me, caused me so much doubt. ... You can't change your body to become something it isn't."
14. Max Talisman, writer and director of the upcoming rom-com Things Like This, started writing "in order to create the roles [he] didn't see already in the landscape of what plus-size actors can play."
He told HuffPost, "Funding has always been an uphill battle for the film because not only are we telling a queer story made by queer people, but also one of our romantic leads is plus-sized. I'm lucky that I have a never-give-up attitude, and that has allowed me to keep getting my movie made..."
15. When Jennifer Lawrence was cast in The Hunger Games, the "biggest conversation" was how much weight production wanted her to lose. However, she refused to lose any because she didn't "want all of the girls who are going to dress up as Katniss to feel like they can't because they're not a certain weight."
In conversation for Variety's "Actors on Actors," she told Viola Davis, "In Hunger Games, it was an awesome responsibility. Those books were huge, and I knew that the audience was children."
16. On the Brideshead Revisited set, a producer asked Hayley Atwell to lose weight, so her costar Emma Thompson cut in and told them, "If you speak to her about this again, on any level, I will leave this picture. You are never to do that."
Emma told Vanity Fair, "It's evil what’s happening and what's going on there, and it’s getting worse. ... Sometimes there are just some subjects that you absolutely have to make noise about because it's so tedious and it’s gone on and on."
17. When the "weight conversation" came up for Patricia Arquette on Medium, her movie star status put her in a "position of power" that allowed her to refuse the studio's request for her to lose weight.
She told the Irish Times, "[I] could say, 'On True Romance, Tony Scott never made me feel like that. What are you saying? That every married woman has to look a certain way? [My character] has three kids. It's about a marriage, not a modeling competition.'"
18. While Kate Winslet was filming a sex scene for Mare of Easttown, director Craig Zobel told her that her "bulgy bit of belly" could be removed, but she told him, "Don't you dare!"
Kate told the New York Times, "Listen, I hope that in playing Mare as a middle-aged woman...I guess that's why people have connected with this character in the way that they have done because there are clearly no filters. She's a fully functioning, flawed woman with a body and a face that moves in a way that is synonymous with her age and her life and where she comes."
19. Ashley Graham was praised for showcasing her stretch marks at the 2022 VMAs. She felt "sexy and hot" but also celebrated them as a "good reminder" that she had "8-month old twins at home!"
On the red carpet, she told Access Hollywood, "I'm wearing Houghton, so hot, but my stretch marks are out. And I'm like, 'Okay, here we go stretch marks, let's go!' I'm gonna show it off in the photos and in real life."
20. When headlines declared the revival of the '90s "heroin chic" body standard, Jameela Jamil penned an essay for Paper Mag calling out the dangers of treating women's body types like a trend. She also described the dangerous lengths some of her Hollywood peers have allegedly gone to achieve the look.
She wrote, "When are we going to realize nobody can tell us what the new trend for our own damn bodies is? We have the power, we are the market. The media, the fashion industry, the celebrities, they all answer to us. We gave them what they have and we can take it all away whenever we want. They don’t get to tell us what to do or what to buy anymore. We’re in control. They don’t get to starve us anymore, we can starve them and see how they like it. We can bring entire institutions to their knees and force their hand to stop harming us with their products and damning rhetoric. Let us fight this together and sink toxic diet culture once and for all."
21. And finally, on Twitter, Stranger Things actor Shannon Purser called out Hollywood's treatment of fat actors, writing, "They're not hiring fat actors for iconic fat characters because they want a big name star. There are almost no fat big name stars because fat actors aren't allowed upward mobility."
She continued, "We aren't allowed upward mobility because the industry sees us as two-dimensional set pieces."