‘I Wasn’t Even Fat’: Raven-Symoné Reveals Criticism on Set About Her Body Are at The Root of Her Struggles With Food and Weight Loss

·3 min read

Raven-Symoné is continuing to talk about her long history with weight loss struggles.

Throughout her adult life the actress has candidly spoken about the stress of the fluctuating number on the scale. But the angst of being made acutely aware of her changing body dates back to when she was just a preteen.

Raven-Symoné. (Photo: Courtesy TV One)
Raven-Symoné. (Photo: Courtesy TV One)

“At that time the conversation of weight started to come up,” she explained in her nearly tell-all episode of “Uncensored” that aired on Oct. 17. Raven was starring in comedian Marc Curry’s hit sitcom “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper,” when the messages of “don’t eat this, don’t eat that, you know, you have to be on point” were first planted in her mind.

Coupled with the stress of not wanting to flub her lines in front of a live studio audience, and adjusting to a new school, Raven added the addition of worrying about what she ate and the stress of not messing up her lines in front of a live studio audience took a toll on her. “I’m sure those thought processes started to permeate within my body making my stress level go up a lot more.”

By the time Raven hit her teen years she was starring in her own Disney show, “That’s So Raven.” While enduring the evolution of her body the actress said she was again the recipient of constant weight reminders and notes on what she could and could not eat.

“I heard it, didn’t understand it, did what I was told, but then behind-the-scenes ate because looking back that was the only thing that I could really control. It was the only thing that I had for myself,” she explained.

Raven Symoné at the Design Exchange in Toronto, Canada in 2006. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
Raven Symoné at the Design Exchange in Toronto, Canada in 2006. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)

“[F]ood was pretty much the only thing that I could [control]. My favorite was like two bagels with cream cheese and tomato in the microwave and I just remember like, ‘She can’t eat that anymore!’ and I’m like, ‘This is the only thing. I get A’s so let me have something,’” she added.

Now, at the age of 35, Raven says she looks back at her younger self and wonders why she ever accepted the notion that something was wrong with her body. “I look back and I wasn’t even fat, I’m so confused.”

Her fans have expressed similar sentiments online. “She really wasn’t fat…Even in her That’s So Raven days…” wrote a fan. “It’s sad that this sweet child couldn’t be a child. She was a star for the world. I hope she can relax as an adult,” and “Man the pressure and she made it through [clapping emoji and red heart emoji],” wrote others.

Last year the former “The View” host opened up about a 30-pound weight loss. While she prided herself for losing the weight on her own terms, it gave her perspective on how far she has come as a whole.

“My whole life is kind of based on what the industry wants. Other people controlled my hair, my eyebrows, my clothing, my words, everything. There was definitely a seesaw within my mind,” she told People in July 2020. “I prevailed over it because at the end of the day, it’s like, ‘Come on, people, everybody’s a different size.’”

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