Photo Credit: Queen Latifah/Instgram

In a time where it seems fat shaming is making a comeback with continued and consistent picking on singer Lizzo and people like former President Trump’s son Don Jr. making fun of pundit Ana Navarro’s weight, a conversation about body positivity and unreal expectations is worth having. In a new Essence Magazine interview, Queen Latifah spoke about how the cast of Living Single was told to all go lose weight.

On the subject of her weight which is something she’s never directly addressed, she said, “The feeling of self-hate is really, really scary. I would get those flashes of this feeling through my teenage years and I was like, this is a dark place.”

“And around 18, I just remember looking in the mirror and I said to myself, I was like, ‘Dana, you have a choice. You are either going to choose to love yourself, or you’re going to choose to hate yourself. What you going to do?’ And I chose to love myself.”

She pointed out the challenges of self-love when it came to her time on Living Single, saying, “I remember when I was doing Living Single, the word came down that we needed to lose weight and it was like, what? Now mind you, we have the number one show among Black and Latino, Latinx audiences, at the time. And we have a hit show and you’re telling us we need to lose weight.”

She went on to say, “We look like real people. We look like real women. We all look different. And those are the kind of things that come to you that can chip away at your self-esteem. That’s the kind of insensitivity that we’re fighting against right now. That’s the kind of shame planting that can destroy self-esteem.”

“That did bother me. But of course, it didn’t make a difference. I didn’t change anything as a result of it. If anything, I’m just the rebel. Don’t tell me what to do, because I’m going to do the opposite. But it did make me cognizant.”

She did however state that she’s comfortable in her own skin and her size. “But in general, I’m happy with me. I’ve accepted me for me. I’ve accepted that I’m not a size two, I’m not a size eight. I ain’t been a size eight probably since I was eight. I’m cool with that.”