Queen Latifah on body acceptance: ‘I was not born a size 2. I’m not skinny, period’


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Y’all know I love Queen Latifah. She’s an amazing woman, and I find her inspirational. I have no idea how many doors have been closed on her because who she is and how she looks and where she comes from, but Latifah has persevered and succeeded. I love her. And so I would have read Latifah’s Good Housekeeping interview no matter what, but I’m only covering it because she’s so quotable and she talks about so many different things. You can read the full piece here, and here are some highlights:

Her darkest moments: In 1995, the talk show host was the victim of a violent carjacking in which her passenger friend was shot and nearly died. Latifah said she didn’t cope with the shock of the incident well. “Drinking a bunch of alcohol, numbing myself,” she recalled. “Every day I would be faded, like a painting that’s just not vibrant, whose edges are dull. I wasn’t living my full life.”

Losing her older brother, Lancelot Jr., who was killed in a crash in 1992: The accident occurred while he was riding the motorcycle Latifah gave him as a gift. Rather than swear off riding, Latifah got back on her motorcycle about a month after the tragic loss. “Riding was one of the things Lance and I did together a lot. I had to get back on. It was like a [healing] potion.”

Her mom: “My mom has always been my champion. She was very smart and grounded. She said, ‘Save your money. Pay your taxes. Don’t put everything in one basket,’ but she let me explore and be creative.”

Focus on the positives: “I think I got to that place by not being happy with the other side — hating your body and criticizing yourself all the time. When I was around 18, I looked in the mirror and said, You’re either going to love yourself or hate yourself. And I decided to love myself. That changed a lot of things.”

Body image: “There’s probably no reason I should be here as an African-American girl from Newark. And for a lot of the things I’ve wanted to do in life, I haven’t looked typical. I was not born a size 2. I’m not skinny, period. I’m not willing to sleep with the director or step on somebody else’s neck to get the job.”

Her faith in God: “I got this little message in my head that I feel was from God. It was as clear as day, like a voice that said to me, Dana, don’t let it all go, because you’re gonna get through this.” It made her realize something: “Nobody is perfect,” she says resolutely. “I know that I’m not a saint, but God’s love is there for me. I know that I need help to make it through every day, so I pray to God to help me do the best I can, to lift me up when I am tired and help me develop into the person He wants me to be…I am always surrounded by His love, and He is always there.”

[From Us Weekly & Good Housekeeping]

I didn’t know that she lost her brother or that she’d been carjacked. Damn. Anyway, I like what she says about body acceptance and what she will and won’t do in the industry.

By the way, her talk show, The Queen Latifah Show, is the #1 new talk show this year. People love it! They love it way more than Katie Couric’s stupid talk show.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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42 Responses to “Queen Latifah on body acceptance: ‘I was not born a size 2. I’m not skinny, period’”

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  1. blue marie says:

    What I like most about Queen Latifah is (or at least it seems like) what you see is what you get with her. She’s not trying to impress anybody, just doing her own thing. And she has been doing her own thing well, for a while now.

    She looks great on the cover but.. where are her legs?

  2. bigorexia says:

    Is anybody born a size 2? Sounds painful for the mother.

  3. Kiddo says:

    Please, whatever you do, don’t post *She, who shall not be named* concern-trolling-for-attention retort to this interview. Thanks in advance.

  4. Dani2 says:

    I’ve always liked her and she’s one of those celebs that says she loves her curves but doesn’t go and lose a ton of weight a few months later. I feel like she really means what she says when it comes to this topic and I really respect that.

    • FinallyFr33 says:

      +1
      I dont speak on a lot of topics, but this one hits home. I feel like some of these women (JHud, Sara Rue, Monique…) use larger women to get popular; preaching about how proud they are to be a bigger girl and how we should love our curves, and then get where they wanna be and go on to lose massive weight and alientate their core audience. I am all for being healthy and like the Queen said you dont have to be a size 2 to be healthy. More than likely the resorted to some pretty unhealthy stuff to get there. I just wish more would practice what they preach. You can be healthy and sexy above a size 2.

  5. Applapoom says:

    Always loved her and great interview. She really sounds inspiring.

  6. lenje says:

    I’ve always loved her. I don’t watch her show, but I’m glad it’s doing so well :)

    On the other hand, she looks like she’ve lost some weight. Or maybe because of age?

    • Kiddo says:

      I can never make that assessment based on magazine covers, which are normally photo-shopped within an inch of the star’s life. I think she has lost some weight. She was always beautiful, though, at any weight. She is extremely likeable, personality-wise.

    • Amy Tennant says:

      I’m wondering how much retouching was done to that cover photo.

      But dang, Latifah is awesome. I have always loved her. If I’m ever home when her show is on, I’ll definitely catch it.

      Reading her interview just makes me want to give her a hug. Before, you know, being tackled by security and all that stuff.

    • HH says:

      She may have lost weight, but she also had a breast reduction I believe. She was heavily endowed and when you have large breasts everything looks like a tent unless you’re wearing a corset.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        True. She had a reduction, but I think that was several years ago.

      • Apsutter says:

        She has been a bit skinnier for a while but it really looks like it’s just from living well. She has been radiant lately so I think she’s just taking good care of herself

  7. Beatrice says:

    I really like her. She seems so down to earth and positive. My all time favorite holiday movie is one she starred in, “Last Holiday”. Queen Latifah and LL Cool J were wonderful together in that sweet movie.

  8. Pri says:

    I believe her when she says for most things in her life she hasn’t looked typical and that she has accepted that about herself. I remember her rapping and wearing those running clothes that all rappers seemed to love. And then she caught the acting bug. I think it was around then that she started to dress like this powerhouse woman. The first time she dressed like that on some red carpet it became big headlines and frankly she amazed me. Her natural beauty really did and I thought good for her. She has obviously come a long way in this industry and has always been so down to earth or not ‘put on’, you know. With her, its real. (Like, years ago when Justin Bieber did Oprah and he said those things about God and all, I kinda knew that it was just a matter of time and that it was all his initial plan on capturing the hearts and minds of young girls and their vulnerable mothers. It was a ploy) Besides, when you see her you just always want to smile. Such beauty. God bless her.

  9. Gossy says:

    Body acceptance means accepting the natural body type your genes determine, not the one you have because you either stuff your face with pig’s lard, have no self control, and make excuses, or because you eat toothpicks/cotton swabs for breakfast.

  10. paranormalgirl says:

    I think she is so beautiful.

  11. JM says:

    I love Queen Latifa! She is an incredible actress and great role model and someone I believe when she says she loves her body. Long live the Queen!

  12. Tiffany says:

    I envy her smile as it radiates an already beautiful face.

  13. Lucinda says:

    This is what inspiring looks like.

  14. Darlene says:

    That cover is a photoshop disaster. Where is her body? WHERE IS HER BODY?

  15. AlmondJoy says:

    I have been a HUGE fan of the Queen since I was a kid. She’s just so genuine and effortlessly beautiful. This is the type of post I like to wake up to :-)

    **hoping that this gets more comments than the Kardashian post**

    More Queen Latifah!

  16. AG says:

    I love her. She looks amazing. (what’s up with the cover, though? They sliced off her left leg?)

  17. taylor says:

    I really like her. She seems to manage being being famous so much better than many. Plus, she just seems ‘real’ in a way so many in Hollywood don’t.

  18. Nikki says:

    Lovvvvve this woman.

  19. joy says:

    It may seem unfair to compare, but this is one of the best quotes on body images within the last few weeks. It’s so on point, without any flourish, that you can sense that she truly believes it. Her confidence just radiates.

  20. Amy Tennant says:

    She is inside and out gorgeous.

  21. Anners says:

    Love love love this woman! Love that she always gets the hot guy in her movies (like Last Holiday and Beauty Shop) – when I was growing up it just didn’t happen so often. It gave me hope. And confidence. She is so beautiful and seems so genuine – I wish her all the good things.

  22. Kate says:

    loved her performance in Chicago, what a great singing voice

  23. GirlyGirl says:

    I’m gay for her…

    Queen Latifah, you rock.

  24. Arock says:

    I love her, she’s so smart and in it for the long game. She one if the few crossover actresses who has been sucessful at nearly genre and further transformed that into prime time. And she’s awesome.
    But wtf GHK, Photoshop much? How is that even missed?

  25. anon33 says:

    “Living Single” is still one of my all-time favorite shows. Love Latifah! U-N-I-T-Y

  26. T. Fanty Fan says:

    she is amazing-more Queen and less Kardassians

  27. Apsutter says:

    I never cared for her before but I really love her now. Watched “Last Holiday” for the first time last week and she’s so enjoyable in it