Amber Rose: ‘I did feel body-shamed’ by ‘DWTS’ judge Julianne Hough


Since I don’t care about Dancing with the Stars, I have barely been paying any attention to any of the controversies with this season’s cast and judges. Apparently, Julianne Hough has rejoined DWTS, but this year she’s a judge. And Amber Rose is one of the contestants, which is sort of cool. Amber hasn’t been “wowing” the judges though, and Amber thinks she knows why: they don’t like her curvy body. Specifically, Amber thinks that Julianne is sort of body-shaming her.

Amber Rose has a bone to pick with none other than Julianne Hough. E! News has the exclusive clip from Amber’s next episode of’s Loveline With Amber Rose where the co-host dishes on a recent experience with the blonde judge that rubbed her the wrong way. Amber’s fellow host Dr. Chris Donaghue mentioned that he felt Julianne’s criticisms of Amber’s dance were unfair, to which she replied, “Last night was like, they did the commentary, and I, it was a point in the dance where I had to lift my leg up and Maks [Chmerkovskiy] dipped me & [Julianne] said, ‘Oh, I’m uncomfortable,’ and instantly I felt, I did feel body shamed.”

Amber added, “You know, all the beautiful professional dancers that are on Dancing With the Stars, I mean they dress very sexy and they do the splits and they grind up on these guys and they look absolutely stunning and get a standing ovation. And me, and my body, my hips, my ass, my breasts made her uncomfortable.”

Meanwhile, Julianne tells E! News exclusively, “To be clear, that was a produced package, not live coverage and they can put those sound bites anywhere. My ‘uncomfortable’ comment was about the fact that I felt like I wanted more out of the performance – when someone is doing a hot, sexy dance like that without the right amount of energy that is required, it can be uncomfortable to watch. Trust me I’m ALL for a sexy booty dance!! We all know that!! And any kind of body shaming goes against everything I believe in.”

[From E! News]

Hm… who to believe? The thing is, this seems like the Solange Knowles incident. Amber isn’t saying “this is a clear-cut case and here’s the proof!” Amber is talking about how it FELT. She’s saying “this is what I experienced and these are my feelings about it.” Amber is a thick, curvy girl and she’s had years of experience with slender white women telling her (in various ways) that her body is unacceptable, that it is gross, that it is uncomfortable to see. Amber FELT body-shamed because she knows the feeling well from years of experience. I understand that Julianne is trying to say that was not her intention at all, and maybe it wasn’t – but Julianne still needs to stop and listen to what Amber is saying here.



Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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65 Responses to “Amber Rose: ‘I did feel body-shamed’ by ‘DWTS’ judge Julianne Hough”

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  1. JudyK says:

    Julianne thinks she is Chief Judge on DWTS. And her explanation of her remark sounds like Trump saying he had a bad mic. B.S. I’m w/ Amber Rose on this one.

    • Birdix says:

      that incident could be manufactured. But the first week when her own partner said she didn’t have the right body shape for the waltz or whatever dance they were doing–that horrified me. The judges shoul have corrected it as soon as the dance was over.
      My kid’s friend was told she put on muscle too easily by a dance teacher recently. She’s 12. What the hell era are you living in, dance world?

      • JudyK says:

        Incident could be manufactured? Did you read the article? Julianne admitted it in the above article and gave a B.S. excuse for it. Your kid’s friend’s teacher is out of line saying that to a 12-year-old, and I agree that Maks (her partner) was out of line, as well.

      • Sasha says:

        The classic dance world and ballet are very elitist. They have no problem discussing body shapes, breasts etc. There is a certain expectation of a body shape for a professional dancer. To them it is not personal, it is business. Just like there is a certain expectation of a body shape for a bodybuilder. They judge bodies like I would judge brain power and experience of an engineer.

        I think what happens is that too often they forget that those celebrities are not professional dancers. I think it is very hard for professional dancers and judges to control their ingrained expectations.

    • rays kirt says:

      Whyyyy use the word uncomfortable??? Very telling, subconscious

  2. PHAKSI says:

    Amber’s body is perfection, but I will shame her for that God awful wig!

    • Pix says:

      Her body is amazing and that is why I was so surprised that she seemed so stiff and uncomfortable dancing. I watched a few minutes on last week’s recap show and was struck that she’s so stiff. It didn’t seem like she could make that booty jump. Maybe she was just nervous.

      • Michelina says:

        She definitely looks shy and nervous to me when she dances. I hope she can get through that. DWTS has a bad rep but I give all of the contestants a lot of credit because the whole process involves getting out of your comfort zone and so few people actually do that.

      • LAK says:

        A person’s body has no bearing on whether they can dance. Some dance forms have criteria for their dancers’ bodies, but that’s usually due to long held tradition that is often debunked.

        If a person can’t dance or is a bad dancer, the perfection or otherwise of their body is immaterial.

        That said, i am genuinely surprised at how stiff she is given her former profession as a stripper. Is it her body that made her a success rather than actual dance talent?

  3. Little Darling says:

    Sooooo, when I hurt myself this summer and basically cut the tip of my finger off, clipped a nerve and needed two surgeries I was in so much pain I literally couldn’t focus on wordy/thoughtful tv so I wound up watching SO MUCH CRAP that I felt elitist to before. DWTS is one of them. I saw this incident (okay okay I still watch when I fold laundry!) and honestly, the dance was much more sexual than is normal on the show, and for a few moments they were kind of grinding like in a club, it wasn’t a cha cha(?) at all, and Ambee herself looked uncomfortable with her partner lifting her leg like that.

    The comment was innocuous though, and definitely not intended the way Amber felt. They said the same things about Jayna when they sexualized their dance and didn’t stick with traditional style.

    That said, I looked at before and after pics and I think she must have added some to her butt, right? Also, I like Amber a lot more than I thought!

    • Tifzlan says:

      I’ve never watched DWTS and i am not a dancer, but i do want to ask – when you say that the dance was “much more sexual than normal,” what do you mean by that? I’m not disputing your reading of the situation, but as a curvy girl, people sometimes tell me that my body is “too sexual” or inappropriate even if i’m not doing anything remotely sexual or inappropriate. They’re literally just referring to the shape of my body, which i can’t control.

      I bring this up because i think sometimes people do see curvy bodies as being inappropriate doing certain things and more slender women won’t receive the same perception for whatever reason. This could be one of those situations. And if that’s the case, i completely understand Amber’s feelings on this. But again, i didn’t watch the show or critiques so i can’t say with certainty that this was what happened.

      • Little Darling says:

        Sexual because they were grinding as if they were in a club. I am a Latina, Puerto Rican to be exact, I’ve got a body almost identical to JLo, I’ve got a nice booty and a small waist and a typical Latina shape that I didn’t appreciate until I got older. I know what you’re talking about.

        But the dance was uncomfortable, and it had nothing to do with her body, which everyone, EVERYONE on that stage/show has commented positively about.

      • Kelly says:

        I think the sexuality comes more from the moves than from anyone’s body. DWTS is one of my guilty pleasures so I watch a ton of it. The judges get critical in regard to a dancer’s adherence to the specific dance moves and emotions it’s supposed to convey: a jive is substantially different in movement and tone than a paso double. I have never heard any of the judges comment on a dancer’s figure or body, but they’ll hammer foot movements. JH and Les play the bad cops more often than not as they get more technical than the other two.

        Wow, I know way too much about this for someone who can’t dance a darn.

      • Montréalaise says:

        Amber and her partner were supposed to dance a salsa but instead, they did a hip hop routine with a LOT of grinding and twerking – I didn’t see any salsa steps. The routine would have been overtly sexual even if Amber had a skinny, boyish figure.

      • perplexed says:

        I think they expect an adherence to the convention of the dance assigned, and Amber and her partner didn’t follow that. That was probably her partner’s fault since he choreographs it.

        Amber does look uncomfortable when she’s dancing so it didn’t strike me as strange that Hough said it. The judges looked horrified during Ryan Lochte’s dance and he fits a desired conventional body type for men, but he looks very awkward when dancing too. I don’t think they care about body type much — if you look awkward, well they notice (I think they described Lochte as a “lamppost”).

      • Kori says:

        I watch DWTS off and on but I have read criticism from some the last couple years that the program is getting away from the more traditional ballroom dances and strict form of the more sexy dances (ie salsa) and into straight up sexier dancing. They point it out more in the ‘group dances’ with the pros though then often with the individual couples.

    • ladysussex says:

      I agree with you. I guess anyone would “feel” uncomfortable getting a critique, but that doesn’t mean it was “body shaming” (but way to bring in an emotional buzz word) and does it really have anything to do with JH being a white woman?!?!?!

    • vilebody says:

      Guys, imagine Taylor Swift getting huge implants and then trying to be sexy AF. This was that dance. It was uncomfortable. I literally cringed when Maks did a mock butt slap.

      I saw a previous dance too (blame my parents–I’m visiting them), and I am surprised that Amber, who I thought would be a great dancer, is stiff as a board and more awkward than 12-year-old me when dancing. Perhaps it’s nerves.

    • Merritt says:

      Was it more sexual? Because there have been several raunchy dances over the years. And the dance the women pros did on the results show wasn’t exactly prim.

      • perplexed says:

        The weird part is that I didn’t think she looked sexual — just awkward. I think the song was about booties, and yet, the dance was pretty…bland? In that sense, Hough’s comment here makes sense: “My ‘uncomfortable’ comment was about the fact that I felt like I wanted more out of the performance – when someone is doing a hot, sexy dance like that without the right amount of energy that is required, it can be uncomfortable to watch.”

        Yeah, there are a lot of sexy dances on that show. “Sexy” didn’t really come to mind when watching Amber – simply surprise that she wasn’t that good at dancing even though she used to be a stripper.

      • mayamae says:

        The same night, Jana’s dance included: her partner pretending to grab her breasts, he slapped her on her butt, and while he was laying flat, she stood close and lifted her skirt up all the way to flash him her butt. Julianne thought it was adorable. And Jana’s first dance was overtly sexual, but the judges just fanned themselves like they enjoyed it and were turned on.

      • Jellybean says:

        I have watched a lot of the UK version. I don’t know how it is done in the US, but over here the judges vary in how they respond to unconventional versions of a dance and the audience pretty much knows what to expect from each judge. For me it is really how the dancer performs that makes a dance sexy and when they get the technical side and performance spot on it is fantastic. If the dance is a bit unconventional but it does have plenty of the required components of that dance then all the judges seem happy, sexy or not. Bumping and grinding without those things will get slammed and is rather gross to watch with the family.

  4. Nancy says:

    Although I’m not an Amber fan, I am less of a fan of Houghs. I don’t watch this show but my father-in-law loves it, bless his heart. While over there, I listened to Hough critique someone and started laughing. She takes her job so seriously and is snarky. I’d say do what you do best and dance and/or go away. Amber get a thicker skin.

    • Merritt says:

      Julianne is not a good judge. She has been called out in the past for making inappropriate comments. She also tends to play favorites with her brother. Julianne also has a history of racist behavior.

  5. ElleBee says:

    I’m just here to comment on how convincing Maks is Khal Drogo

    • Angelica says:

      Right? Maks doesn’t do it for me so much, but Khal Drogo does, so to that I say, meow… He looks damn good!

  6. LAK says:

    This is a technical skills talent show. If a judge says they are uncomfortable, don’t assume, ask what exactly is making them uncomfortable.

    You can’t always assume that where people criticise or make ambigous statements that it is always some type of shaming. You might feel it is shaming, but you won’t know for sure if you don’t ask. The response to your question will tell you what you need to know.

  7. Clare says:

    To me this feels like Amber is projecting – I don’t watch the show so maybe I am completely wrong, but I really don’t see how a judge on a dance show (and a professional dancer) would be uncomfortable with a bit of T&A…
    I do agree, however, that Amber is entitled to feel however she felt, and Julianne should acknowledge that.

  8. Shelley says:

    Amber is definite body goals.
    As for Hough I don’t believe her version. This sounds like a microaggression.

  9. lisa says:

    i’m actually shocked at how not good a dancer amber is. she’s ok at best compared to the other contestants. i dont know why but i expected her to be better.

    what makes it worse is that when she dances she looks like some sort of combination of nerves and not really wanting to be there. she has not shown any improvement. even rick perry seemed excited to be there.

    • Santia says:

      It’s the exotic dancing past, I think. I’ve seen Amber twerk so much, so expected she would have musicality. She doesn’t.

  10. paolanqar says:

    It feels like people are jumping on the ‘body shame’ wagon too quickly.
    Her dance was uncomfortable to watch and not for her body shape but for the way she was dancing.
    It was so cringe I suffered of second hand embarrassment and I had to change channel.

  11. Melody says:

    You see the same kind of thing in plus sized (sorry for the hated phrase) modeling. Seeing a VS model and a plus sized model wear the same type of thing and do the same poses – the PS version will get banned far more often. Why? My theory is we’ve normalized seeing the slim figures that way, but it’s still a shock to see PS that way – and the shock (as well as the full figure) is arousing. We’re uncomfortable with being aroused nowadays. Puritan heritage, all that.

  12. Kelly says:

    She’s not the first voluptuous dancer on the show. The comments was probably taken out of context. JH is critical of dance moves; it’s what got her where she is.

  13. Pandy says:

    Haven’t yet watched this weeks taped episode. Julianne is critical of everyone, she’s kind of nasty at the best of times. Like a yapping chihuahua. Some of the dances are too sexualized but like Amber says, it’s pros and amateurs. I was a bit surprised that Amber isn’t a better dancer at least so far. I’m thinking she will shine in the freestyle if she makes it that far. So far her costumes have been awful too. She has a difficult body to dress.

  14. Joy says:

    Amber is shifting blame from her own bad dancing to Julianne.

  15. Thaisajs says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t her partner the person who choreographs the dance? If it was too sexy etc, then isn’t it on him? Amber is a curvy, beautiful woman. I don’t watch the show so I can’t comment on whether the dance was appropriate or not, but to blame her for performing too sexual a dance is really on her partner, not her.

    • Lyka says:

      Well, to be fair, no one said it was “too sexy”. The quote attributed to Hough was that it was “uncomfortable.”

  16. Lyka says:

    I don’t think this is like the Solange thing at all, because this was specifically for a TV show. On TV comments are edited out of context, dubbed in, re-cut, etc. I’m SURE Amber’s body gets labeled as “too sexy” all the time for no reason other than existing, but reality TV manufactures enough of its story-lines that I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that we do know the context of what Hough said. Plus I agree that a “sexy” dance looks super uncomfortable if the people dancing don’t seem energetic and comfortable with it themselves.

  17. Jayna says:

    There’s been curvy women on and even heavier women on there. Kirsty Alley was much bigger than Amber, who is considered curvy, but Kirsty was light on her feet and had great rhythm. It’s why she went far in the contest. The wooden dancers usually leave early if they don’t have a big fan base to push them through a little further.

    Kim Kardashian was beyond wooden and out early, I think.

  18. Whatwhatnot says:

    I was surprised to see that Amber was so stiff and awkward, especially with her background as an exotic dancer. It was uncomfortable to watch. Her Kanye’s-girlfriend-era body was goals for me. Her body was divine back then. She still holds her weight well, though.

    As for the way she took the comment, ugh sorry I think she is just being paranoid. We had a friend that used to get offended at the most innocuous things my other friends and I would say about things that didn’t even pertain to her. It was exhausting and honestly, it’s really that person’s issue how they take other people’s statements and opinions, especially when they aren’t intentionally being disrespectful or talking about you. Like RuPaul tells his contestants about his own personal mantra “What you think of me is none of my business” so say what you want, I may take it into consideration, but I’m not gonna let it affect my confidence.

    • Micki says:

      Great comment from RuPaul. I agree completely but just wonder if a nobody on the street says the same will that constitute nano-, micro-, mid- or macro aggression.

      The “projection game” as I call it is a dangerous as “what if” game.

  19. Michelina says:

    I think it needs to be addressed here that Julianne Hough once wore a Halloween costume that involved BLACK FACE because I see too many people giving her way too much credit here. Julianne is an asshole. I believe she did shame Amber, just like she wore black face and then tried to play innocent and act like she didn’t know what it was. We weren’t there, Amber was. I’m sure Amber has enough experience with people sexualizing her body to know when she’s being criticized or judged for it.

    I actually love Amber and really appreciate what she’s trying to do/doing for women. As far as I’m concerned, she is fighting the good fight. I do think that Amber looks uncomfortable and doesn’t perform well on the show and I think it might be because she joined the show to break out of the box that people have placed her in, and the show is taking what she’s known for (her curves, her sexuality) and emphasizing that anyway instead of showing a new side of her. They had her dancing to “Booty” and had her shaking her ass. She did look uncomfortable.

    Julianne is passive aggressive and tries to backtrack when she gets called out for her stupid behavior.

    • Lyka says:

      I don’t actually think Hough’s blackface horror is remotely pertinent, but I guess I also think of that whenever I think of her. And while it was a stupid and horrible and offensive thing to do, Hough did admit exactly that. She apologized and she said she was embarrassed that she could be that dumb. I think it’s entirely plausible that a young, middle-class white woman wouldn’t understand what blackface is or why it’s so loaded with hateful meaning (that’s just privilege, and I’ve known more than a few privileged white women in my life), so I don’t tend to agree with the idea that she knew exactly what she was doing.

      • Chessie says:

        I’ve always suspected she knew re blackface and it was a deliberate scandal to get her publicity. Just my opinion, but that’s how I felt, esp bc a few days before, 1 of her BFFs Nina Dobrev went out of her way to have a public conversation on Twitter with another of their BFFs about how sad she was that she’d literally be in another state during Halloween and not able to be with them all to celebrate it. Idk why but something about the specificness of the convo felt odd when she did it – like she was realllllly going out of her way to make sure everyone knew she wasn’t spending Halloween with that group, which made me ‘???’. Fast forward a couple of days and Julianne spent Halloween in blackface and Ninas tweet started feeling – to me – kinnnnnda like she’d known in advance and was covering her own backside ahead of time. Obvs just my opinion tho, could be wayyyyy off, partic as my opinion of JH ain’t that great to begin with.

  20. Skins says:

    Amber couldn’t wait to throw that word out there

  21. ELX says:

    In the case of Ms. Knowles, food was actually thrown–not an ambiguous situation–actual aggressive action took place. When we talk about feelings alone, however, it’s a much murkier situation. Amber felt body shamed by a critical dance judge, Lena felt that she wasn’t pretty enough for OBJ to bother being polite to–feelings stem from our experiences of life, but that doesn’t make them automatically reasonable in any particular situation.

  22. Jenn4037 says:

    I agree with Julianne – it was uncomfortable to watch. Amber’s body is changing from all of the dancing and she looks amazing. I’m pretty sure all of the judges have been very careful to make positive and encouraging comments – but it is NOT anyone’s job to make Amber feel like a special snowflake. She is entitled to her feelings, and Julianne is entitled to disagree with her.

    I think two seperate issues are being confused here.

  23. Chaucer says:

    I understand that Julianne is trying to say that was not her intention at all, and maybe it wasn’t – but Julianne still needs to stop and listen to what Amber is saying here.

    I take HUGE issue with this and I’m struggling to find a delicate way to put it. Amber signed up for a show in which her body is to be put on display and judged on skills. Julianne did her job in judging on skills, and while Julianne might stop and take in what Amber has said, she in no way needs to change her statements for fear of judging Amber. Amber chooses to feel body shamed because I believe she’s used to it. That’s not what happened here and that’s Amber’s issue to resolve.

  24. flybaby says:

    I’m a total dwts junkie. Never miss an episode. She has obviously not been comfortable with tany of the dances. I really hope she can do better. I was so excited for her to be on the show. I’ve been so horrified by the wasy they have been stuffing her into bad wigs and unflattering costumes. Aand by the way her partner has been choreographing the dances. They don’t know what to do with her amazing body and style

  25. sunny says:

    So because someone “feels like” they’re being “body shamed”, the supposed offender needs to fall all over themselves to apologize for an erroneous interpretation of an innocuous comment? Come on. Am I the only person sick to death of the constant crying and desperate attempts to find some kind of victimization to get attention?

    I don’t watch this (I’d rather die tbh) but from what I’ve heard, Amber is bad at this and is on the verge of being voted off. Seems like this is an attempt to get the pity vote so she can stay. Also, why do we also have to pretend like everyone is good at, or has the potential to be good at, everything? A sheep won’t ever be a racehorse but that doesn’t make a sheep bad (or baaaaad lol). Sometimes this egalitarianism nonsense goes too far. Ridiculous.

    • sunny says:

      Oh also you can only be “body shamed” if you allow it. Either you are strong and confident or you aren’t. If you aren’t, I’m sorry for your issues but they aren’t my problem and the rest of the world shouldn’t have to fall all over itself to reassure you. What has happened to the world that people think their feelings should be the most important thing? What happened to some form of “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me”? And to not only be a victim but to actively court it and scream “Look at me I’m a victim!” is just bananas. Is this what is considered a “strong woman”? Not to me. A strong woman is that woman in Iraq fighting ISIS and beheading them. I want my daughters to look up to THAT woman, not some person that falls to pieces because someone didn’t praise them 24/7.

  26. Kori says:

    I hope there’s no body shaming going on. Some less-than-skinny women have actually done very well on this program. Kelly Osborne, Amber Riley from Glee (who won), Kirstie Alley and others. So it’s not like they can’t do it and they shouldn’t be made to feel that it’s a huge obstacles.

  27. Red says:

    Amber was thin most of her life until Bash came along.

  28. Vinot says:

    Regardless of her intentions, Julianne has always been problematic and I’m glad Amber has a platform to express her perspective of it.

  29. Trixie says:

    I also felt uncomfortable watching Amber’s dance. But not because it was “too sexy” but because Amber is not a good dancer. And because she’s not a good dancer and is awkward, it was uncomfortable to watch her dance. Other bad dancers are also uncomfortable to watch. I don’t want to discount what Amber is saying, but at the same time I think because of her past experiences she is reading too much into the “uncomfortable” comment.

  30. Nimbolicious says:

    I get annoyed by people who are so ready to take up arms against what they consider “shaming.” I don’t believe anyone can really effectively be “shamed” if they own and are okay with who they are – it’s just a matter of another person’s perception that they can accept or not accept. I don’t care much for Julianne as a judge, but I’m very familiar with the inner workings of the show and know they edit the hell out of the non-live portions in order to create drama where none really exists.

    And another thing: Amber Riley, who had curves beyond Amber Rose’s, curves which she worked to perfection on the dance floor with Derek, won the Mirror Ball a few seasons back. She was a good dancer, she owned her body, and there was never any issue with her body type being a problem for anyone. Amber Rose, on the other hand, is not a good dancer in the way that the show requires. So it seems to me that this is an instance of the now-fashionable claim of “shaming” being used as a smokescreen for her own lack of ability or discomfort with herself. And I think that sort of “crying wolf” tactic detracts from what I think IS an important message: promoting healthy body images for girls and women no matter how or where they choose to express themselves.

  31. mayamae says:

    There’s so much anger toward Amber from people who don’t even watch the show.

    • dwtsfan says:

      I’m not angry, I watch the show,seen her dance and see how uncomfortable she is and so am I. Body shaming of all people is not Julianne, when we say how tall some men are and makes it diffi cult to perform a dance,I don’t see anyone shaming them for being tall. There’s real body shaming out there, by making all about it it takes away from the real shamers. As for Amber, that is not her real body, her breast implants, ass fillers have made her unproportionate, she needs to chill out.

  32. dwtsfan says:

    As a fan of Dwts since day one, I have seen harsh comments but Julianna has never body shamed anyone. Her comment was edited in for the per package.I’ve seen other judges say I feel uncomfortable watching and I’ve said it, it has nothing to do with her body but her LAck of rhythm. She can’t dance, she does the steps like a robot. Others have also been very uncomfortable to watch cause I feel bad for them seeing that they are barely moving,are stiff and move like lead. As for Amber, using this as an excuse for att is beneath her. If you ccan’t hear a comment without your mind going to worst case scenario than that’s on her to fix.