Celebrities Who Refused To Lose Weight For A Job

Sarah Kester
Kelly Clarkson posing
instagram | Kelly Clarkson

Image is everything in Hollywood.

Celebrities have a reputation to uphold so that they can stay in the public's good graces. 

Unfortunately, the emphasis on image goes too far when it causes celebrities to feed into toxic diet culture.

While some have succumbed to his pressure, others have flat-out refused to change their bodies ⁠— even if it cost them a job.


After the singer was criticized for looking heavier in pictures taken at a cancer benefit, she defended her body.

“I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy, and my healthy, voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much deserved time off,” the singer tweeted.

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence with her bow and arrow in The Hunger Games
Variety | Paramount Pictures

During the early days of J-Law's career, she was told to lose 15 pounds in two weeks for a role.

She was also made to stand nude in a line of thinner girls and use the photographs as "body inspiration."

Thankfully, the 'Hunger Games' actress refused to change her body for anyone.

Jennifer Lawrence getting mad

"I’m never going to starve myself for a part...I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner,'" she told Elle.

Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham posing in pink dress
instagram | Ashley Graham

After a model scout advised Ashley to lose weight at the start of her career, even her father agreed.

"I was 15, standing in our living room having a moment I will never forget. I never had a parent tell me to lose weight and it hurt," she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Ashley's mom intervened, prompting her self-love journey.

"She told me, 'You’re like all of the women in our family. You’re like so many women in the world.'"

Ashley went on to dominate the fashion industry and become one of the most famous body-positive advocates.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Rosie posing on a couch
instagram | Rosiehw

At the start of the model's career, she was advised to lose weight. After battling with the harmful advice, Rosie decided against it.

"I'm quite stubborn, so I didn't," she told Elle UK. Being stubborn really paid off!

Amber Riley

Amber Riley singing
Giphy | Official London Theatre

As a plus-size woman in Hollywood, the early days of the actress's career were filled with roles like, "the girl who sits in the corner and eats all day" and "the girl who wanted to commit suicide because she was fat."

She decided to stop going to auditions because she didn't want to "conform and hurt [her]self" to reach a certain size.

Amber Riley posing on stairs
instagram | Amber Riley

Staying true to herself worked out: she had a main role on Glee and she's set to star in the upcoming NBC series, Dream.

Sam Smith

Sam Smith dancing
Giphy | BRIT Awards

The singer got candid about their body issues in 2019.

"In the past, if I have ever done a photoshoot with so much as a t-shirt on, I have starved myself for weeks in advance and then picked and prodded at every picture and then normally taken the picture down," they wrote on Instagram.

After years of giving in to this pressure, they fought back.

In a powerful post, Smith wrote, "Yesterday I decided to fight the [expletive] back," Smith posted on Instagram in February. "Reclaim my body and stop trying to change this chest and these hips and these curves that my mum and dad made and love so unconditionally."

Ashley Benson

Ashley Benson taking selfie in mirror
instagram | Ashley Benson

The Pretty Little Liars actress has been told to lose weight many times over the years. Each time, she refused.

“I feel good,” she told Health. “I don’t want to lose 20 lbs., because I don’t need to. I’m a size 2, but I think that size 4 is healthy. I think that all of these sizes are healthy.”

Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid walking on runway
Giphy | NYFW: The Shows

People judge models in many ways: the way they walk, the size of their bodies, and the jobs they book.

Gigi Hadid knows this scrutiny well. When she first got started modeling, she was treated differently because of her athletic body from years of playing volleyball.

After being heavily criticized during Paris Fashion Week in 2015, she fought back.

"Your mean comments don't make me want to change my body," she wrote. She also said, "No, I don't have the same body as the other models in shows...I'm not the first or last model of my type in this industry...I'm a hard worker that's confident in myself, one that came at a time when the fashion industry was ready for a change."

Jameela Jamil

“We aren’t supposed to all look the same,” The Good Place star wrote in an article for HuffPost UK.

“And nothing good ever comes of self-hatred. It will never further you. It will always hold you back.”


Beyoncé looking emotional
Giphy | 52nd NAACP Image Awards

After the singer was criticized for putting on some weight around the age of 19, she channeled that frustration into the self-love anthem, "Bootylicious."

"It was the beginning of me using whatever life handed me and turning it into something empowering to other women and men who were struggling with the same thing," she told Harper's Bazaar.

Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet clapping a lot
Giphy | The Academy Awards

The Titanic actress has taken it upon herself to show what a middle-aged woman actually looks like.

"My body will never go back to what it was, and I wouldn't expect it to after three babies," she told Harper's Bazaar.

Lili Reinhart

Lili Reinhart holding flowers at market
instagram | Lili Reinhart

While the Riverdale actress could aim for a size 0 body to show off on TV, she prefers to be a healthy role model for other young women.

She even told a fan on Twitter that she did a bra and underwear scene for the show despite having gained some weight.

Liv Tyler

"I've been told that if I lose weight, I'd have more work, but I refuse to submit myself to Hollywood standards,” the actress said in 2003.

She's lived by those words since then. "To the rest of the world I am slim, and I like the way I am."

Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst posing on the red carpet
Giphy | E!

After director Sofia Coppola advised Kristen to lose weight for Beguiled, Kristen refused.

"It’s so much harder when you’re 35 and hate working out...I’m eating fried chicken and McDonald’s before work," Kristen told Variety. "So I’m like, ‘We have no options! I’m sorry I can’t lose weight for this role.’"

Patricia Arquette

Patricia Arquette sitting on rocks
instagram | Patricia Arquette

In 2015, the actress told Fortune about messed up advice an agent told her. They said to lose 10 pounds but not lose any of her breast size in the process.

"I didn’t want to lose 10 pounds and I didn’t," she said.

Standing up for her body has hurt the actress financially.

Patricia Arquette smiling and clapping
Giphy | SAG Awards

"There were times I turned down movies when I needed work financially, when I had a newborn, because the roles were inappropriate, or the director was inappropriate or unethical. That is another reason I feel the way I do about gender pay equality.”

Misty Copeland

Ballerinas face more pressure to be a certain weight than celebrities. Misty went through this at 19 when the American Ballet Theatre asked her to lose weight to "lengthen" her body.

She refused, telling Self that ballerinas have to "show that we're athletes."

Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer looking at herself in mirror
Giphy | Crave

The comedian lost weight for Trainwreck after being told that women in movies that are over 140 pounds hurt people's eyes.

Since then, she's refused to change her body. “I didn’t know that so I lost some weight to do that but never again.”

Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson posing
instagram | Kelly Clarkson

As a proud body-positive advocate, Kelly made a decision long ago not to conform to beauty standards. She's not a size 0 and she's proud of it!

"No one actually cares about your health...they just care about aesthetics," she told Redbook.

Aidy Bryant

SNL star Aidy Bryant is used to getting roles that weren't all that.

"There was one where — and I don’t think it has ever seen the light of day — a man was in prison and the other guys in prison were like, 'You’ve got to get an ugly girl to be your prison wife and she’ll come and bring you food and have sex with you!' And then they were like, 'And that would be you.'" she told AdWeek.

"I remember being like, 'Oh, they think that this 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...'" — and so she did just that.


Lizzo on stage saying let's go
Giphy | BET

Since day ONE, Lizzo has been sure to promote healthy body positivity and has shown the world what it means to love herself. She isn't changing for the music industry, and thank goodness for that, tbh.

Kate Upton

Believe it or not, when she landed her first Sports Illustrated, people were discussing whether or not she was too fat.

During a Facebook Live chat for Sports Illustrated, she said, "I had this huge moment in my career, and they were tearing it apart."

Upton said:

"I have to thank the people who did that because it really made me sit back and find out who I was and what meant something to me and how I thought about my body."