We look to celebrities for so much—fashion advice, beauty inspiration, entertainment, the list goes on. We google their names during a controversy and retweet their remarks during politically charged conversations. We obsess over their behavior and guess who they may be dating during our lunch breaks. Some of it can be damaging; these are people that have access to more than most of us dream about, and jealousy is not an emotion we're unfamiliar with. But every so often, a celebrity says or does something that uses their position for good.
They tout an important charity, rally around a vital issue, or, in this case, make us feel better about our bodies.
Below, we chose our nine favorite quotes of body positivity from celebrities who've had their every limb critiqued by millions. Keep reading for a healthy dose of empowering words.
"I love me and I learned to love me and I've been like this my whole life, and I embrace me, and I love how I look," Williams told Good Morning America. "I love that I'm a full woman and I am strong, and I'm powerful, and I'm beautiful at the same time. And there's nothing wrong like that. It's so important to look at the positives; if I get caught up looking at the negatives, it can really bring you down. I don't have time to be brought down, I've got too many things to do. I have Grand Slams to win, I have people to inspire, and that's what I'm here for."
"As a child, I never heard one woman say to me, 'I love my body.' Not my mother, my elder sister, my best friend," Winslet told Marie Claire. "No one woman has ever said, 'I am so proud of my body.' I make sure to say it to [my daughter] Mia, because a positive physical outlook has to start at an early age."
As Winslet told Vanity Fair Italia in 2012, "I believe it is important to go on insisting that normality is not what we are exposed to. Honestly, among my acquaintances there is no woman wearing XS. No, sorry, there is one: my daughter. The point is that Mia is 11 years old."
"I got most of my confidence by having a mother who never said 'I don't like this or this,' Graham told Vogue. "It was just, 'You've got to love what you have because it is the only body that has been given.' I know that is where a lot of my confidence came from." She later told Swimsuits for All, "I know my curves are sexy and I want everyone else to know that theirs are too. There is no reason to hide and every reason to flaunt." Mom advice seems to be a common theme here and, you know what they say, mother knows best.
"'Model beautiful' was very different from 'high school beautiful,' Bryant wrote in a powerful essay for Refinery29. "After being told for most of my life that I was too skinny, now I wasn't skinny enough. And yeah, I was beautiful, but so was everyone else, and our beauty depended on who was looking and what was in style. … After standing in line for hours at a show casting in Paris and having the famous designer tell me to my face in his thick French accent, 'Joy, you are so beautiful, but I'm not using black girls this season,' I started to realize that [the industry] sucked.
"My body started to change once I hit my mid-30s, filling out here, there, and everywhere. The young Bronx girl in me would have welcomed the change with open arms. Hollywood me wasn’t so sure. I’d been naturally thin for most of my life, so I didn’t know how to handle the extra flesh gracing my frame at first, especially when it seemed like everyone else was getting skinnier. … It took my mother’s death in order for me to realize that we were in the same low-self-esteem boat, looking for love outside of ourselves, instead of within.
She never found it. I'm still searching. Thank god for therapy."
"I'd lose weight if I was an actress and had to play a role where you're supposed to be 40 pounds lighter, but weight has nothing to do with my career. Even when I was signing a contract, most of the industry knew if anyone ever dared say lose weight to me, they wouldn't be working with me," Adele told People.
"I've never been a small girl," Sidibe told Oprah in 2009. "One day I had to sit down with myself and decide that I loved myself no matter what my body looked like and what other people thought about my body. … I got tired of feeling bad all the time."
"It has taken me years to realize that what I was born with is all beautiful,” she writes in her book after undergoing weight-loss surgery. "I did not get this surgery to be beautiful. I did it so I can walk around comfortably in heels. I want to do a cartwheel. I want not to be in pain every time I walk up a flight of stairs."
"I would like us to make a new normal body type," Lawrence said in an interview with Harper's Bazaar. "Everybody says, 'We love that there is somebody with a normal body!' And I'm like, 'I don't feel like I have a normal body… I do Pilates every day. I eat, but I work out a lot more than a normal person. I think we've gotten so used to underweight that when you are a normal weight it's like, 'Oh, my God, she's curvy.' Which is crazy." She continues, "And the word fat! I just think it should be illegal to call somebody fat on TV.
I mean, if we're regulating cigarettes and sex and cuss words because of the effect it has on our younger generation, why aren't we regulating things like calling people fat?"
"I never appreciated my body or my looks when I was in my '20s. Now I'm like, Look at me! Look at you! Not in a conceited or arrogant way—I just appreciate myself in a way I didn't when I was that age," Lopez told W. "And it's not about perfection. I like the scars that I have."
"I've had my cellulite circled, when Dax and I were in Hawaii," Bell told ShowbizSpy. "When I saw it I started to sweat, going, 'Oh, my gosh, someone doesn't like me.' Then the more I looked at the pic, I thought, 'I look great!' I'm sorry for having human legs, made of muscle, skin, and fat. Oops. Like, I should be apologizing for that! If I had an extra pound on me, forgive me, but I was happy enough with the picture that I was like, 'I like my body. I have cellulite. Deal with it.' I'm not doing thigh commercials.
I'm an actress."