Learning to love yourself, and your body, is tough. Made even tougher when you have millions of individuals who feel it is their duty to make you feel otherwise—and tell you so over Instagram, Twitter, and internet comments. So while we all have our stuff, celebrities often have to harness more compassion, understanding, and self-love to cut through all the noise.
Below, 11 celebrities speak out about their bodies—whether explaining their journey to body positivity, divulging insecurities, or frankly displaying their unwavering confidence.
"I'm not built like a Victoria's Secret girl," Rihanna told Vogue this year, "and I still feel very beautiful and confident in my lingerie"
In 2017, Demi Lovato posted a photo with the caption, "I don't have a thigh gap and I'm still beautiful the way I am." A year later, she went into more detail about learning to love her body. "So, I'm insecure about my legs in this picture but I'm posting it because I look so happy and this year I've decided I'm letting go of my perfectionism and embracing freedom from self criticism," Lovato wrote on Instagram. "Learning to love my body the way it is is challenging but life changing. Giving up my eating disorder has been the most challenging journey of my life but I work every day towards solid recovery even if I mess up sometimes. Today I'm feeling strong. You all can do it too. It IS possible. Thank you God for this new chapter in my life. #EDrecovery #happyAF."
"I workout. I do my best to eat well. I love the skin I'm in," Ashley Graham wrote on Instagram. "And I'm not ashamed of a few lumps, bumps, or cellulite… and you shouldn't be either #beautybeyondsize #lovetheskinyourein."
"It's unfortunate that one unflattering photo of my stomach circulating the internet causes hundreds of people to think that I'm pregnant," Lilli Reinhart wrote in May on her Instagram Story. "Nope. Not pregnant. This is just my body. And sometimes I'm bloated. Sometimes an unflattering photo is taken of me. Sometimes I go through periods of time where I gain weight. My body is something that I will NEVER apologize for. My body will constantly go through change. And so will yours. And that's fine. So let's not put so much time and effort into caring about a stranger's figure. Bye."
"I'm trying to use my social media as a way to communicate that I'm flawed and that I'm okay with it," Gina Rodriguez told Women's Health. "It's a very strange feeling to be okay with a little extra cellulite or a little extra anything. I don't look at it and feel terrified anymore, and my confidence changed because of that. I carry myself differently. It's like we women consciously decide we're going to be mean to ourselves. But you're your own hero, not some image you can't live up to."
"I had a great role model in Sofia [Vergara] growing up, with her being a curvy woman that was super proud of who she was and what she looked like," Winter told Self. "She could see that I was struggling a little bit with how to deal with my body, and was always trying to give me advice, like, 'Here are some brands that would look good on our body type,' or 'Wear whatever you want, and feel good about yourself.'"
When she didn't cover up her breast reduction scars on the red carpet, they garnered a ton of media attention. In response, she simply tweeted, "Guys there is a reason I didn't make an effort to cover up my scars! They are part of me and I'm not ashamed of them at all."
"Shoutout to all the boys from 5th-9th grade who made fun of me for being 'too strong,'" Aly Raisman wrote on her Instagram. "Thanks for forcing me to learn to love myself and my body. My muscular arms that were considered weird and gross when I was younger have made me one of the best gymnasts on the planet. Don't ever let anyone tell you how you should or shouldn't look. There is no such thing as a perfect body type. I love being part of the #PerfectNever campaign. #GirlPower #Supporteachother"
"Since websites and magazines love to share 'celeb flaws,'" Hilary Duff wrote on her Instagram in 2017, "well I have them! My body has given me the greatest gift of my life: Luca, 5 years ago. I'm turning 30 in September and my body is healthy and gets me where I need to go. Ladies, let's be proud of what we've got and stop wasting precious time in the day wishing we were different, better, and unflawed. You guys (you know who you are!) already know how to ruin a good time, and now you are body shamers as well. #kissmyass"
"I love my body and I would never change anything about it… I'm not asking you to like my body," Serena Williams told Self in 2016. "I'm just asking you to let me be me. Because I'm going to influence a girl who does look like me and I want her to feel good about herself."
"I think about my body as a tool to do the stuff I need to do, but not the be all and end all of my existence," Lena Dunham said told Gothamist in 2014. "Which sounds like I spent a week at a meditation retreat, but it's genuinely how I feel. … I think, if I can do anything, as cliché as it sounds, to aid in the comfort of a woman accepting her form, then I want to do that. I think every girl that's a little curvy can tell you it doesn't stop you from having sex, it doesn't stop you from doing anything, unless you decide you should hide in a shame pit because you don't look like a Victoria's Secret Angel."