Aidy Bryant, star of the hit show "Shrill," recently spoke out about the stigma encountered by people living with obesity, saying she "mourns" the time she lost feeling self-conscious as a teen. At her words, a wave of empathy and validation washed over the obesity community. “Wow. Even her, too?”
Three things happen for us when a celebrity shares their struggles around obesity with us.
First, they help to destigmatize obesity. It becomes more relatable as a chronic condition. Suddenly, we see our friends and family changing their attitudes toward our condition, and even toward us.
Second, we feel more hopeful and inspired in our own life. Knowing that a celebrity is facing the same day-to-day struggles we do, all while under the glare of stardom, we are more endeared toward them. We especially feel a connection when they use their voice to change attitudes about people facing obesity.
Finally, we feel empowered by the will of celebrities to step forward and take control of the narrative about their bodies under intense media scrutiny. When they show the world what it means to live with obesity, they offer a roadmap and inspire confidence for how we might do the same.
Whether famous or not, the public acknowledgment of one’s condition is a brave act in the face of strong cultural stigmas. As obesity awareness spreads, acceptance soon follows.
Is there a notable person who has inspired you? How do you feel about celebrities discussing their condition? Share in the comments below or post on MyObesityTeam.