Julianne Hough: I Was Called ‘Fat’ Every Day on Set When I Was at My ‘Skinniest’

Julianne Hough for Redbook
Julianne Hough for Redbook Hudson Taylor/Redbook

For Julianne Hough, re-learning to be confident in her body has been a personal challenge since her teenage years.

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“I was very self-accepting growing up, then something switched in middle school. I would compare myself to everyone,” Hough, 29, explained in Redbook’s February issue. “And later I did a film where I basically was told I was fat every day, yet I was the skinniest I’d ever been. Now, when I’m self-conscious, I’ll do something completely crazy or goofy to get out of my own headspace — something fun that reminds me of the freedom I felt as a kid before all that happened.”

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The dancer and actress is also encouraged by her husband, Brooks Laich, to actively try and appreciate herself in a new way. “When Brooks and I first started dating and we would take a picture, he would show it to me and I’d be like, ‘Oh, God, let’s take it again,’” she recalled. “He once said, ‘Every time you look at a photo, you put it down right away instead of seeing the good in it.’ So now when I see a picture, even if I don’t like it, I try to find something positive.”

Julianne Hough for Redbook Hudson Taylor/Redbook


In fact, now taking on the role of ‘50s pin-up girl and trainer Betty Weider in Bigger, Hough is excited by her new shape. “Women in that era had bigger hips and bigger busts. I don’t naturally have that hourglass shape — I’m more elongated and square, to be honest. Basically, I cut down on my cardio and was lifting a lot of weights. And if I wanted an extra bit of ice cream that day, I would eat it and it would go right to my hips,” the Dancing With the Stars judge explained. “I was FaceTiming with Brooks this morning, and I was like, ‘Look. My butt’s bigger, my boobs are bigger, my waist is smaller.’ It’s kind of nice!”


Hough has told Us Weekly that her NHL player husband’s healthy habits have also been a good influence on her. Noting that he isn’t one to “trade a delicious meal for his health,” Hough admitted she “had to kind of jump on board.” Whipping up tricolor cauliflower and other dishes has become fun, she said, “and I know what I’m putting in my body.”For more diet and fitness secret from Hough and other celebrities, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly on stands now.


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