Raven-Symone‘s life may have seemed idyllic to fans of the Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven, but behind the scenes of the kids’ sitcom, the former Cosby Show star felt lots of pain. On the Tuesday, July 28, episode of The View, the 29-year-old actress shared that she was fat-shamed by adults on the set of her beloved series, and on The Cosby Show, which she appeared on from 1989 to 1992.
“I remember not being able to have the bagel or anything at [craft services] – we call it crafty – where it’s just a table of food ready for you to eat whenever you want,” the former child star recalled. “And I remember people were like, ‘You can’t eat that. You’re getting fat.'”
Best known as Olivia Kendall on The Cosby Show, Raven-Symone was shocked by their harsh words to such a young child. “I’m like, ‘I’m 7! I’m hungry!'” she said.
The outspoken actress and TV host appeared on That’s So Raven from 2003 to 2007, and had weighed 180 pounds by the end of filming. She was 21 at the time, and still faced body bullying from cast and crew members she refused to name.
As the star explained, her weight gain was due to many factors other than just her food intake. “It’s more than what’s just the food — it’s what’s in the food. Your cortisol level and your serotonin level have a really strong influence on your body type.”
During her time on the series, Symone developed depression after those around her wouldn’t sympathize with her desire to live healthfully, not just be skinny. “You put nasty stuff, images of women I’ll never to aspire to [in front of me], of course I’m going to get depressed,” she said.
In a 2014 interview with Oprah Winfrey, the actress revealed that she made a concerted effort to lose weight in 2011, and after she did, the entertainment industry shifted its focus back to plus size women. “I was proud [of my body] at the time. I was. And I am. I love my thicky, thicky self,” she told Winfrey on Where Are They Now?. “As soon as I lost weight, it became thick-girl season. Everyone just started to be thick on television. I’m like, are they getting the same backlash as I am? Because I was thick.”
She added: “I lost weight to keep them people from talking to me. I got tired and irritated.”
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