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Mercedes From Glee on Weight and Body Image

Glee's Amber Riley Weighs In on the Hollywood Skinny

If you watch Glee, then you probably know Amber Riley as Mercedes — the gal that brought the house down on last week's episode singing Jill Scott's "Hate on Me." Like the feisty character she portrays, Amber told Life and Style magazine that as a full-figured actress, it's important to be happy with yourself. She says,

“You’re not your dress size, you’re not your shoe size, you’re not your pants size. If I’m going to wear a name tag, it’s going to say ‘Amber Riley,’ not ‘Fat Girl’!”

The self-admitted shoeaholic, Amber likes formfitting clothes rather than "plus-size clothes that look like tents." She has a shape and she wants to show it. This young actress rocks a size 16, looks up to Queen Latifah and Jennifer Hudson, and is brimming with confidence. In Hollywood, a land where it is rare for women to be satisfied with their looks, body, and weight, I find her positive body image refreshing. How about you?

If you're a big fan of the show, be sure to enter Buzz's Glee giveaway for a chance to hang out with one of the cast members!

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sourcherry sourcherry 6 years
I honestly don't think this constant talk about celebrities' weight is beneficial at all, even when it's to say that size doesn't matter and as long as you're healthy, yada yada... If you're talking about it, it matters. It obviously matters more than all the topics celebs could be talking about. It just feeds society's obsession with weight and, consequently, the insecurity of young girls.
yeokr yeokr 6 years
What I have to say has more to do with our discussion than Amber RIley in particular. I am always happy to hear of actresses or celebrities that are confident with their body types. It strikes me, however, that there are more and more extreme body images in the media for those proverbial impressionable young girls. Ultimately, I think we would benefit most from confident women in the spotlight with healthy body types - not "normal" like so many call for. Normal in this country is large and, largely, unhealthy. Confidence and being comfortable in one's own skin is hugely important, but obesity is a more grave problem. As a society, I believe we need to be focusing more than we are on healthy eating and health promotion.
yeokr yeokr 6 years
What I have to say has more to do with our discussion than Amber RIley in particular. I am always happy to hear of actresses or celebrities that are confident with their body types. It strikes me, however, that there are more and more extreme body images in the media for those proverbial impressionable young girls. Ultimately, I think we would benefit most from confident women in the spotlight with healthy body types - not "normal" like so many call for. Normal in this country is large and, largely, unhealthy. Confidence and being comfortable in one's own skin is hugely important, but obesity is a more grave problem. As a society, I believe we need to be focusing more than we are on healthy eating and health promotion.
sloane220 sloane220 6 years
first i think there are a lot of stereotypes about black, white, spanish, and asian going around. if you have to start off your statement with the disclaimer "i don't mean to be racist" then you probably are being racist and ignorant to boot. there are black and spanish women who are anorexic and bulimic and there are white and asian women who are happy being a size 24. can we stop generalizing please.as for amber riley, her voice is amazing and i'm glad that she doesn't have a problem accepting her body in size 0 hollyweird, she doesn't look particularly healthy. i think if she adopted a healthy diet and exercise plan she could take some of the extra weight off.
sloane220 sloane220 6 years
first i think there are a lot of stereotypes about black, white, spanish, and asian going around. if you have to start off your statement with the disclaimer "i don't mean to be racist" then you probably are being racist and ignorant to boot. there are black and spanish women who are anorexic and bulimic and there are white and asian women who are happy being a size 24. can we stop generalizing please. as for amber riley, her voice is amazing and i'm glad that she doesn't have a problem accepting her body in size 0 hollyweird, she doesn't look particularly healthy. i think if she adopted a healthy diet and exercise plan she could take some of the extra weight off.
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 6 years
Anonymous #10-One thing I've noticed in black/hispanic cultures, is that larger/curvy/whatever you want to call it women are more likely to be considered culturally attractive and are far more accepting of all types of sizes
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 6 years
Anonymous #10- One thing I've noticed in black/hispanic cultures, is that larger/curvy/whatever you want to call it women are more likely to be considered culturally attractive and are far more accepting of all types of sizes
FashionistaJR FashionistaJR 6 years
Good for her. Finally someone who is okay with it. We need more Amber Riley's and Kelly Clarkson's!
jjoonie12 jjoonie12 6 years
She is young, she is still probably figuring the whole health issue out. But she is much more likely to lose weight (if she so chooses) in a healthy way if she loves herself as she is then if she wants to jump out of her skin.
crystalvillage06 crystalvillage06 6 years
She has a great voice and I like her positive attitude but I doubt she is very healthy if she is a size 16 particularly at such a young age. I also wouldn't want her to join the latest Hollywood diet fad but diet and exercise are good for everyone. However if she happy with her body and health then it doesn't affect me any and I will continue to enjoy her voice on Glee.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 6 years
To me, health and vanity are two separate things. I think if she ate a healthy diet and exercised regularly, she would lose weight and be healthier, which would be a good thing. But, I totally agree with her quote - I think it's great that she is not defined by her size. Also, accepting herself as she is now and being happy does not mean that she has to stay the exact same size. In fact, that's her whole point. I think this is a great attitude to have, so I likewise find her confidence to be refreshing.
katieb82981 katieb82981 6 years
I am all for body confidence, and I think we need to see more actresses that are a healthy size. Sometimes I worry, though, that in promoting actresses who aren't unnaturally thin, we embrace other unhealthy body types. Of course, I am not Amber Riley's doctor or trainer or even friend, so maybe she exercises and keeps a healthy diet and 16 is a healthy size for her ... but it wouldn't be a healthy size for most women.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
I agree kimmie. I've noticed that as well. Isn't it unfortunate that someone with this much talent even feels the need to defend her body shape. She deserves the spotlight a lot more than some of the size 0 "singers" out there...
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
I agree kimmie. I've noticed that as well. Isn't it unfortunate that someone with this much talent even feels the need to defend her body shape. She deserves the spotlight a lot more than some of the size 0 "singers" out there...
cg130 cg130 6 years
I love her! Her voice is fantastic! I think she's got a great attitude about her body. It's strange though, but it seems to me - and I really don't want this to be construed as racist, because that's not where I'm coming from AT ALL - that, in Hollywood/popular culture - it's a lot 'easier'/more acceptable for black or hispanic women to be (for lack of a better word) "bigger" than it is for white or asian women. Just something I've noticed. Hope she stays awesome!
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 6 years
Her positive body image is refreshing, but I hope she can hold onto it. It seems like a lot of "heavier" actresses start off in Hollywood with this kind of positive attitude and then end up joining the latest diet craze after the Hollywood culture wears them down.
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