Queen Latifah Says She’s Been ‘Scrutinized’ Her Entire Career Because of Her Weight

Queen Latifah on Red Table Talk (Credit: Facebook Watch)

Queen Latifah wants to change the conversation about weight.

The rapper and actress sat down for a candid discussion about obesity on Wednesday’s episode of Red Table Talk.

“I’ve been publicly scrutinized I think my whole career. You know what I mean? I just came out the door looking different,” Queen Latifah told hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield Norris and Willow Smith.

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The Equalizer actress said she began to seriously think about her weight after a personal trainer told her she was obese.

“She said, ‘This is what your BMI is. This what your weight is and you fall into this category of obesity,'” Queen Latifah recalled. “I was mad at that… because I didn’t see myself that way. But that’s the problem and that’s why I’m here.”

The rapper has partnered with pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk for a campaign meant to refocus the conversation on obesity from outward appearance to health.

“I’m involved with a campaign called ‘It’s Bigger Than Me.’ It’s about the shame attached to weight, the stigma attached to it, what people talk about, how they talk about you, the little words people drop. I think if people understood it more, then it could change the conversation,” she said.

Pinkett Smith brought up “weight prejudice” and discrimination attached to weight.

“According to experts, weight prejudice is the last remaining social acceptable bias. Numerous studies have found children as young as three believe harmful stereotypes and biases toward overweight people including that they are lazy, weak-willed, unsuccessful, and unintelligent,” Pinkett Smith said.

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Queen Latifah noted the problem affects women of different races in different ways.

“Let’s take these numbers. Two in five Americans, obese. Four in five Black women, obese. But we just look at ourselves different. Because some things, you know, they’re cultural issues. Black women, we learn to love through all this weight and all this judgment,” she said.

The U.N.I.T.Y. rapper added that fashion designers don’t want to dress larger women.

“I have to figure out how to find clothes that look right on me, on my size in this world, when designers are not creating those fashion brands that have these sizes,” she explained.

“So it’s like, if I was a size 24, and I got style, I still want to rock what the size two is wearing. But the designers are like, ‘No, we’re going to stop right here.’ Okay. Have you checked the stats of the sizes of the people in the country? I think you might want to make some clothes in this size,” Latifah added.

Watch more of  the conversation below on the episode of Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk.