Queen Latifah shares a powerful message about self-love!
The 51-year-old singer, born Dana Elaine Owens, recently teamed up with pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk for their “It’s Bigger Than Me” campaign, which aims to destigmatize obesity through a video series and online resources.
Getting Candid About Her Body
“I’ve been through it: struggling with weight loss, yo-yo dieting,” Latifa told People. “But the reality is when it comes to obesity, it is a clinical condition. It’s in your DNA. Maybe your hormones are doing something that you’re not aware of, and that’s something for a professional to deal with.”
According to the World Health Organization, obesity is an “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health,” measured by a Body Mass Index (BMI) percentage of 30 or more. Recent data showed that 42.4% of Americans fall into that category, as per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sharing The Past
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The Equalizer star shared that she was educated by a trainer she’d been working with ahead of shooting a new film.
“She was really educated, and she broke down what I would need to do. She was like, ‘Here’s what you weigh. Here’s your BMI. You fall into the category of obesity,'” she recalled. “And I’m like, ‘I’m obese?’ I thought obese meant you had to be 400, 500 lbs.”
Latifah also shared about growing up in her hometown of New Jersey. Back then, she was considered bigger than his peers.
“I was big for my size,” she said. “Looking at my class pictures, I’m the tallest girl.”
As she went through puberty, the Grammy winner became “more conscious” of how she looked.
“As you hit puberty people start looking at you in a different way, and people can be mean,” Latifah stated. “I dealt with all of that.”
Her Loving Mother
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Luckily, she had a strong support system. Her mom Rita Owens, a former art teacher who died in 2018 after struggling with a heart condition, helped the actress feel confident with her body.
“I had a mother who kind of talked me through that,” she shared. “I had so many friends whose parents would not have one conversation with them about it, and you need to know what’s gonna happen to you as a young woman.”
Latifah experienced what she calls “flashes of self-hate” when she was 18. However, she quickly moved on from that stage by loving herself.
“I said, ‘Dana, you’re either going to hate yourself, or you’re going love yourself.’ And I decided at that moment I’m going to love myself,” Latifah recalled. “I don’t want to ever be in a place where I don’t love me.”
While there are some days that the actress felt hard on herself, she continued to pick positivity.
“Life has valleys and its peaks,” she said. “I’m always trying to work towards becoming a better me.”
Latifa also shared about the time she first joined the music industry as a rapper. She talked about the extreme ways artists stay fit.
“Watching other artists who were big, platinum artists, prepare for their albums, they would drop all of this weight, get a six-pack, and I’m like, ‘Do I have to do that in order to be successful?'” Latifah said. “But I’m not that person.”