Queen Latifah is a plus size style icon we’ve long admired. She gave us a polished, rocker chic and glamorous side. From UNITY to the Living Single to the various movies and producer credits, Queen Latifah is a force in plus size fashion to be reckoned with.
So when we caught wind that Queen Latifah was sitting down with Red Table Talk creator and close friend Jada Pinkett Smith to talk about her journey as a plus-size person, our ears were immediately pricked. Because?! Queen Latifah has NEVER publicly shared her journey as a plus size person.
Hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith and her family, Queen Latifah, affectionately known as “La”, is on a mission to change the stigma associated with obesity. Its mission is championed by an organization created by Nova Nordisk, called “Its Bigger than Me”. It’s about changing the stigma and shame of being a plus-size person.
Why now? Why via an association? It’s a sensitive, cultural and nuanced conversation, honestly…
Often when we look at plus-size celebrities, we immediately identify with and can project our thoughts or feelings about our bodies onto them. So when they make changes, proclamations, or reject themselves or the community, it can feel extremely personal.
But with this conversation with Queen Latifah, it’s a little different. The plus size community has long accepted, received and identified her as a plus size celebrity giving representation in the entertainment industry.
What does it mean if she didn’t see herself as part of this space? If she hadn’t identified as plus size? Or recognized its impact? On Red Table Talk, she talks about how she “is unrelated to this word obese, as it applies to me.”
She continues to share, “I didn’t see myself like that, but this that’s the problem, because that word brings the connotation with it, and that’s the problem!
On this stigma, Jada shares how pervasive this stigma of being plus size is. Jada shares, “The weight bias is the last socially acceptable bias. For every £6 a woman earns, her hourly wage drops by 2% – they are hired less, promoted less and paid less.
For someone who identified as “just thick” Queen Latifah reflects on her journey via Red Table Talk, sharing revelations about who she is, how she is and this journey.
After being examined, Queen Latifah reflects on her career, and as Willow asks about it, Queen Latifah laughs as she answers this question. “I’ve been scrutinized my entire career. I just walked out the door looking different.
During her time on Living Single, she talks about when she was first approached about her weight, “Word is out that we need to lose weight…” She pushed back and retorted“We are the #1 show in black and Latino homes. Maybe you have the problem!”
She keeps, “Maybe it’s you who has a problem, because the show is a success and yet you tell us that we have to lose weight!”
The conversation shifts to ideals of beauty and integration. Queen Latifah adds: “We’re also taught these ideas of beauty, it’s what you’re supposed to look like, but when you have these images painted for you and they’re implanted over generations, THAT’S THE problem.”
For someone who continues to slay the red carpet, it was nice for her to share her challenges in finding fashionable options. “I had to figure out how to find clothes that fit me well, in my size, in this world when designers don’t make these fashion brands that have those sizes. If I was a size 24 and had to style, I always want to rock what a size 2 wears.”
What helped her on her journey? She credits Lizzo and her contributions to the body image conversation that have touched her, “She created a language around that that’s different from any language I’ve heard around body type.”
The conversation doesn’t end there. On Red Table Talk, they feature a panel of influencers and creators who share their journeys and ask Queen Latifah a variety of questions ranging from self-loathing to rapping career breakout.
Watch the full interview with Queen Latifah on Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch!
We can’t divulge the whole conversation, you have to watch the Red Table Talk to catch it all and let it marinate. Because we know that you will have many thoughts to share around this conversation and this journey that Queen Latifah shared…
Queen Latifah, welcome to the plus size community. You have been an honorary member of the Board of Directors and it is nice to celebrate your membership.
We know many of us have many thoughts and feelings surrounding his revelations, and we’d like to hear your thoughts, respectfully.
Let us know what you think of this Red Table Talk and your feelings!