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BeingPlus-SizedinHollywood

Kristin West
Kristin West Actress & Producer
almost 3 years Los Angeles, CA, United States Story
 Being Plus-Sized in Hollywood

I have been every size from a size 6 to a size 18.  The scale has gone up and down and I have had my ups and downs with the movements of the scale.  I recently opened up about my weight and the challenges it poses being a plus size woman in Hollywood with Serena Spates and Chris De Rosa of the 100 Percent Show


Catch the full interview here.


I want to expand on three specific things I said during the interview.


“I finally decided to stop fighting my body”

I think this is important for every woman.  You must become a partner with your body.  There are so many voices that try to interfere with our body’s own rhythm and wisdom, from advertisers to well-meaning friends and family.  Punitive diets, exhausting workout routines to get a pageant-ready body had me at war with my body for years.  One day, in a flash of wisdom, I dropped it and became my body’s partner instead of my own adversary.  I listen to my body more.  

“My body is big enough to accommodate my bubbly soul.”

There’s nothing like a good belly laugh and I am a bit famous for my laugh.  I need a rounder belly  because of that!  Jokes aside, I have learned my body is a vessel for my spirit—and my spirit needs space!  I was my thinnest when I was  processing a deep grief over the loss of my grandmother.  I was not a happy person.  I took it out on my body, because I couldn’t change what had happened. It's important to understand your emotions in relation to your weight, especially how turbulent emotions can affect your weight.

"As women become more vocal consumers in fashion, that tends to bleed over into our media consumption as well."

We must continue to demand more diverse portrayals both in fashion and entertainment.  We have to disrupt assumptions about people’s character and ability due to weight.  Overall, we have to focus on being a healthier, not thinner society, and health has several components, including self-esteem.   

Serena and Chris are fostering some amazing conversations about many important issues,  so keep tabs on their show.  I was grateful to them for getting to speak out about body image and portrayal, as it is close to my heart and experience.  


11 replies

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  • Dr Maritza Baez
    Dr Maritza Baez Love. Wellness. Connection
    almost 3 years ago Buffalo, NY, United States

    thank you Kristin. it's certainly empowering to have Hollywood be more diverse in various ways.

    thank you Kristin. it's certainly empowering to have Hollywood be more diverse in various ways.

    • Kristin West
      Kristin West Actress & Producer
      almost 3 years ago Los Angeles, CA, United States

      Thank you, Dr. Maritza! I hope that this is more of a movement than a trend! I think it is! :)

      Thank you, Dr. Maritza! I hope that this is more of a movement than a trend! I think it is! :)

  • Clementine Bihiga
    Clementine Bihiga Award Winning Author, Motivational Speaker, Founder & CEO of Clarette Refugee Fund
    almost 3 years ago Pawtucket, RI, United States

    Kristin, this is an awesome article. When I lived in Africa, bigger women were admired. I came here and it was the exact opposite. I have always struggled with my weight and still wanting to be at a place where I feel comfortable physically, not necessarily skinny....because that will never happen...but I have learned that I need to love myself now even though I'm working on being healthier. Ageism is a totally different animal in the USA. I have learned the hard way not to ask a woman her age....I still don't get what the big deal is. We want to live longer but don't want to admit our age when we have "accomplished" the dream of living longer...absurd!

    Kristin, this is an awesome article. When I lived in Africa, bigger women were admired. I came here and it was the exact opposite. I have always struggled with my weight and still wanting to be at a place where I feel comfortable physically, not necessarily skinny....because that will never happen...but I have learned that I need to love myself now even though I'm working on being healthier. Ageism is a totally different animal in the USA. I have learned the hard way not to ask a woman her age....I still don't get what the big deal is. We want to live longer but don't want to admit our age when we have "accomplished" the dream of living longer...absurd!

    • Kristin West
      Kristin West Actress & Producer
      almost 3 years ago Los Angeles, CA, United States

      Hi Clementine. Thank you for the the thoughtful comments. We have huge issues i the US regarding age and aging and how we portray age. What's really interesting to me is that as actors and actresses we sell our age range (the ages we can successfully portray on TV and film). Sometimes, that correlates with our biological age and sometimes it doesn't.

      Hi Clementine. Thank you for the the thoughtful comments. We have huge issues i the US regarding age and aging and how we portray age. What's really interesting to me is that as actors and actresses we sell our age range (the ages we can successfully portray on TV and film). Sometimes, that correlates with our biological age and sometimes it doesn't.

  • Ruth Nzioka
    Ruth Nzioka Community Member
    almost 3 years ago Nairobi, Kenya

    Lovely read.I have been a plus size woman all my life as long as i can remember.Even as a child.As for my body,I have hated it,talked down to it up until a point i had to start loving myself just as God does.Thank you for letting me learn something new,being a partner to body and not adversary.

    Lovely read.I have been a plus size woman all my life as long as i can remember.Even as a child.As for my body,I have hated it,talked down to it up until a point i had to start loving myself just as God does.Thank you for letting me learn something new,being a partner to body and not adversary.

    • Kristin West
      Kristin West Actress & Producer
      almost 3 years ago Los Angeles, CA, United States

      Ruth, so glad that this resonated with you. Thank you for opening up about your journey! :)

      Ruth, so glad that this resonated with you. Thank you for opening up about your journey! :)

  • judygoss
    judygoss TV Host, Motivational Speaker, Author, Entrepreneur
    almost 3 years ago New York, NY, United States

    You got my vote, this is great Kristin!

    You got my vote, this is great Kristin!

  • Bethany Heinrich
    Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
    almost 3 years ago New York, NY, United States

    Awesome, Kristin, thank you! It seems like the entertainment world is starting to be more open about different body shapes. Do you think this is as big of an issue as ageism in Hollywood for women, or do you think it's worse?

    Awesome, Kristin, thank you! It seems like the entertainment world is starting to be more open about different body shapes. Do you think this is as big of an issue as ageism in Hollywood for women, or do you think it's worse?

    • Kristin West
      Kristin West Actress & Producer
      almost 3 years ago Los Angeles, CA, United States

      Interesting question, Bethany. I think there are some remarkable improvements in terms of portraying women of different body types. However, these is more work to be done. We have to keep demanding as women consumers of media that there are diverse portrayals of all types--age, body type, ethnicity. Ageism is still an issue. There was a recent study that shows that as actresses aged, they had less lines in movies, whereas when men age, they get more lines. Warped, right? Ageism is an important issue too.

      Interesting question, Bethany. I think there are some remarkable improvements in terms of portraying women of different body types. However, these is more work to be done. We have to keep demanding as women consumers of media that there are diverse portrayals of all types--age, body type, ethnicity. Ageism is still an issue. There was a recent study that shows that as actresses aged, they had less lines in movies, whereas when men age, they get more lines. Warped, right? Ageism is an important issue too.

      • judygoss
        judygoss TV Host, Motivational Speaker, Author, Entrepreneur
        almost 3 years ago New York, NY, United States

        Yeah I plan to break some of those ageism rules by having my own show in my 50's! :)))

        Yeah I plan to break some of those ageism rules by having my own show in my 50's! :)))

        • Kristin West
          Kristin West Actress & Producer
          almost 3 years ago Los Angeles, CA, United States

          That would be awesome. You should definitely have your own show. I would watch it! :)

          That would be awesome. You should definitely have your own show. I would watch it! :)


Kristin West
Actress & Producer

Producer and actress Kristin West is a Texan talent with cosmopolitan appeal. Raised in rural south Texas, West’s training includes the Globe Theatre in London, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the University of Texas Semester in Los Angeles Program. West graduated from the University of [...]

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