The Sad Reason Why Raven-Symoné Started Wearing Spanx at Age 14
When talking with the hosts of "The View" about the shapewear company's confusing new slogan, the 29-year-old actress revealed the lengths she went to fit into the Hollywood ideal.
Raven-Symoné, best known for her role as the youngest daughter on The Cosby Show (and more recently as Olivia on Empire), has been making guest appearances on The View of late. On Wednesday, host Whoopi Goldberg launched a discussion on shapewear company Spanx’s new campaign slogan: “Don’t take yourself or the ‘rules’ too seriously.” The 29-year-old actress knows a thing or two about "the rules," having grown up in Hollywood.
"I've been wearing Spanx since I was about 14 years old," she revealed. "I was a lot heavier when I was younger and when you're heavy in the industry, you have to look a certain way. I used to put on two or three Spanx at a time and then a minimizer."
The actress stopped when her mother told her she was “starting to look like a kielbasa.” “It just pushes stuff in different areas,” she said.
Raven-Symoné may joke about it now but the sad truth is that there's no minimum age requirement to buy Spanx, so girls younger than 18 could purchase a product to change how their body looks. And the brand sells items including bras, bodysuits, and slips in sizes starting at extra-small (um, what?).
But Spanx is now navigating a climate in which women are embracing the vast range of real bodies. They've responded with more forgiving fits that smooth instead of shrink, according to the New York Times, as well as empowering-sounding message cards about "the rules" in their packaging.
For her part, it sounds like Raven-Symoné has ditched the shapewear in favor of self-acceptance. As she said in an interview with Oprah last year, “I love my thicky, thicky self.”