Amber Riley admitted her time on Glee was made more challenging thanks to body shamers online.
The winner of The Masked Singer spoke to Page Six this week after taking home the ultimate prize on the competition series, and shared how she was made to feel insecure in her own skin during her time on the Fox musical drama.
“I suffered so much through my time on Glee, with people always having an opinion about my body. Like, my body was always a topic of conversation,” the actress and singer, who also won Dancing With the Stars in 2013, explained. “It was a war zone for such a long time for people to pick over online.”
She said that dancing on DWTS — and ultimately earning the Mirrorball Trophy with partner Derek Hough — “really helped me with my confidence.”
“I will always be grateful for that time because I got to show myself in all my glory,” Riley said, adding, “You have to love your body because you’re moving it in such a way where if you aren’t loving every single curve, it’s not going to connect with other people.”
She also reflected on the pressure to look a certain way, noting, “Someone that I don’t even know, someone that I’ve never met, created these beauty standards, [so] why do I care? I don’t even know who the person is that created what I’m ‘supposed to look like.’”
Riley has long spoken up against body shamers — as she did in a 2016 Instagram video, where she addressed people who sent her hate for her body type.
“I got some things I need to get off my chest, and my thighs and my stomach.” Riley questioned in the video, per People. “Why does me being fat offend so many people? Is it because I’m confident, and I’m fly and I’m sexy? Do my thighs, offend? Does my stomach, offend? Does my big juicy ass, offend? Why? Why?”
In June, she took to Instagram to question why certain men were flirting with her online after she lost weight following a fitness journey. She captioned a video post in which she called out the men who were newly in her DMs, “Keep that same fatphobic energy player. Ain’t [poop emoji] changed over here but the scale. BIG DOT.”
In 2021, Riley reflected on what it means to love yourself in an interview with Yahoo Life’s The Unwind, calling it a “journey” and an “everyday decision.”
“I don’t think it’s a complete destination where somebody just sits in it and then they’re confident all the time, they love themselves all the time,” she said at the time. “It’s an ongoing journey and it’s a decision that you make every single day.”
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