Queen Latifah has been a style icon in large sizes that we have long admired. She has given us a polished edge, rocker chic and glam. From UNITY to Living Single to the various film and producer credits, Queen Latifah is a fashion force in plus sizes to count on.
So when we got wind, Queen Latifah would sit down with Red Table Talk creator and close friend, Jada Pinkett Smith, to tell about her journey as a plus size person, our ears were immediately teased. Because ?! Queen Latifah has NEVER publicly shared her journey as a plus size person.
Greeted by Jada Pinkett Smith and her family, Queen Latifah, affectionately referred to as “La”, is on a mission to change the stigma associated with obesity. Her mission is championed by an organization created by Nova Nordiskcalled “It’s bigger than me.” This is about changing the stigma and shame associated with being a plus size person.
Why now? Why through an organization? This is a sensitive, cultural and nuanced conversation, honestly …
Often, when we look at celebrities who are big, we immediately identify and can project our thoughts or feelings about our bodies on them. So when they make changes, proclamationsor rejecting oneself 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 who provides representation in the entertainment industry.
What does it mean if she had not considered herself a part of this space? If she had not identified herself as plus size? Or recognized her influence? He Red Table Talkshe shares how she “Did not associate with this fat word as it applies to me.”
She continues to share, ‘I did not see myself like that, however to is the problem because that word brings with it the connotation, and that is the problem! “
In terms of that stigma, Jada shares how widespread this stigma of being plus size goes. Sure parts, “Weight prejudice is the last remaining socially acceptable bias. For every 6 pounds a woman gets, her hourly wage drops by 2% – they are hired less, promoted less and paid less.”
For someone who had identified himself as “Just thick,” Queen Latifah reflects on her journey through Red Table Talk and shares revelations of who she is, how she is, and that journey.
As Queen Latifah is scrutinized, reflecting on her career, and as Willow asks about this, Queen Latifah laughs as she answers this question. “I’ve been scrutinized my whole career. I just came out the door and look different.”
During her time at Living Single, she recounts the first time she was accused of her weight, “The word came down that we must lose weight” She pushed back and responded“We are number 1 in black and Latino households. Maybe you’re the problem!”
She continues, “Maybe it’s you who has a problem, because the show is a success, and yet you tell us we have to lose weight!”
The conversation shifts to the ideals of beauty and fit. Queen Latifah adds, “We’ve also learned these beauty ideas, it’s the way you should look, but once you have these pictures painted for you and it’s been implanted through generations – that’s the problem.”
For someone who keeps killing the red carpet, it was nice for her to share her challenges of finding fashionable opportunities. “I had to figure out how to find clothes that look right on me, on my size, in this world, when designers do not create those fashion brands that have these sizes. If I were a size 24, and I got style, I still want to rock what a size 2 is wearing. “
What has helped on her journey? She acknowledges Lizzo and her contribution to the body image conversation that has influenced her, “She has created a language around this that is different from any language I have heard, surrounding body type.”
The conversation does not stop there. At Red Table Talk, they introduce a panel of influencers and creators who share their journeys and ask Queen Latifah various questions from self-hatred to break out in the rap career.
Watch the full interview with Queen Latifah on Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch!!
We can not give away the whole conversation, you have to watch Red Table Talk to take it all in and let it marinate. Because we know you’ll have a lot of thoughts to share about this conversation and this journey that Queen Latifah has shared …
Queen Latifah, welcome to the plus size community. You have been an honorary board member and it is nice that you are celebrating your membership.
We know many of us have many thoughts and feelings about her revelations and we would love to hear your thoughts with respect.
Tell us what you think about this Red Table Talk and your feelings!