Celebs Who Called Out Their Body-Shamers

When it comes to fame, there's some unwritten rules that all celebs must follow. If you hit the big time, you're expected to forget about your right to privacy. You are to refrain from punching the paparazzi whenever possible. And, of course, you open yourself up to criticism on a massive scale. Yes, all the attention comes with the territory — the relationship between artists and critics has always been a symbiotic one — but what happens when the people doing the criticizing cross the line and get personal? While most of us like to believe that we would happily take the insults in exchange for fame and fortune, the truth is that internet trolls can be ruthless and relentless when they decide to be, and it often goes way beyond simple name-calling when certain high-profile celebs are involved.

Body-shaming is a problem at all levels of society, but when a famous person gets shamed, it's usually by numerous people at once and in full view of the world. The public court of opinion takes no prisoners when it comes to things like weight and physique, however there are some celebs who have refused to take the abuse lying down. From Grammy-winning musicians to Hollywood stars, the following celebs called out their body-shamers.

Lady Gaga was 'proud' of her Super Bowl body

Lady Gaga's Super Bowl 2017 halftime show was hailed as one of the best ever at the time, and with good reason. The pop music star's memorable performance began on the roof of the NRG Stadium, where the New England Patriots were facing off against the Atlanta Falcons. After jumping from the roof and descending to the stage (as drones behind her formed the image of the U.S. flag), Gaga performed a medley of hits and patriotic singalongs, leaving everybody happy. Well, not quite everybody. While the performance itself was praised across the board, there were some who took issue with the singer's body.

"Lady Gaga is a little fat in her stomach," one Twitter user said, while another described her as having a "beer gut" in an insensitive post. When Gaga caught wind that her body had become "a topic of conversation" online and in the press, she hit back with an inspiring Instagram post. "I'm proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too," the 11-time Grammy winner said. "No matter who you are or what you do, I could give you a million reasons why you don't need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That's the stuff of champions."

Gigi Hadid reminded body-shamers that 'bodies change'

Gigi Hadid got plenty of love from fans after she posted a vacation selfie to Instagram in 2016, but some people were of the opinion that she looked way too skinny in the cute snap. As the comments section began to fill up with theories about her weight loss, the model decided to enter the debate herself, hitting the haters with a basic biology lesson. "It's called growing up," she responded (via Grazia). "Bodies change as girls become women, just as my mom's body changed at the same age. Having my body judged over the span of the 4 teen-to-woman years has really shown me the human tendency to label and make uneducated judgement."

Hadid was named international model of the year at London's Fashion Awards a few months after calling out her body-shamers, and she would continue picking up accolades in the years that followed — the Los Angeles native was presented with the Supernova award at Glamour's Women of the Year Awards in 2017, and she was named Choice Model at the 2018 Teen Choice Awards. Her success certainly didn't deter the trolls, who continued to comment on her size. Hadid later revealed that she had lived with undiagnosed Hashimoto's disease in her teens, the real reason behind her weight loss.

Kelly Clarkson's body-shamer comeback is legendary

When Kelly Clarkson took to Twitter to thank people in service for their sacrifices on Independence Day 2017, one user decided to randomly comment on her weight (via Stylist). Despite the fact that she was simply passing on her well wishes, the singer was called "fat" by the stranger, for no apparent reason. Clarkson unequivocally won the internet with her blunt reply. She snapped back: "...and still f****** awesome." Sadly, her admirable attitude toward haters is down to years of practice — the July 4 Twitter episode was far from the first time that the American Idol winner-turned-talk show host has had to deal with body-shamers. In fact, she found the body-shaming worse before she gained some weight.

"I felt more pressure from people actually when I was thin, when I was really thin and not super healthy because I just was worn out, just working so hard and not keeping healthy habits," Clarkson told Glamour, revealing that she would be shown magazine spreads of naked women as motivation to stay skinny. "It was more of magazines shoved in front of you and, 'This is what you're competing with and we've got to compete with it,'" she said. "I can't compete with that. That's not even my image. That's not who I am. That's who they are."

Chrissy Teigen doesn't do 'surgically enhanced curves'

Most celebs have had at least one ugly encounter with a troll during their time in the limelight, but Chrissy Teigen seems to be dealing with them on a weekly basis nowadays. When she shared a harmless clip with her Twitter followers in April 2020, the body-shamers came out of the woodwork in full force. Teigen was wearing a swimsuit in the video, and (despite the fact that she's an actual, legit swimsuit model who gets paid to wear them) certain people couldn't wait to criticize her. Not one to let such things slide, Teigen fired back at the people being mean about her "square" frame.

"Everyone [is] used to surgically enhanced curves," the model and TV personality tweeted. "I've been a square my whole life and let me tell you, it's paid off nicely in many ways!" Teigen, who has been open about her battle with postpartum depression and anxiety disorder, went on to claim that if she did go ahead and get surgery to look more like the women the trolls were comparing her to, she would just get more hate. "Imagine if one day I showed up with hips and an a**," she said. "Ooooo you guys would be p***** then too!"

Lena Dunham doesn't care how you feel about her body

Lena Dunham walked her first ever runway at London Fashion Week in 2020, and, in her own words, she doesn't give "even the tiniest of s****" about what you think of her body. The New Yorker's size has been a topic of fascination for the tabloids ever since she shot to fame with her hit HBO series Girls, so when Refinery29 posted an article calling for it to end, Dunham decided that it would be a good time to add her own two cents. In an impassioned Instagram post (in which she referred to herself as a "body-shaming vigilante"), the writer-director-producer made it clear that she's at peace with her appearance.

"I've accepted that my body is an ever changing organism, not a fixed entity — what goes up must come down and vice versa," Dunham said. "I smile just as wide no matter my current size because I'm proud of what this body has seen and done and represented." At the time of her post she had lost some weight, though that was purely for medical reasons, she confirmed. The Golden Globe winner has endometriosis, and in an attempt to control it she started dieting and exercising. "So my weight loss isn't a triumph and it also isn't some sign I've finally given in to the voices of trolls," she added.

A swimsuit designer tried to tear down Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer didn't take too kindly to people labeling her near-nude Pirelli calendar photo shoot as "brave" in 2016, but that was nothing compared to comments made by American swimwear designer Dana Duggan the following year. When Schumer posed in a white Ralph Lauren swimsuit for the May cover of InStyle, Duggan decided to get involved in the discussion, body-shaming the actress in the comments section of the magazine's Instagram post. "Come on now!" Duggan said. "You could not find anyone better for this cover? Not everyone should be in a swimsuit."

As other users began to call her out for her mean-spirited comments, Duggan reportedly doubled down, apparently enjoying the attention. The Massachusetts-based designer went on to say that Schumer looked "like a pig" in the shoot according to HuffPost, who quickly reached out to her for comment. "I'm tired of the media and publications trying to push the FAT agenda," Duggan said, citing her right to free speech. "It's not healthy and it's not pretty. What is wrong with featuring healthy and fit cover models?" Schumer responded to the hateful comments in the best way possible — with several bikini pics. "I feel great," she said on her Instagram Story (via Us Weekly). "No haters can f with my baseline."

Rihanna fought fire with a meme

When photos of Rihanna keeping it super casual in a baggy shirt and jeans hit the internet in 2017, Barstool Sports published a blog that not only body-shamed the star, but also inexplicably blamed her for encouraging other women to gain weight. The piece predicted that "A world of ladies shaped like the Hindenburg loaded into one-piece bathing suits may be on the horizon now that Rihanna is traipsing around out there looking like she's in a sumo suit." Unsurprisingly, the backlash was swift.

The cruel blog was labelled "heinous" by Glamourwhile former Executive Editor of Elle.com Sally Holmes was "disgusted" by what she'd read. "The last thing we need is another dude passing judgement over our bodies ― a dude that doesn't even KNOW US or, for that matter, Rihanna," Holmes said. "It's just these kind of 'jokes' that make people think it's okay to be misogynistic a**holes and treat women like lesser humans." RiRi had women everywhere behind her, but what was her response to the offensive article? Well, she kinda body-shamed someone else.

In what appeared to be a direct response to the story, the nine-time Grammy winner posted a split image of Gucci Mane before and after his weight loss transformation. "If you can't handle me at my 2007 Gucci Mane, you don't deserve me at my 2017 Gucci Mane," the meme said. 

Cardi B sure 'seal'-enced her body-shamers

If you body-shame Cardi B, you better believe she's going to call you out for it. The New York native is known for being refreshingly open about her body (she makes no secret of the fact that she sucks her stomach in for Instagram), so when somebody accuses her of digitally altering her images prior to posting them, fireworks ensue. Cardi B was hit with allegations of Photoshopping in June 2020 (which was ironic considering that haters had apparently been using that exact tool to troll her with doctored pics), and in response, she stripped down to a tiny bikini and took her body-shamers to task and then some. 

"Now I gotta show y'all this motherf****** body," she said in a NSFW Instagram video. "Now I know a b**** gained some weight, because I had to make the thighs match the motherf****** a**." Explanation done, the "WAP" rapper proceeded to go after all the people who put her down with their comments in a way that only Cardi B could. "I know you b****** ain't talking when y'all are shaped like seals," she snapped, before adding that her body-shamers have "got sisters with bison backs and y'all mothers is shaped like walruses." She also joked about holding in her stomach and having "lipo money." Suffice to say, Cardi B addressed her critics like only Cardi B can.

Body-shamers have already gone after Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish is noticeably younger than most of the celebs on this list, which makes her inclusion all the more concerning. She was just 14 years old when she uploaded the song "Ocean Eyes" to SoundCloud and set herself on the path to stardom. When her single "Bad Guy" topped the charts three years later (making her the first artist born in the 2000s to have a number-one single), the obsession with her baggy clothes — and what they may or may not be concealing — began in earnest. It got so bad that she was inspired to make a short film about body-shaming. Eilish narrates and stars in Not My Responsibility, in which she strips down to her bra and plunges into a pool of jet-black water.

The film apparently didn't resonate with everyone, because a matter of months later, Eilish's body was inexplicably making headlines again. It all began when a paparazzi shot of Eilish minding her own business in Los Angeles went viral. The 18-year-old Grammy darling was wearing a camisole and a comfy pair of shorts at the time, and when one Twitter user described her as having a "mid-30's wine mom body," people rightfully flipped out. Eilish kept her cool, however. Instead of going after the 29-year-old man who body-shamed her (Eilish's fans had that covered), the teen re-shared a video all about normalizing "real bodies" (via the Independent).

After a major surgery, Selena Gomez was body-shamed

Nobody really knew just how terrible a time Selena Gomez was having with her health until she was in the clear. The former Disney star had previously opened up to Billboard about being diagnosed with Lupus, which left her suffering from headaches, fevers and fatigue, but she kept the extent of her health crisis hidden; news of Gomez's kidney transplant didn't get out until said kidney was already in. "It was what I needed to do for my overall health," Gomez said in an Instagram post, confirming that actor Francia Raisa had given her the organ. "She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis."

You would think that going under the knife for something so serious would give Gomez a pass when it came to body-shamers, but when the first pictures of the scar on her inner thigh (as Raisa told W, doctors needed to hastily removed a vein from Gomez's leg to use during the operation after near fatal complications arose) came out, so did the haters. Numerous people commented on her weight, with one going as far as saying that she looked pregnant. Gomez talked about something called "the beauty myth" in her pitch perfect response. "[It] traps modern woman in an endless cycle of hopelessness, self consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society's impossible definition of flawless beauty."

That time The New Yorker remarked on Ben Affleck's body

When it comes to Hollywood, it's not just the women who get body-shamed. When Ben Affleck split from wife and baby momma Jennifer Garner in 2015, he appeared to enter a real funk. The New Yorker highlighted this with an article entitled The Great Sadness of Ben Affleck, which was criticized for kicking the actor while he was down. The piece suggested that Affleck's "garish" tattoo of a phoenix was proof that he was depressed, and then went on to body-shame him. Affleck's "gut" had been "pooching" since his split from Garner said the article, which also mocked him for covering up. One line reads: "A blue-gray towel is wrapped protectively around his midsection — recalling a shy teen at the local pool."

Like most celebs do when they find themselves having to defend their body, Affleck took to social media. Tagging The New Yorker in a tweet, he said: "I'm doing just fine. Thick skin bolstered by garish tattoos." Affleck isn't the only male actor who has been low-key body-shamed while portraying a superhero in Hollywood, either. The legitimacy of Zachary Levi's muscles were called into question when he was making Shazam! (he was accused of wearing a padded suit), and The Flash star Grant Gustin has been told he's too skinny to be a hero. "That's what p***** me off," Gustin said of the body-shaming. "There's a double standard where it's okay to talk s*** about a dude's body."