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Bebe Rexha shut down body shamers with kindness on the May 25 episode of “The Jennifer Hudson Show.” Following hurtful social media comments about her weight gain, Rexha — who was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, in 2022 — explained that weight gain is a common side effect of her condition. “I went to the doctor last year and a lot of women, actually, have this and they don’t know about it,” she told Hudson.
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects as many as 12 percent of people with vaginas and uteruses who are in their reproductive years, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Common symptoms of PCOS include irregular monthly periods, weight gain, acne, hair growth, darkening of the skin, and more. “It’s one of the leading causes of why women gain weight and are obese, and I literally jumped, like, 30 pounds so quickly — maybe a little bit more,” Rexha said.
“When you see things like that, it does mess with you.”
After reading negative comments about her weight gain online, Rexha explained, she was hurt. “Listen, we’re in the public eye so that’s bound to happen, especially [since] I was a lot thinner and I did gain some weight — so that comes with the territory,” she said. “I’m not mad about it because it is true, but when you see things like that, it does mess with you, because you don’t know what somebody is going through in their life. So it kind of is tough, but I feel like in 2023, we should not be talking about people’s weight.”
On a May 4 episode of “Radio Andy,” Rexha added that her relationship with her body has been a lifelong struggle. “I definitely struggle with my weight, and I struggle with the way that I look, and it’s been tough for me,” she told Gayle King. Rexha went on to say that she’s been “struggling with food forever,” especially when she first entered the entertainment industry. “When I first got signed, they said to me, ‘Are you ready to get into boot-camp shape? Because you need to lose 20 pounds in order to do this career. Like you have to lose weight,'” she said.
In the past, celebrities like Lizzo and Selena Gomez have been outspoken about their personal experiences of being shamed for their bodies. “My weight would constantly fluctuate because I would be on certain medications. And obviously, people just ran with it,” said Gomez, who publicly shared her lupus diagnosis in 2015, in an episode of “Dear . . . ” released on Apple TV+ on March 10. “It was like they couldn’t wait to find a thing to bring me down. I was being shamed for gaining weight because of my lupus.” Whether someone is in the spotlight or not, a person’s weight does not determine their worth, and their body should not be a topic of conversation.
Before getting up to show off her curves and celebrate her body, Rexha left the crowd with a thoughtful piece of advice. She said, “We’ve gotta just be positive and show people love.”