Queen Latifah has partnered with the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk for the “It’s Bigger Than Me” campaign to erase the myths around obesity. For the campaign, she is focusing on raising awareness about obesity being an actual health condition that is connected to a person’s genetics.
“There are so many things being discussed openly from mental health to all kinds of other things, why not tackle obesity?” she said on Entertainment Tonight. “Why not talk about that openly because it’s something that comes up. But I think obesity is always connected to a stigma, to shame. And what we want to do is just really educate people about what it really is, which is a health condition.”
She also spoke about the stigmas associated with being obese and how she and the cast of Living Single were pressured to lose weight because of it.
“I can remember specifically doing Living Single and the word came down that we needed to lose weight,” the New Jersey native added. “Here we are, four different women, four different body types and we needed to lose weight. If anything it angered me and disheartened me, but it really angered me. I said, ‘We are what women look like, we’re not going to lose weight for whoever’s idea of what we’re supposed to look like.'”
People are often shamed and blamed for being obese and she wants people to understand that tackling obesity isn’t just about diet and exercise.
“A lot of us have had that [shame] so I just want people to know, it’s not your fault. It’s bigger than us, it’s bigger than you, it’s bigger than me,” she said. “You can yo-yo diet all you want. I’ve done it, I’ve been judged for my weight, I thought about my weight over and over sometimes. But some things are out of my control and it took someone teaching me that in order for me to understand it.”