Valerie Bertinelli Has Simple Advice About Size Acceptance: ‘Stop Starving Yourself!’ (And We Love Her for It)
"It's enough already."
In a culture driven by diet tips and body shaming, Valerie Bertinelli is taking a stand: She’s fighting back against weight loss culture in the fashion and movie industries.
In an exclusive interview with Woman’s World, the 63-year-old actor, mom to Wolfgang Van Halen, and host of Valerie’s Home Cooking (for one final season), doubled down on an important message: Fashion is still not inclusive. (Just look at how many celebs are taking Ozempic or WeGovy for weight loss.)
“I think we still have a long way to go [to accepting bigger bodies], because no matter how much fashion says that they are trying to be inclusive, you watch any of these fashion shows, and they are all women that have starved themselves,” she says. “You know, all those women that walk down those runways? Most of them don’t think they are as beautiful as they are because they are constantly being told to lose weight. And I’m just so sick of that.”
A History of Bertinelli’s Stance on Weight Loss
This isn’t the first time that Valerie Bertinelli has spoken out against weight and body shaming. In May of 2020, she revealed that she was fat shamed as a child. “I remember my fifth grade teacher patted me on the belly and said, ‘You might want to keep an eye on that,'” she told People. “That was the first time I became really aware of my body.” As a child actor on One Day At a Time, Bertinelli said her weight was under constant scrutiny. “I was made to feel I could lose a few, like, ‘let’s see if we can get you into a smaller size,'” she shared.
It took time for Bertinelli to embrace herself just the way she is. “My war with the scale has been a journey,” she told Woman’s World in an interview from August, 2020. “But I’ve realized it’s less about the number and more about being kind to myself and living my life … I’m still trying to find who I am, but instead of focusing on my dress size, I celebrate me and every body shape.”
Finally, in August of 2022, Bertinelli said on The Kelly Clarkson Show that she was tired of judging herself. “It’s just enough already. Enough. Enough getting on the scale, enough saying horrible things about myself,” she told Clarkson. “I learned at a young age that gaining weight was unlovable, made me unlovable. So, I’m still trying to purge that out of my system because it’s not true. That’s not true. It’s just a lie.”
Why Body Shaming Can Be So Harmful
Bertinelli thinks extreme weight loss and dieting creates a deeper problem: Women forget how to love themselves in the process. “I think that we starve ourselves daily no matter what — we starve ourselves of love and appreciation,” she tells Woman’s World. “We starve ourselves with not giving ourselves enough nutrition, not giving ourselves enough love. I think we need to be done as people and to stop starving ourselves in every way.”
Indeed, Bertinelli believes that nixing the starvation mindset can create a healthy, uplifting environment — one where every body is accepted. “There are so many different body shapes,” she says. “I appreciate the women who are super skinny and I appreciate the women who are on the heavier spectrum because we are all wonderful, sweet, kind people. And we need to stop being told by the fashion industry and by the movie and television [industries] that we need to lose weight — it’s just wrong.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Thanks for the words of wisdom, Valerie.
Additional reporting by Deborah Evans Price.