Amber Riley Admits Weight Struggle, Refuses To Bow To Hollywood Pressure

Amber Riley is best known for her role as Mercedes Jones on the smash hit show ‘Glee’, but success hasn’t always come easy for her. She was interviewed for MTV’s This Is How I Made It and admits that even getting a second look by casting directors in Hollywood because of her weight was a constant struggle.

The 26 year old actress talks about how for nearly 10 years she would go to audition after audition and would hear comments like “You need to lose weight”. She would only be offered roles like the fat girl who sits alone in the corner at a school dance, or the outcast character.

While her life and career is vastly different now, she will still be the first to admit Hollywood can be a horrible place, saying the roles for women of her size and for black women in general are a lot more limited.

The real-life Gleek who is a self-confessed history nerd tells MTV her journey to getting on the show Glee wasn’t easy. After getting so much rejection in the industry and having it weigh heavily on her self esteem her mom decided she needed to take a break and concentrate on school.

But it was her amazing vocal ability that won her a starring role on Glee, and she has since become a role model for bigger women. Well done Fox for giving her this opportunity and the chance for curvier women to have a healthy role model! Now that she has the role and career she has always dreamed of, she will not be conforming to diet pressures any time soon. Riley has no plans whatsoever to become a size 2, and while she admits her weight has been a struggle, she wants to be healthy.

“I’m not going to conform, and hurt myself, and do something crazy to be a size 2. My parents always instilled knowing that your beautiful, that your fearfully and wonderfully made, and that you know who you are.”

Her advice to others struggling with the same issues? Surround yourself with a positive support system (friends, family etc) and to live by your own rules. Don’t be so quick to conform to someone else’s standards. Believe in what you are doing and live your own life.

Its great to see a dynamic young woman like Amber speaking out about her vulnerabilities and struggles. She has a firm grasp on who she is as a person and takes her role model status very seriously.

Are you struggling with weight issues like Amber? Do you have aspirations of being an actress but think you are held back by your size, color, gender etc? Tell us your story below and we will point you in the right direction.

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