Raven-Symoné says she has worn Spanx body shapewear since she was in her early teens, signaling that she was under Hollywood pressure to appear slimmer.
The 29-year-old former child star, known for roles on The Cosby Show, the Disney Channel series That's So Raven and, recently, Fox's Empire, made her comments while co-hosting The View on Wednesday after veteran star Whoopi Goldberg expressed annoyance about the apparel company's new campaign slogan, "Don't take yourself or the 'rules' too seriously."
"I've been wearing Spanx since I was about 14 years old," Raven-Symoné said. "I was a lot heavier when I was younger and when you're heavy in the industry, you have to look a certain way. I used to put on two or three Spanx at a time and then a minimizer."
"My mom said, 'You have to stop 'cause you're starting to look like a kielbasa,'" she added.
Spanx has no recommended age restriction when it comes to their products, which include bras, bodysuits, slips, underwear and swimsuits. The company sells items for both women and men in standard clothing sizes, even size 0.
In 2011, at the People's Choice Awards, Raven-Symoné turned heads while showcasing a slimmer figure than previously seen publicly.
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
She talked to Oprah Winfrey in a 2014 interview about how she was pressured by TV executives to lose weight.
"I lost weight to keep them people from talking to me," she said. "I got tired and irritated. I was proud at the time and I am—I love my thicky, thicky self. But now that I lost weight, it's like, 'OK, let me go back in the gym and get it together.' And as soon as I lost weight, it became Thick Girl Season. Everyone just started to be thick on television and I'm like, 'Are they getting the same backlash that I am? 'Cause I was thick!'"