Whether it’s about race, body image or sexuality, Amandla Stenberg has never been afraid to speak out. In an interview with Seventeen, the 19-year-old actor opened up about being told to lose weight and make her boobs look smaller for a film.
Though Stenberg is petite, she doesn’t consider herself a “hella-skinny person.” Because of her body type, The Hate U Give star said that she’s often told to lose weight and look slimmer for films. “Being in entertainment can be hard—if you were to meet actors in real life, you’d probably be surprised at how tiny they are. I’m not a hella-skinny person—I’m petite, but I’m low-key slim-thick—and I’ve had people put pressure on me to lose weight or oversexualize my body because it doesn’t look infantile,” Stenberg said.
Likewise, Stenberg has also received pushback for the size of her boobs, which are often oversexualized (at no fault of Stenberg’s) and seen as “too big” on camera. “People often say my boobs are too big. There have been several moments when I was filming a scene and someone came over with a small sports bra and said, ‘Put this on real quick. Your boobs look too big on camera,'” Stenberg said. “You’re conceived of as too much if you have, like, thighs. It’s ridiculous!”
After experiencing body-shaming and oversexualization on set, Stenberg now makes it a mission to only work on films where she feels comfortable and her body isn’t a focus. “I try to only work in spaces now that make me feel comfortable. It’s challenging, but I’d rather be healthy and happy and love my body,” Stenberg said.