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Raven-Symone: If Body Positivity Movement Was Around Years Ago, “I Probably Wouldn’t Have So Many Mental Issues”

I think we can all agree that social media has made people more bold and opinionated than ever. And while that has its setbacks, it has also fostered a sense of community and positivity among many different groups of people. Take for instance, the body positivity movement. With more and more people embracing their sizes, their stretch marks, their cellulite and other things some pretend are all supposed to be perfect, a lot of us are learning that we’re not alone and that we should be confident in our skin.

Raven Symone body

Raven’s Home star Raven-Symone said in a chat with PEOPLE Now that she would have loved to see such a movement when she was a child star growing up in the spotlight. She has spoken in the past about how she was fat-shamed, made to wear a fat suit after losing weight, encouraged to tan so she could be darker and facing a whole host of other insulting experiences as a young woman. She said in the new interview that it forever impacted her psyche.

“I wish I was living now as a younger person,” she said. “I probably wouldn’t have so many mental issues.”

“I love embracing your body in this day and age,” she continued. “You have all kinds. And it’s funny, it’s serious, it’s every color, it’s every head shape, it’s every hair. And there’s androgyny and there’s LGBT coming in. It feels good and we didn’t have it enough last time. But I guess that’s what the past is for, to make sure that the present is what it needs to be.”

When asked by the host what negative comment she remembers most from her days growing up and performing in Hollywood, the 31-year-old said it was someone claiming she was too big to keep up her past touring schedule.

“I was too big to be doing an hour and a half concert,” she said of the criticism. “‘I don’t know how she can dance being that big.’ And I was like, ‘And I still did it!’ I went on tour forever because it’s not about your size, it’s about what you have to say, if you can sing or dance, and performing. It’s not about your size.”

She went on to say that she’s optimistic for the youth of today, especially in the entertainment industry, because stars are taking the reigns and changing things.

“I love what’s happening in the music industry. I love what’s happening in television. And we just have to like, stop pretending that this little plastic box is the end all, be all,” Symone said. “The world is too big to have one sort of view to show beauty, because you’re literally destroying society. You’re literally destroying it. And then you want to talk about how we’re judgmental to each other and this, this, this, but it’s being created in the industry we’re in. So why not break the mold?”