Amber Riley in Essence Magazine

Amber-Riley-in-Essence-Magazine - Amber Riley in Essence Magazine

Glee star Amber Riley is featured in Essence magazine this month, where she rocks figure hugging outfits with high heels.

Daily Mail makes an introduction:

Glee’s Amber Riley flies the flag for curvy women in her dazzling first fashion shoot – Glee diva Amber Riley has hit a real high note with her first ever fashion campaign. The actress proudly put her shapely figure on show in a dazzling photo spread for Essence magazine’s Black Women in Hollywood issue. The 24-year-old, who plays feisty Mercedes Jones in the hit TV show, looks a picture of confidence as she poses in a sparkling silver sequinned dress and bright pink peep-toe heels.

How do you like the pictures?

See one more shot after the jump!

Amber-Riley-in-Essence-Magazine-2 - Amber Riley in Essence Magazine

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  • Femca

    She looks good, but since here knees seem to have disappeared in the second picture, I’m curious how much photoshop was involved.

    • Femca

      *her knees

    • I noticed that same thing.
      I’m not a fan of her character on Glee but it’s great to see an African-American on a hit tv show.

    • Casey

      I don’t mind photoshop to remove blemishes, cellulite, wrinkles etc but when they photoshop knees out there is a certain degree of, “Wtf?” Since when did it become wrong to have knees? How are knees unattractive?

      • flossy

        Its not “knees” it’s dark knees. Unfortunately there’s a really unhealthy obsession amongst black women who think having dark knees and elbows is unattractive. And I guarantee the same magazine will have at least a dozen advertisements for so called “fade creams” masquerading as blemish, dark spot removal creams. See it’s not just the European magazines that have problems promoting positive images of women of colour and photoshops them beyond recognition!

        • Casey

          But they didn’t just lighten them, they completely smoothed them out. She HAS no knees at this point.

          • flossy

            And look at her elbows see any dark areas? EXACTLY!!! They’ve lightened her all over. God I wish they had just left her knees and elbows alone.
            I wonder how long it will be before she does a Jennifer Hudson and loses all the weight? I bet Jenny Craig is dying to get their hands on her.

  • she seems to have a great personality but she is too big for my taste…

    • Bellerina

      Too big for my taste too but thank god they didn’t photoshop her to a size 4! I’d much rather see magazines representing the real person than some Frankenstein like image.

      • mello

        I second that.

      • yeah, i agree. although her knees are VERY photoshopped

      • citygirl

        TOO BIG FOR YOUR TASTE???? Jeez! do you people expect everyone to be perfect, Why cant everyone accept people for who they are. Shes a very pretty girl! And people GET over the photoshop commnents,…they are done on every photo, its just a given! The commenters on theis site make me sick! Actually sometimes it makes me almost cry, why are people so mean about others????

        • Have I missed something? I thought this website was all about stating our opinion and about differing tastes? As long as people state their opinion in a respectful manner I don’t see anything wrong with that.

        • Sierra

          I’m with you, city girl. I always say, “Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.”

      • stoney

        You must dont know math cause she is not a size 4. Dang I swear people get dumber and dumber everyday. Does that image actually look like she is a size 4?? too funny. Only haters judge…

        • Naomi

          What? Bellerina said ”but thank god they didn’t photoshop her to a size 4!”

          The key word being DIDN’T. Learn to read before you insult someone.

    • stoney

      Maybe you are too skinny for her taste!

  • wonderwoman21

    She has a great shape, I think that a little weight loss would really bring it out.

  • jenna

    she is very pretty and works her body size well. however i do agree that losing some weight would bring out her figure more. just look at jennifer hudson…lost some weight but is still shapely, and looks gorgeous!

  • She’s a very voluptuous woman and seems to have a great personality! Sure she would look good smaller, but that’s not for everyone, and I certainly don’t think she looks obese.
    Her knees look really weird in the second pic – like they have been airbrushed out of existence!

    • progressivelements

      She probably is obese, but being obese doesn’t mean you can’t be gorgeous and healthy. Our notion of what ‘obese’ actually means is quite far from what obese looks like in real life.

      Then again, the camera makes people look bigger so perhaps she’s in the overweight category. But it doesn’t really matter because she’s talented and looks great. 🙂

      • aj

        I don’t think you can be obese and ‘healthy’. You can be a little over weight and healthy, because its just a few pounds, but obese = bmi over 30…. that is really not healthy.

        • anonymouse

          Unless you’re very tall.

          Then your bmi will be huge no matter what you weigh. It’s in the maths.

          BMI does NOT equal health and DOES NOT apply to individuals (only populations).

          Obesity is another issue – and if you’re obese you may be “healthy” but chances are you won’t be for long. Excess weight increases the RISK of type II diabetes, heart disease and MANY CANCERS, etc.

          I think Amber carries the weight well, but I would like her to maybe shed a bit for the sake of her long-term health. She’s a wonderful singer/actor and I wouldn’t like to see weight related health issues come to interfere with that.

          And yes…the knees are weird.jn

  • Ginger

    She is stunning…..her facial bone structure is absolutely beautiful. And those cheekbones, wow!

    • Anne

      whats so amazing about her cheekbones? lolllll

  • Nataleigh

    She’s very beautiful, and good on her for being confident to show her figure off, but I do think she is too overweight and into the obese category. I happened to see a video of her singing the National Anthem at the World Series (idk when the vid was from) but she’s definitely not just “curvy”. She rocks it, though, and the girl has some pipes.

    • madeline

      same here-that is not curvy.Sofia Vergara,Jennifer Lopez,those are curvy women.I am sorry but she s just obese and lucky enough that it seems kinda proportional.That is not curvy.

      And at her size losing weight isn t about looking slim it s about being healthy.

  • artemis

    curvy BUT big X_x

  • snoops

    she looks kinda “obese” to me, maybe she is not quite obese, but she is pretty close. I have a friend who is about this size, smaller probably, and she said the doctor has told her she is obese. Obviously she would look better if she were thinner. If she doesnt care and doesnt want to lose weight then thats fine her body, her life.

    • jenp

      She’s definitely at risk for type 2 diabetes. Recently a lot of my bigger friends have been told they’re pre-diabetic. I guess as you enter your 30’s, your body can’t handle the weight as much and that’s when the health problems start to emerge.

      • She is not automatically at risk for type 2 diabetes because of her weight. I have been assessed for type 2 diabetes through a medical questionnaire and there were no questions about weight – only waist circumference. I don’t know her measurements, but even if her waist is 39in as long as her family history, blood pressure, cholesterol, diet, etc are all okay then she is at low risk. In fact, her ethnicity is probably her single biggest risk factor.
        I’m just trying to point out that being overweight does not necessarily mean you will get sick and die younger than normal – of course it is always best to be slim, but it’s not a death sentence to be overweight just as it’s not to be underweight. I feel strongly that neither extreme should be promoted as ideal or healthy, but we also shouldn’t forget that it’s not the same for everyone and without seeing someones medical records, one simply cannot judge the state of another’s health just by seeing a photo!

        • Casey

          Extra weight IS a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, due to a common mediator (diet).

          Weigh circumference is separate from the above and an even bigger predictor of type 2 diabetes development.

          Doesn’t mean she has it, just that her risk of getting it is more than normal.

          • Casey

            Waist* not weight

        • Jane

          Um, Erica, about 60% of Type 2 diabetes cases can be directly attributed to obesity. I saw this statistic today in a presentation on obesity at a medical conference.

          • Well, maybe the advice I have been given is not so good then! My bad!
            I was just trying to point out, that it’s not possible to tell someone’s health problems and/or risks by simply looking at them. I don’t look at a very thin woman and say that she probably doesn’t have periods anymore, even though there is a risk she might not. i just don’t like the speculation, I guess.

  • lucy

    I see nothing healthy about this image at all. Just like skinny models get criticised for portraying a bad image of thin to impressionable girls, so too is this promoting a BAD body image. This woman is an unhealthy weight but because she’s not stick thin its just ‘curvy’, sorry but she’s fat. Nothing good about this body at all, i would certainly not want to see this image in a magazine just as much as a skinny one if not more.

    • holly

      Agreed, this isnt healthy she is obese. Who cares if she is pretty a lot of obese and pretty people will still be dead in there 60s people shouldnt promote obesity and they shouldnt promote anorexia. I want to see how many of these women posting on here would be appauled at this if she was anorexic not just thin anorexic because this girl isnt just fat shes obese.

    • I don’t think anyone’s trying to promote her weight as being healthy. What’s the alternative to these pictures of her? Overweight celebs should only be photographed eating chocolate and wearing muumuus to illustrate how fat and unhealthy they are?! And underweight celebs should be photographed in ill-fitting clothes and gazing longingly at a sandwich to excentuate their bones and show how underfed and frail they are?! She’s not a model – she’s not meant to represent an ideal of beauty.

      The fact of the matter is, many women look like Amber and can relate to her overweight body – just as many women can look at Keira Knightley or Kate Bosworth and relate to their underweight bodies. Does this mean that all these celebs are unhealthy and should be banned from public view for promoting bad body image?
      I’m sure people will say that Keira and Kate are not as underweight as Amber is overweight, but that’s not the point. Different bodies should be represented in the media and so long as they are not extreme and accompanied by words that suggest we should all look like this – then I don’t see the problem. No, it’s not supremely healthy to be overweight – but she is not morbidly obese and as I wrote above, being overweight does not automatically mean you are perilously unhealthy.

      Don’t worry – we are not going to be seeing the likes of Amber or heavier women on the VS runway in the future – slimness is still, and always will be, the ideal (as it should be)!

      • Sidney

        This is sort of where i was getting. She’s an actress, not a model or a spokesperson. Just because she’s not an ideal weight should she highlight that by wearing unflattering clothes and showing us sad faces.

        • lucy

          What i’m saying is when a celeb is in a magazine, or on a show, they are idolised whether they like it or not, the way the are effects other people. Jessica stroup isn’t a model, she still got blasted as promoting and unhealthy body image. This is exactly the same.
          There’s always gonna be people who will argue with what people say, but this is my opinion, I don’t want my future kids to look at her and want to emulate her.

      • Nikki

        I don’t think people need to be so scared about what she’s promoting. I think skinnier people look better than this, but it’s still nice to see diversity. And i think the only effect this will have is that bigger people won’t feel as bad about themselves. I don’t think people will look at her and go: oh i want to gain as much weight as her, cos she’s an idol now.

        I’m bigger than most celebs, although not this big and not fat, and seeing bigger celebs isn’t making me feel it’s okay to be fat. Really skinny celebs may look good to me, but i don’t see it as inspiration to lose weight, i sorta give up, cos i know i’ll never look like that. But celebs like Jessica Lowndes, BAr Rafaeli and Kelly Brook is something i can look to for thinspiration.

        What i think i’m saying is: even though i don’t think Amber is sending out a healthy weight image, i don’t think people should be concerned. I doubt many girls will look at her and think: i better gain weight… thin will still be the ideal.
        But i think she sends a good message when it comes to self esteem. She can probably help a lot of girls who are not movie star skinny feel better about themselves.
        And thirdly she is an actress and singer, not a spokesperson for healthy weight. There’s no reason to banish her from magazines or the spotlight…

      • Jane

        First of all…all the overweight celebrities love to go on about how confident they are and how happy with their curves…until they finally manage to lose the weight, and all of a sudden they become spokespeople for diet organization (ahem, Jennifer Hudson), and they’re sooo happy to finally be thin like the rest of the beautiful thin people in Hollywood.

        Second, I don’t think people need to worry about anybody promoting an unhealthy weight. Do you think anybody would actually want to be fat, no matter how much magazine hype they read about “curves”? Nobody is buying it and nobody is fooled. Everybody knows this girl is chunky, and I’m sure everybody thinks, “Well, if she’s really happy with herself and not just lying, good for her, but I would never want to look like that if I could look slim and trim instead.” So don’t worry, people — it’s not like the obesity crisis is being caused by magazine photos of her and people like her.

        Third, I basically feel sorry for her. Everybody knows how much better thin people have it in every possible area of life, so, I feel sorry that she can’t be thin and has to content herself with trying to like herself fat.

        • flossy

          But what do you expect her to be? By social/media/celebrity standards in western culture a woman has to be has to be either “fat and jolly” or “a skinny bitch”!! Celebrities are not immune. They can’t complain because public sympathy isn’t there, the perception is that they have a great life so why are you complaining. An overweight celebrity can’t complain because the general backlash is usually “if you’re unhappy with you weight do something about it”. Equally a skinny celebrity is often frowned upon due to envy as not having the right to complain about their lives.
          Look at all the overweight obese actresses in Hollywood show me one whose media image isn’t that of being jolly and happy with their curves! That is until they give Jenny Craig a call!!

        • Nikki

          I half agree with the first part. It’s quite an annoying trend, but i guess hollywood just gets to them…

          Agree completely about the second part. That’s what i was trying to say. Amber Riley isn’t going to increase obesity, everybody would still prefer to be slim compared to fat.

          Don’t agree with the last part though. How can u generalize like that. In my experience it has nothing to do with how skinny or not a person is. I know several girls with a little extra weight who are very secure and happy with themselves, and i’ve met several skinny girls who are so insecure. I’ve actually experienced that the thin, pretty girls who everyone looks up to are really insecure (not everyone of course).
          I don’t think u can equal thinness with happiness and fatness with misery. Self esteem comes from something much deeper. I’ve been skinnier than i am now, and less happy.

          So no, not everybody knows that. I think it varies from each individual.

          • flossy

            Okay let me make this clear I’m not making a general statement that being skinny equates happiness I’m demonstrating media/social/celebrity trend. The point you make is valid about women being emotionally unhappy on the inside at either end of the scale. But the media never focuses on the emotional insides of women it focuses on what it sees on the outside, and argues image is everything and its what sells at the end of the day, which is the point nobody who is that successful is allowed to complain because they are seen as being ungracious. And I certainly didn’t nor ever have equated skinniness to happiness but in western culture there is the maxim that states you cannot be too thin or too rich and its an extremely unhealthy one that has done no service what so ever to humanity.

    • Anne

      i dont think shes promoting obeseity, i doubt anyone would wanna look obese where as skinny thats more common to want

    • vi

      she’s not promoting health though is she. there’s no reason why women of all shapes and sizes shouldn’t be represented.

    • padme

      Geez she’s an actress. Usually magazines take pictures of the people they interview. What is she supposed to wear a giant paper bag over her body so her obeseness doesn’t offend your eyes?

  • Sidney

    I don’t know about promoting any kind of images, i definitely don’t think her weight is something that should be celebrated, but as she and many other already are overweight, i think it’s good to see fabulous people enjoying life and not feeling ashamed bc of their body (skinny people get called names too but there are still plenty of very bony skinny people who “still” feel beautiful and worthy, rightfully so). I can’t be sure but i’m fairly confident she could be healthier, but as far as mere looks go, i think she carries her body really well, and has curves in the right places which certainly helps, and i like her on Glee. The knees are ridiculous.

  • FM

    Well this is how her knees really look so I guess a fair amount of photoshop was probably used.

    • yeah from that pic. unless she has lost some weight. they fixed up her legs i think and not just the knees. good for her to be confident though.

  • Rebecca

    ‘Glee’s Amber Riley flies the flag for curvy women’ – no she doesn’t, she is very overweight and that is not healthy or something to promote, just like being very underweight is not something to promote. And if i was a ‘curvy’ woman i would be offended that i was being grouped into the same category as an overweight person.

  • Chrissy

    She’s obese and that’s that. Obese is not good. That’s the end of that.

    • Peach

      What do you think obese is?
      Because she looks healthy to me. I always thought obesity was unhealthy -_-

      • yes she is. And in “real life” she must be even worse because we all know these photos are photoshopped

        • Peach

          I agree now, I saw some pictures on here – doesn’t look so good. She’s not curvy, just a little big.

      • seijidan

        I think she’s borderline overweight and obese. She’s very large. Not morbid obese like those 400 pounds+, but she’s almost on her way if she continues to gain more

  • kim

    I think she looks great! So fierce!

  • Casey

    This woman is not “curvy.” I don’t see any more curves on her than I see on Miranda Kerr. The only thing I see on her that differentiates her from Miranda Kerr would be extra weight.

    And yes she is overweight. Does it matter? Not really. It’s her choice. I think we, as a people, are finally out of the dark ages where we didn’t know the dangers of being overweight. If someone chooses to be overweight despite that, it is their choice, much like it’s a person’s choice to smoke.

    Being overweight doesn’t automatically make you unattractive, but it doesn’t make you attractive either. It’s the sacrifice you make…by doing the behaviors that lead you to be overweight/obese, you are going to give up some of your attractiveness along the way. Just like with smokers, eventually smoking will take a toll on your skin and teeth, and it’s up to you if that behavior is worth your looks and health.

    • Zeka

      You know, being overweight isn’t a choice for everyone. I know more healthy big girls than unhealthy ones. Take my two roommates for example. Both of them are plus sized and medically overweight. However, they both eat very healthy and exercise 4 times a week.

      I’m not saying that all overweight people don’t have a choice. A lot of them do (more than they want to admit it). Bodies are a pain; it’s hard to fight what your body is programmed to do.

      • Ellen

        I second the whole being overweight a choice thing not being accurate. Is it a choice for you naturally skinny people to be that skinny? Didn’t think so. It’s HARD for some people to lose weight. Just because you may be able to easily doesn’t mean everyone can just as easily.

        • Ellen

          Btw, I meant to reply to Casey with that comment, my apologies.

      • I agree. It’s not always a choice – some people have always been big and always will be, even with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

        Just as Ellen says, do the skinny people on here choose to be skinny? I’ve read many comments from thin girls here saying that it’s just natural for them and they don’t like people putting skinniness down – don’t you think that might go the other way too?

        • Cristina

          Erica, i asked the same question thousands of times on this forum. You will not get an answer. People don’t like being faced with their own hypocrisy (just for the record, i am not talking about Casey over here)

        • Kimberly

          It’s not usually a choice to be overweight, but it is usually a lifestyle related problem. Genetics predisposes some individuals to being overweight, but it’s not as common as you think. Most of the time, unhealthy habits are to blame for being overweight or obese.

        • Casey

          In my original comment, I was not referring to those who were naturally overweight. People who are naturally overweight…the weight suits them, much like naturally thin people carry thinness well.

          I think, in reality, very little of the population is actually naturally thin OR overweight. Statistics wise, it would only be 5% of the population that is naturally thin, and 5% of the population that is naturally overweight. You can exaggerate and say it’s 10%, so 10% of people can be naturally overweight…but that’s still very short of the 60% of people that ARE overweight.

          In my comment, I was referring to the other 50% that DO have a choice. Sorry I wasn’t clearer with that, no offense intended to those who may be naturally overweight, I understand what it’s like to not be able to change your size.

          • I get what you are saying Casey – some people can’t change their size, but the vast majority of people can. It’s up to the individual to choose their lifestyle and as far as the obesity epidemic goes, I think a lot of it is down to lack of education and easy availability and low cost of food that is far from natural and healthy. I don’t think it’s simply a matter of people being lazy and overindulgent – that’s too simplistic.

    • Ashes

      Just like you can be slim and curvy (and a lot of people on the site frequently remind all us posters of this) you can be overweight and curvy. If curvy is dependent on your breast to waist to hip ratio, or even just your WHR then I would say that she IS curvy. She seems to have great proportions and I certainly see a lot more curves on her figure than I see on Miranda Kerr.

      • Casey

        I understand that one can be overweight and curvy, my comment was specifically explaining how I don’t think she is curvy, regardless of her size. I see her as someone who if she slimmed down, wouldn’t have very much curves on her, or at least, average amount of curves. Not to the extent that women like Kelly Brooke and Beyonce have curves. To me, those women are truly the “curvy” women. If Beyonce gained or lost 50 pounds, she would still be curvier than Amber Riley.

  • dzhii

    since when being overweight, basically just fat, is voluptuous, shapely or curvy????
    I dont say that everyone should be underweight or stick thin, but this is no role-model… I wouldn’t suggest anyone to look like this. It is NOT healthy. There are tons of healthy looking, normal weight girls, why don’t they put them in photo-shoots?

  • Arielle

    Amber Rily is a superb actress and singer. She deserves to be celebrated in a photo shoot because of all of her accomplishments. She’s a role model because she’s followed her dreams and achieved her goals. Her weight shouldn’t be something that holds her back from dressing up and posing for a camera. Let her celebrate herself!

    • Aria

      TOTALLY agree!

  • cfp

    First off, Amber has definitely lost some weight lately, so I don’t really think that much photoshop is involved.

    Secondly, she is not promoting her body as healthy living or the epitome of fitness to be emulated. Her body is her body, and there’s no reason why she shouldn’t be allowed to appear in magazines just because she is overweight! The point is, she is a very talented young woman and she is getting recognition for that. Why shouldn’t she? I’m kind of disgusted that there are people here implying that because she is overweight that she shouldn’t be allowed to pose in photo shoots or be a public figure.

    I think if she was in a fitness or healthy lifestyle magazine, I’d probably question it, just as I’d question a chain-smoker or drug user in the same publication. But honestly, she’s just a girl who is talented who happens to be overweight. Should she hide and not agree to have her picture taken, feel ashamed of her body because she isn’t slim? That doesn’t seem to be the solution to me.

    Don’t worry, I don’t think your children will want to look just like her…but hey, there are a ton of kids and young adults out there who do and probably do feel ashamed. If seeing someone of Amber’s weight find success helps helps other people feel better about how they liook…I don’t see anything wrong with that either.

  • cfp

    Sorry I posted too soon…because I wanted to end that post by saying that being healthy on the outside and making healthy choices starts with being healthy on the inside…aka your mind, and feeling good and fabulous no matter what your body looks like is a big part of that.

    • Calia

      You couldn’t be more right. I find that from personal experience. When I was really overweight (junior high and high school), I was so depressed and ashamed. Then one day, I woke up, saw that that was all bull**** and started celebrating who I was and how I looked. Then I was able to eat healthier, exercise more, and lose all the weight and keep it all. It’s because I had a positive attitude about myself and my looks, even though I wanted to improve some things. Shame gets you nowhere – if it did, a lot of fat people would be thin by now.

    • flossy


  • Jemima98

    I love the second picture, but I wish her skin hadn’t been smoothed down so much. I’m okay with a bit of smoothing, but when your knees disappear, you know it’s too much.

  • ajt

    Argh! These photo shoots always irk me. Amber has a beautiful face, a nice shape and surprisingly slim ankles, but she is definitely not curvy and is overweight instead. Most likely she is close to or at obesity. I agree that she shouldn’t hide and I think it’s awesome she always dresses well and looks pretty (so many celebs are slobs these days). However, I don’t think that her body shape should be mentioned in the article. No one says tiny Kate Bosworth is in a photo shoot representing petite girls. A celebrities size shouldn’t be mentioned because it calls too much attention and creates confusion for young people on what they should look like. People should be able to look at models and celebs and judge for themselves what is right without the media skewing their opinions. Amber and many other “curvy” ladies are more representative of unhealthy lifestyles than they are role models for curvy girls. Salma Hayek, Cheryl Burke, Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Love Hewitt, those are curvy, healthy women. We should be celebrating more fit and healthy bodies than the two extremese we have as examples these days.

  • Katy

    She is a great singer, but I really think she could stand to lose a little weight. Not just for aesthetics, but for health too.Lovely skin though!

  • She’s not curvy, she is overweight, Apparently it’s working for her at the moment though. It won’t be healthy as she ages and continues to gain.

    • Anne

      i think shes curvy and overweight hehe, if she lost weight she would be curvy then

  • She wears clothes well for her size, she looks cute still. wtf with the knees …

  • Ophelie

    She’s an actress who did an interview, that’s it. She shouldn’t have to hide underground bc she’s overweight. She’s not encouraging people to be fat, she’s just living and working on her career. Being very overweight is unhealthy but just bc a public persona is fat, that doesn’t translate to promoting obesity. I like the pictures bc she looks happy.

  • She has lost weight from what I can remember. I don’t think she is unhealthy or has obesity but if amber wants to be healthy in the long run, then losing more weight would help. Weight problems will catch up when she gets older. And I don’t know why people assume because someone lose weight, they’re trying to be skinny. Maybe they want to take care of their health, instead of appearing to look good. I rather be healthy.

  • Ok I have to say I totally adoooore this girl she has such a great style and attitude. Regarding if she is overweight is out of question no matter how much we like her it is obvious she is really big and I know she looks slimmer in these pictures that reality. Still, I admire the fact that she knows how to work with what she’s got!

  • Clare

    I love herr 🙂 She’s so cute on glee (she’s a divaa 🙂 ) and she can SING! She does have a little waist compared to the rest of her though, or at least it looked that way at the globes, where she looked AMAZING.

  • Laurie

    In defense of these pictures and Amber Riley- apology beforehand because this will get long lol:

    One, I think Amber Riley looks better here than just about any other time I’ve seen her- these outfits are flattering and also do not attempt to hide her body. Maybe photoshop has a lot to do with it, but it’s an industry standard, and we’ve all seen much more glaring photoshop on actresses half her size.

    Two: of course obesity can directly cause health problems. That’s not up for debate. That being said, I would doubt Amber Riley is close to being -morbidly- obese, ie having a BMI higher than 40, which is a much greater risk factor. Yes, having a waist over 35″ is a risk factor for diabetes, but another large predictor of health is cardiovascular health, and Amber Riley has to be “active” enough at least at the moment to participate in many choreographed dance sequences on Glee, as in the ‘big number’ Heads Will Roll/Thriller on the recent Superbowl episode, in which she has to do the same choreography as all the other, generally much slimmer actors and actresses. Also, I believe the role she plays on Glee was specifically designed to be a much larger girl than the other cast members, and so anyone picked for that role would have been of her size. Whatever she does with her body is her own business, but speaking from the perspective of the show, any significant change at the moment would force acknowledgment on the show and modification of the plots around her, which often contain eating problems.

    Finally, if you care genuinely about someone’s health, I think their actual habits such as exercise and diet are more relevant (although that’s harder to really gauge) than the assumptions people make- however true those assumptions may end up being- based on the way they -look-, which is more a matter of personal opinion. Concern for health, although indeed sometimes real, does often end up being a pretext to justify a disgusted aesthetic response to larger people, which I don’t attack as a personal feeling or opinion, but which should not be camouflaged as concern for those people.

    For the record, I am a fan of Glee, but Amber Riley happens to be one of my least favorites. I just think it’s important to be honest about our reactions to people’s physical appearances. If you don’t -like- the way she looks, that’s perfectly fine, but don’t pretend to really “care” about her personally as anything more than an actress you’re seeing a photo of and using as a symbol of obesity as a whole.

    Of -course- I believe it would be appropriate for a -doctor- and friends/family to advise anyone, including this particular actress, to change her lifestyle and personal habits and even lose weight if they come to suffer from a disease or physical ailment which requires that kind of change, or indeed if they have a family history/risk factors which make the development of illness a danger for that person. But the question here is about being honest with ourselves why we really react the way we do to people of this girl’s size, and to also try and be respectful of other human beings no matter what.

    • Exactly! Well said Laurie! It’s not fair to judge her health without knowing more than just: ‘she looks fat’! Many people are overweight and still quite fit and healthy – it’s not black and white and we shouldn’t judge without knowing her medical history, diet and exercise regime!

      I know a man who runs marathons, is extremely lean and is a nutritionist – but he still has health problems and sometimes talks about them as if they shouldn’t exist because he is so fit and slim! It’s a myth that being slim and fit means you will have very few health problems and being overweight means you will have many! Being morbidly obese is a different matter entirely though – there’s a big difference between weighing 200lbs and weight 300-400lbs!

  • Clare

    I doubt she is obese. Obese is not a synonym for fat, it means a BMI of 30 or more.

  • tina

    removed*. you all decide for yourself whether or not you think she is obese (i personally think she is atleast 60 pounds overweight) but she is working what she’s got, so you gotta admire that.

    • Cristina

      Where did you get from? Obese is a bmi of over 30; completely different from the over 30 lbs overweight. On a fit guy, 6 feet tall, muscular, 30 lbs over the bmi of 25 means nothing, for example.

  • Sarah

    I don’t understand why everyone is so preoccupied with other people’s health. Yes, Amber is overweight. I’m sure she’s aware and doesn’t need people to comment about it everytime they see a picture of her. What if when you got a blemish or a cold sore and every single person you passed in the hallway decided to make a remark about it?

    Secondly, while she may be overweight, she is so much more than that. The number on the scale or the amount of lipids stored in your cells do not define you as a person. I’m sure if you met her in real life, you would look passed her weight and see her smile, sense of humor, her interests, and the nature of her heart. The fact that being ‘fat’ is enough to be labeled automatically “unhealthy, not good looking enough, lazy, and apathetic” really says a lot about the level of vanity in our society.

    And one last thing, if you’re going to use the tired old argument that her body should not be in photographs because it promotes an “unhealthy body-image” then I suggest you stand by your claims of health and criticize anybody doing anything healthy–even if it is none of your damn business. Next time someone is smoking a cigarette, drinking alcohol, living in a polluted city, driving without a seatbelt, or riding a bike without a helmet…I’ll expect to hear from you.

  • fenotte

    Please, what the hell with all these debates about being skinny, overweight, obese, healthy, unhealthy… Do you find her beautiful or not ? I find her very gorgeous, wearing outifts which suit her body very well, enhancing her assets, and that’s all

  • Cristina

    If one obese hollywood celebrity is going to promote obesity, how come not 80% of usa is on the thin side (not necessarily underweight, but still thin/slim) since that is what the vast majority of hollywood celebrities promote? Ahem, thought so.

    • Anara

      I LOVE your comment!

  • kss

    Sorry but doesent looks healthy or anything else to me.

    • kss


  • snugglepup

    Great face and great figure… I’m sure she’s gonna lose weight if she stays longer in this biz, but she’s beautiful anyways. Sad thing tho, no knees, hmm?

  • Priscila

    She looks great 🙂

  • progressivelements

    I’ve always thought she has the best voice on Glee. It seems strange that the show always pretends Rachel is the most talented when it’s obvious that there are plenty who can sing much better than her.

  • skinnyme??

    i am tired of magazines calling obese people curvy. This is not curvy. She has a pretty face though.

  • stoney

    Some of you rude individuals need a reality check. I swear some of you should have been aborted for saying so rude things…

  • Sims

    I think she could be the next Jennifer Hudson if she keeps up this great singing voice she has! Like every obese celebrity she will eventually lose the weight. Hollywood is very demanding and does not like heavy stars on popular tv shows parading around. I’m pretty sure you’ll here about here in the next year or two dropping 50 or so pounds and getting down to a size 4.

  • Callie

    I think she’s beautiful and very talented, but I do think she is overweight. I’m not saying everyone needs to be a size zero, but if she lost a few pounds she could bring her weight into a healthy range. She looks gorgeous nonetheless though.

  • vivina

    i don’t know how you people say she’s good and on the other side you don’t like Cameron Diaz in bikini..for God’s sake!this is UNHEALTHY!i don’t expect all people to be skinny,this is fasism..but she has to do something with her weight for her health first of all..

  • Lisa

    Curvy. lol.

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