“I’m pretty lucky. I don’t feel my career has ever depended on how I look, necessarily. Certainly in this industry I’m photographed a lot and I’m on film a lot, but I think my fans have always loved me for who I am. It’s weird, I never thought a snaggle-toothed, big nosed girl from Alaska would [be considered ‘hot’]. But I enjoy it, especially as I’ve gotten older. I’ve just gotten more comfortable in my skin and I wouldn’t trade what I’ve gained in my aging for what I had in my youth … that insecure, scared feeling. When I first came on the scene I was probably 15 or 20 pounds heavier and they said I was the chubby Renee Zellweger. And it’s a hard thing to live through, but I was very dedicated to not developing an eating disorder and very dedicated to not becoming a drug addict because, to me, they weren’t longtime solutions and you have to go on your journey and you have to find that love for yourself.
“I try to follow a ‘biblical diet,’ which has nothing to do with religion, but with eating things as they originally came out of the ground, before there was genetic altering of food. We have become more obsessed with having a shiny apple than with having an apple that doesn’t give us cancer.”
I love J.Lo’s body. I will never have her little waist or her abs, and I’ll never have her booty. But I have other assets, hopefully! I love Beyonce’s body, too. They are healthy, beautiful women. I’ve seen J.Lo gain five pounds, like we all have, and she looks great. She owns it. She’s just like, ‘Yeah, there it is. Boom.’
Jewel is a bikini cover girl on Shape magazine this month – and she has a lot to share about dealing with criticism, her diet and the pressures to look thin:
On being called “the chubby Renee Zellweger” in the media years ago: “My feelings were so hurt by that story, I ended up bingeing on an entire cake. Afterward, I actually tried to throw it all up, but thankfully I couldn’t do it. It made me think, ‘I can’t go down this road.’ I had seen so many performers develop eating disorders or try to control their weight with drugs, and I decided I would do no harm to my body.”
Her advice to women: “We should be more like men, God bless ’em. They can take their shirts off and show their man boobs, and they don’t give a hoot. But women are so critical of themselves. We can be gorgeous and hot and still be embarrassed to wear a tank top. So if you can’t stop looking in the mirror, at least try to not think badly about yourself when you do.” On her diet: “I try to stay away from an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to food. It’s like a pendulum: The more extreme I am–like saying, ‘I’m not going to eat any carbs’–the further it’s going to swing to the other side and I’m going to binge.