Glee has quickly become my new favorite show — how could you not love it after seeing Olivia Newton John's amazing remake of "Get Physical"? And in the episode "Home" from a couple weeks back, I fell in love with Amber Riley's character, Mercedes.
After being asked to drop 10 pounds for the cheerleading team, Mercedes realizes that sacrificing her health for her looks just "isn't me." With society's pressures to be thin, Amber's character is someone we can all relate to, and in a recent issue of People magazine she said,
"When I receive letters from girls that say, 'You give me confidence,' I think, 'Wow, this is amazing.' That's my goal: to let people know it's truly what's on the inside that counts."
In the interview, we find out that weight issues aren't exactly a new theme for Riley. To hear more about her struggles, keep reading.
On her path to stardom, she suffered a lot of knocks regarding her bigger frame, but this amazing singer and actress didn't let it knock her self-esteem. She said the comments "hurt for a minute, but being told no just made me work harder. I wasn't going to be held back by my size." And even after being turned down by American Idol she said, "I was crushed but I didn't let it be a setback. I made it my motivation to do better." Looks like her hard work and strong sense of self paid off.
In order to keep her energy up on the set of Glee, Amber runs for an hour three times a week, and eats healthy without depriving herself. Although she may have "twinges of self-doubt," overall Amber embraces her entire body just as it is. She says, "I love my breasts, my face, my butt," but most importantly, "I love myself."
Are you going to be watching Glee tonight?