Entertainment

Raven Symone, 7, was not allowed to eat on the set of ‘The Cosby Show’ when she was seven years old.

Raven Symone has been a household name for several generations. The actress got her start as a child actress and went on to have a successful adult career. Symone has spoken out about her experiences as a child actor, as well as the mental health issues that resulted from that time. Despite the fact that she was seven years old at the time, she was not allowed to eat on the set of The Cosby Show.

Raven Symone was body-shamed as a child

Hollywood has a reputation for exploiting child actors, according to legend. The exploitation was at its worst in the 1990s, according to many actors who began their careers during that time. There’s enough to fill a book or seven with, from the Olsen twins having to work twice as hard to Symone being body shamed.

In 1989, Symone debuted on The Cosby Show as Olivia Kendall. Symone had auditioned for a role on Ghost Dad with her TV grandfather in 1983, but was passed over because of her young age. She’d been three since she was born.

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Her role on The Cosby Show made her famous and led to several other roles, launching her on a career in acting that she has continued to this day. With her first role as Nebula in the 1999 film Xenon: Girl of the Twenty-First Century, Symone went on to become a Disney Channel mega-star.

Two years later, she auditioned for Absolutely Psychic, which later became That’s So Raven, and the role ushered her into the network. Her time on Disney Channel, however, was not all sunshine and roses, as she had to endure years of body shaming, which left her mentally scarred.

“I wish I was living now as a younger person,” the actor admitted to PEOPLE in 2017. “I probably wouldn’t have as many mental issues,” Symone said, revealing that she has received snarky comments about her weight, with some even pressuring her to slim down.

She recalled being told that she was “too big” to perform a two-hour-and-a-half show. ‘I’m not sure how she dances with her size,’ I said, but I went ahead and did it.”

On ‘The Cosby Show,’ Raven Symone was not allowed to eat.

At the age of seven, Symone played Olivia on The Cosby Show. Most people at that age aren’t aware of their bodies, so they don’t feel compelled to make changes. Being a child actor, on the other hand, took its toll on Symone, who was constantly bullied about her weight as a 7-year-old.

The co-host of The View revealed to her fellow panelists that she was warned not to eat anything while on set. “I remember not being able to have the bagel or anything at–we’d call it crafty–where there’s just a table full of food and you can eat whatever you want.” ‘You can’t eat that,’ I recall people saying. “You’re getting fat!” she exclaimed, “and I’m like, ‘I’m 7 and I’m hungry!”

Raven Symone is doing better these days

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Symone’s problems didn’t end there, as she revealed on Oprah Winfrey’s “Where Are They Now” segment that she tried to lose weight but by the time she did, the industry had shifted its focus to plus-size women.

Symone is feeling much better these days, and she credits sharing her story with greatly assisting her. She also went to therapy, which assisted her in improving and coping with her situation. Despite her celebrity, the actor stays true to herself and does things on her own terms. Raven’s Home, a reboot of That’s So Raven, brought Symone back to Disney Channel. She’s also a co-host on The View and an LGBTQ rights activist.

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Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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