Riley encourages the practice of self-acceptance

When Amber Riley was a young girl, she was “overly sexualized” for her curves and it caused a level of anxiety that caused her to find ways to divert attention away from her body.

“Part of my anxiety had to do with my size,” RILEY told HelloBeautiful, explaining she’s had curves since she was a kid. “I was overly sexualized when I was young, so I’d always dress in big t-shirts and shapeless stuff my whole entire life. I didn’t like that I had hips already. I didn’t like that I had boobs. I hated it because I didn’t like that kind of attention.”

A woman of many talents, she amused people with her sense of humor, intelligence and singing, but in the process of entertaining others, she neglected herself and refused to come to terms with her insecurities, delaying the journey to self-love and acceptance.

“You can’t live your whole entire life ignoring yourself and that’s what I did,” she advised fans. “It got to the point where I didn’t know who I was because I didn’t accept myself wholly. I accepted myself as a talent, that’s where I found my value, but I didn’ accept myself and where I was in my body.”

“Although I thought I was beautiful and I did get attention, that wasn’t the issue,” she said. “It was an inner issue. It didn’t have anything to do with guys. It had more to do with me being able to look in the mirror and mean it when I say that I’m beautiful.”

It’s not uncommon for individuals in a funk to get wrapped in social media comparisons that exacerbate insecurities, or find themselves in relationships clinging to the false sense of security. Riley, however, insists that happiness is found from deep within, not through other people.

After acknowledging her confidence and self-esteem issues and pouring into self-love, Riley could care less about what people think about her life, her choices, her size.

“My body is mine. I don’t need a community telling me what to do with it. I always have to be 100 percent real with myself,” she said. “Honestly, if your confidence is predicated on the way that I look, it’s not confidence. I’m not anybody’s idol. Don’t worship me. Don’t get used to me being any size. I can get bigger, I can get smaller. I’m going to love myself either way, but I’m not asking for permission.

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