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Candice Bergen Before & After

Source: Desiree Navarro & G. Gershoff / Getty

“Let me just come right out and say it: I am fat!” Candice Bergen bravely said in her memoir (which we’re totally buying), A Fine Romance.

The 68-year-old Hollywood heavyweight (no pun intended, but it works) has been packing on the pounds over the last couple of years and despite all the Paleo, South Beach, no carb diet plans that plague us daily, Bergen doesn’t consider herself to be a part of that trend. “In the past 15 years, I have put on 30 pounds. I live to eat. None of this ‘eat to live’ stuff for me,” she proudly states.

MUST READ: 5 Weight Gain Causes You Can’t Control

Can we just say, YASSSS! This is what self love sounds like! This is a concept that needs to be praised–the idea and the practice of loving oneself despite all the things we wish we could change or should change with diet and exercise or plastic surgery. Whether she knows it or not, Bergen just opened up a conversation around having what you have and loving it. Having what you have is a simple concept, yet in execution, it’s almost impossible. Especially these days where the internet creates a cesspool of desire, keeping up with the Joneses and self-hatred. It’s very easy to peek over at someone else’s grass and wonder if you could get your lawn to look equally as green.

Bergen’s choosing to look in the mirror, embrace all the humps and bumps that she realizes she’s caused is taking responsibility for the extra pounds she’s gained over the years. There are people in this world who choose a yoga class over frozen yogurt–these are the same people who claim the foods they eat fuel their lives instead of satisfy their taste buds. Bergen is proudly not one of these people, but honestly she’s figured it out. She’s out here living to eat. And what a life that is!

Now, we realize that everything in moderation is actually the best way to live, which means that eating too much of whatever you want is the reason many of us gain weight, including the 30-pounds-heavier Bergen. “Dieting is out of my purview,” she adds. “I crave cookies…all the things that dilate my pupils.” And her cravings and the way she gives into them have dilated the pupils of many critics, who want Bergen and those like her to answer for their bigger pants size.

The minute a Hollywood “it” girl looks larger than her last snapshot, the internet is littered with hurtful headlines that make it much easier for said starlet to stick her finger so far down her throat she’s pulling out the issues that cause her to overeat in the first place. We love to crucify those who appear different (read: fat).

There was a time when there was no room for big in Hollywood, but stars like Gabourey Sidibe, Leslie Jones and Melissa McCarthy have been and are changing that broken record by landing awesome roles and changing the way leading ladies look. We’re not all stick figures and honestly, isn’t it better to show the viewing public reflections of themselves rather than keep perpetuating the same stick-thin standards that leave all of our self-esteem shaking and crying on the floor?

Bergen is almost 70-years-old–an age when you realize, “F*ck it, I do what I want!” It’s glorious to watch her own her body with grace and pretty much dare the critics to say something. If only we could all live like that. #TeamLiveToEat!

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