Queen Latifah (276548)

Queen Latifah is debunking the false stereotypes of obesity in her latest campaign with pharmaceutical company Nova Nordisk, reports Afro Tech.

Queen Latifah signed an audible deal to highlight activists in different sectors, with her latest venture hitting close to home as she tackles an issue that has loomed over her career for decades. Conceptualized with director Chris Robinson, “It’s Bigger Than Me” allows Latifah to share her experience of living with obesity through four impactful and creative video snippets.

As a star in the industry, Latifah developed insecurities struggling to maintain a healthy weight in the limelight. The Hollywood actress first learned she was obese upon working with a trainer for a movie role earlier in her career.

“I fell into the category of obesity, and it took a trainer to educate me about what it was when I was trying to lose weight for a project,” Latifah told Campaign U.S. “He said, ‘OK, well, here’s where you are. And this falls into the category of obesity.’ I was like, ‘Wait a minute, I’m obese.’ And I’m thinking, ‘Oh, wow. So, what can I do about it.’”

Latifah believes people are uninformed and misinformed about the obstacles people with obesity face. She wanted to play an active player in changing the narrative around the clinical diagnosis so individuals do not have to continue to navigate life shamefully. The campaign is the stepping stone for initiating necessary conversations through educational dialogue surrounding obesity.

“As someone who has [been told], ‘You need to lose some weight’ on certain shows that I’m doing, who’s been affected by the shame and the stigma of the word obesity, I want it to be a part of changing that narrative to make sure people know it’s not your fault,” Latifah said.

Contrary to popular belief, obesity is not always a choice, but it is a medical condition. According to the Mayo Clinic, “obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It’s a medical problem that increases the risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers.”

Latifah hopes initiating an honest conversation will compel people to retrain their thought processes to be cognitive of their dialogue projected toward obesity.