"Oh, my God, it ruined me. I remember crying and crying and crying," said the professional dancer, who appeared on six seasons of the dance competition series.
Lacey Schwimmer is opening up about being criticized for her weight during her time as a Dancing with the Stars pro.
On the latest episode of Cheryl Burke’s Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans podcast, the professional dancer — who appeared on six seasons of DWTS — recalled being hurt by negative comments fellow pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Louis van Amstel made about her weight.
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In a 2008 interview with TV Guide, per Los Angeles Times, Chmerkovskiy and van Amstel shared their opinion about Schwimmer and Burke’s appearance.
“When I first saw these women this season, I said, ‘Guys, you know the camera adds 10 pounds. You have to do something about this,'” Chmerkovskiy said at the time.
Van Amstel, meanwhile, told the outlet, “If [the viewers] watch someone who’s dancing her butt off and she’s still heavy, they can be discouraged. You have to take responsibility.”
During her conversation with Burke, Schwimmer reflected on the criticism, sharing that the harsh words “ruined” her.
“First, no one should ever, ever discredit somebody based off of their appearance,” she said. “I don’t care if you’re skinny, fat, whatever. Ugly face, busted teeth — I don’t care what you look like. It has nothing to do with your talent or ability or what you are hired to do,” she said.
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The 35-year-old dancer — whose last appearance on DWTS was back in 2011 — added that she appeared on the show during a “very different time” than now, noting that it was “before women were able to speak freely and have this body positivity and celebrate the fact that we are women who have hormones and hips and thighs.”
“It’s literally that simple,” she continued. “However, the dance community prior to 10 years [ago], I would say, has been very backwards in that. Thinking that a healthy body is a very thin one.”
Schwimmer went on to share that she believes the previous standards were “not healthy,” “not realistic,” and was “not sustainable.”
The So You Think Can Dance alum added that it was hurtful to receive the negative comments, particularly from people she “looked up to.”
“It literally broke my spirit,” she told Burke, adding, “Oh, my God, it ruined me. I remember crying and crying and crying.”
Schwimmer said the “biggest weight” she reached during her time on DWTS was 138 pounds and a size 6.
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