Lacey Schwimmer Says Male ‘DWTS’ Pros “Broke My Spirit” By Commenting on Her Weight
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Former Dancing With The Stars professional dancer, Lacey Schwimmer recently opened up about the challenges she faced on the show. In a candid conversation with Cheryl Burke on her podcast Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans, Schwimmer talked about the impact of body image criticism and weight-related comments from her fellow cast members.
Lacey Schwimmer Reflects About Fat Shaming Comments From Maks Chmerkovskiy, Louis Van Amstel
At the age of 19, Schwimmer was thrilled to join DWTS and work alongside dancers she admired. However, she was disheartened to hear harsh comments about her weight from Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Louis van Amstel, two of her male colleagues. These comments deeply affected her, leaving her in tears.
In a 2008 interview, Chmerkovskiy expressed his concerns about the appearance of female dancers, mentioning that the camera could add weight. Van Amstel also suggested that viewers might be discouraged if they saw a dancer working hard but still considered heavy.
“It literally broke my spirit,” Schwimmer said. “Oh, my God, it ruined me. I remember crying and crying and crying.”
Schwimmer, who was a size six and weighed 138 pounds at the time, found these comments hurtful. She emphasized that such remarks would not be acceptable in today’s more body-positive climate.
While Schwimmer didn’t directly blame Chmerkovskiy or Van Amstel, her six seasons on the show exposed her to relentless judgment from various sources, including cast, crew, viewers, and the media. This constant scrutiny damaged her self-esteem, leading to what she described as “self-hatred.” She also revealed enduring grueling dance days on just 500 calories. Relying on diet pills, and suffering hormonal imbalances while trying to maintain healthy habits, ultimately resulted in weight gain.
Cheryl Burke Was Also Allegedly Fat-Shamed by The Same Pros
Continuing the discussion sparked by Schwimmer’s experience with body shaming, the podcast host also has her own story of being fat-shamed by the same male pros. Burke revealed that she faced body-shaming from both Chmerkovskiy and Van Amstel during the show’s peak popularity.
Burke acknowledged that being a curvy girl was always an issue for her in the entertainment industry. She ultimately had to learn to accept herself as she is. The criticism started as early as Season 2 and intensified around Season 7 or 8.
In a positive turn, Burke revealed that Chmerkovskiy had already apologized to her and her mother years ago when the fat-shaming incident occurred. While the apology was a kind gesture, Burke expressed uncertainty about whether true closure could be achieved.