Julianne Hough Recalls Being Called 'Fat' on Set Despite Being 'Skinniest I'd Ever Been'

Julianne Hough loved her strong dancer’s build growing up. But “something switched” in middle school and hit an all-time low when she was body shamed during an acting gig.

“I did a film where I was basically told I was fat every day, yet I was the skinniest I’d ever been,” the former Dancing With the Stars judge told Redbook for her February cover feature.

The comments stuck with her for a while, she said, but Hough has since learned how to overcome negativity and feel confident in her body.

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“Now, when I’m self-conscious, I’ll do something completely crazy or goofy to get out of my own head — something fun that reminds me of the freedom I felt as a kid before all that happened,” the 29-year-old added.

For her current role, Hough is working to build a curvier figure; she plays female fitness pioneer Betty Weider in the film Bigger.

“Women in that era had bigger hip and bigger busts. I don’t naturally have that hourglass-shape — I’m more elongated and square, to be honest,” she admitted.

To achieve a more rounded figure and keep her slim waist, Hough has ditched cardio for weightlifting exercises. She said she also allowed herself to splurge a bit more on normally naughty treats, knowing her hips are her body’s preferred place for fat storage.

“I was FaceTiming [my husband] Brooks this morning, and I was like, ‘Look. My butt’s bigger, my boobs are bigger, my waist is smaller.’ It’s kind of nice!” Hough joked.

Hough and her husband, NHL player Brooks Laich, are each committed to health and fitness, both for their careers and for personal satisfaction.

The dancer and actress told PopCulture.com that before marriage, she and Laich made a pact to “protect the things that are important” — and for both of them, working out was the main answer.

“It’s not a vanity thing,” Hough clarified. “It’s important to me because it gives me my time and it’s helping me be clear and clear-headed and be the best version of myself so that I can give love to Brooks or my family or friends or my future children. It’s just prioritizing what’s important to you and really protecting that.”

Even on the busiest days, the Ringer actress finds time to keep her body moving without a full session in the gym.

“I work out while I’m brushing my teeth, while I’m making dinner… I’ll just do a couple little exercises on my own to get my body moving,” the Fitbit ambassador said. Her go-to moves outside the gym are calf raises, squats, lunges or side oblique crunches while standing.

“Healthy living is where is all starts: in order to have a clear thought, make good choices, be positive, be a great example for your family or friends and be courageous enough to take risks… It’s about your strength and your heart and courage and choices,” Hough said.