“Dancing With the Stars” professional dancers Cheryl Burke and Witney Carson have opened up about the body-shaming they experience by being on the show, saying that they receive comments from fans on a daily basis and it’s hard not to internalize them and feel bad about yourself.
Cheryl & Witney Say It Feels Like Fans Think They Have A Right To Make Whatever Comments They Want
On an episode of Cheryl’s podcast “Pretty Messed Up,” the two professional dancers started talking about Cheryl starting a family. She said she wants to be completely done dancing because she’s so afraid of what it will do to her body and what people will say. She told Witney that the way Witney came back after having a baby earlier this year really inspired her.
“You’re my inspiration for having kids someday because I have body dysmorphia, obviously, just being in this business and being in the competition world — I’m a curvy girl, I’m not a size zero and when I wear costumes and you’re on TV, it does add a few pounds and I get comments on a daily basis about my body and not in a good way and it’s hard for me not to take it in,” said Cheryl.
She added that she’s afraid to go off of birth control because the last time she did, she gained 15 pounds and people made comments.
“I can’t get off birth control because my body is so co-dependent on it and when I did [before], I retained 15 pounds of water weight and that was during a season [of the show] and so I’m just so traumatized by all the attention, first of all, that I got from gaining all the weight,” said Cheryl.
Witney added that fans “have this thing where they feel like they can have full range of commenting on our bodies and it’s really hard” to be constantly judged that way.
Cheryl Admitted She Compares Herself to Other Female Pros
Cheryl fully admitted that she struggles with comparing herself to the other female professionals on the show, saying, “I feel bad for Daniella [Karagach] and the wardrobe department because I’m constantly like, ‘No, you have to make me look like her.'”
She added that she tries not to let the trolls on social media get to her, but it’s hard.
“The last thing I want is for social media trolls to get in my head, but at the end of the day, it does and unfortunately until I find my own love and validity through myself, it’s not gonna go away,” said Cheryl.
Witney said she struggles with the same thing, but she tries to be a positive role model for younger women — even if she’s faking her confidence.
“I’m glad that I seem [confident], but I’m definitely not. I don’t have that confidence all the time, I definitely have to fake it ’til I make it,” said Witney, adding, “I really try and be positive about my body. My little sister is 18 right now and she is going through it hardcore, like more than I ever experienced, so for me, I’m trying to be an example for younger women. If you just feel strong inside and healthy inside and that will exude and people will look at it that way.”
Witney also said she thinks Cheryl is “beautiful” to be on TV “killing it” and showing young women “she looks just like me and maybe I could have that confidence as well.”
“Dancing With the Stars” has not yet been renewed for season 31. If it is renewed, it will return in September 2022.