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Ricki Lake on Weight Loss: "You're Damned If You Do; You're Damned If You Don't"

Season 5 Episode 310
Aired on 04/25/2015 | CC tv-14
Ricki Lake landed the role of a lifetime when she was just an 18-year-old freshman attending Ithaca College in upstate New York. Ricki, a complete unknown with little dance experience, was cast as Tracy Turnblad, the lead role in the original Hairspray film. In 1988, just one year later, she appeared on the Oprah Show for the very first time!

Today, Ricki, a 46-year-old mother of two, shares how that role changed the trajectory of her life. "I had no idea what I was signing up for, and how it would give me the career and the life that I've had," she says. "It was like life imitating art."

Ricki became famous, in part, because of her voluptuous curves, but that hasn't stopped the tabloids from running headlines about her weight. "My weight fluctuates, and it's a weird thing because I became famous for being a certain size," she says. "I was a role model for so many young women."

Although Ricki says she felt good about her body after losing more than 100 pounds, she also thought she was feeding into society's obsession with weight. Watch the above video to find out why Ricki says, when it comes to weight loss, "You're damned if you do; you're damned if you don't."

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