Lisa Ann Walter: Sheryl Lee Ralph Helped Me Stop Making Mean Jokes About My Body

Mrs. Howard won’t tolerate self-deprecating humor about one’s physique.

Lisa Ann Walter — who performs the wise-cracking second grade instructor Melissa Schemmenti on “Abbott Elementary” — discovered herself getting emotional on the 2023 NAACP Image Awards purple carpet Saturday whereas explaining how she got here to comprehend that jokes she used to make about her look had been doing extra hurt than good.

Walter teared up whereas crediting her Emmy-winning co-star Sheryl Lee Ralph (who performs the no-nonsense kindergarten instructor Barbara Howard on the ABC sitcom) for serving to her have the epiphany.

“[Ralph] has said to me, ‘I will not allow any of that negative talk. I know you’re making jokes, but I’m not having it anymore. You are beautiful, and this is what it is, and you will own it and you will love it,’” Walter informed Essence on the purple carpet. “And I have stopped making those comments. It’s huge.”

Walter and Ralph as Melissa and Barbara respectively on “Abbott Elementary.”

Gilles Mingasson through Getty Images

Walter hammered down on the necessity for everybody of all styles and sizes to embrace self-love.

“It’s important that all of us feel it,” Walter mentioned. “And people say, ‘Well, what is that saying? You’re saying you shouldn’t be happy if you’re thin?’ No. Everybody is beautiful, everybody is the way God made them. We’re not all supposed to be the same.”

Walter wolfed up the reward, however famous that when she was “growing up in the ’80s, late ’70s” she felt at odds along with her physique attributable to very inflexible requirements for magnificence, noting that “white girls were not supposed to have meat, we’re not supposed to have booty.”

“I was taught that because I didn’t look like a Charlie’s Angel, I was supposed to be self-loathing.”

Lisa Ann Walter at the premiere in 2005’s "War of the Worlds."
Lisa Ann Walter on the premiere in 2005’s “War of the Worlds.”

Gregory Pace through Getty Images

Walter echoed an analogous sentiment to The Wrap on Saturday night time, however elaborated on how damaging attempting to have a “perfect” physique could possibly be on a youngster.

“I spent an entire life trying to lose 10 pounds that God gave me to have a beautiful, womanly figure,” she informed The Wrap. “It has given me a lot of pain, a lot of stress and tears, and it’s a disease. We need to stop with this crap.”