Women in Entertainment: Lea Michele on Fighting Hollywood Beauty Standards

“Prior to getting cast on 'Glee'… I had a lot of people telling me I wasn’t pretty enough and that I needed to change my appearance,” Michele tells THR. “At the age of 15, my manager told me to get a nose job."

Thanks to her six-year run as Rachel Berry on the wildly successful TV series Glee, Lea Michele now sits one of Hollywood’s most recognizable and bankable stars. But the road to success wasn’t always smooth for the 29-year-old talent. During THR’s annual Women in Entertainment breakfast, held last Wednesday (Dec. 9) in Los Angeles, Michele discussed how she initially had to fight Hollywood beauty standards to earn her seat at the table.

“Prior to getting cast on Glee … I had a lot of people telling me I wasn’t pretty enough and that I needed to change my appearance,” she said. “At the age of 15, my manager told me to get a nose job. She’s no longer my manager for many reasons." 

Michele added: “But growing up loving women, like [Women in Entertainment honoree] Barbra Streisand, I decided not to. It was really the moment that changed my career and created a mindset in me, which was that I should just listen to myself and that my uniqueness is what‘s going to help me to succeed and get me to all the places I dream of going.”

Watch the video above to see Michele discuss how that pivotal experience became one of the defining moments of her career.

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