Richard Simmons reflects on being made fun of, shares message of self-love

Simmons in 2013 – Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Richard Simmons is turning his unpleasant experiences into wisdom.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, the reclusive 75-year-old fitness personality issued a rare public statement.

“For as long as I can remember, people have made fun of me,” Simmons wrote. “And people still to this day make fun of me. But you know what? I am glad to be me!” he added. “And you should be glad that you are you.”

Before signing off “with love,” The Sweatin’ to the Oldies star also recommended three songs to “uplift” his followers during difficult times, including “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, “I Am What I Am” from the Broadway musical La Cage aux Folles, and “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman.

Earlier this month, Simmons was in the headlines after it was announced that a biopic about him was in development and that Pauly Shore would play him in the feature-length film.

Shore also played Simmons in a short film titled The Court Jester, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 19.

Simmons, who withdrew from public life in 2014, took to Facebook on January 17, writing “I have never given my permission for this movie,” adding, “I no longer have a manager, and I no longer have a publicist. I just try to live a quiet life and be peaceful.”

“Thank you for all your love and support,” he expressed.

The production company behind the film, The Wolper Organization, subsequently issued a statement to Variety, reading in part, “While we would love to have [Simmons] involved, we respect his desire to privacy and plan to produce a movie that honors him.”

The project “celebrates … [the] amazing person that changed millions of peoples’ lives, and the effect he has had on the world,” the producers insisted.

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