Melanie Lynskey reflects on the body shaming she faced in her early days in Hollywood.
The Yellowjackets the actress, 44, joined her co-stars Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci and Tawny Cypress in a profile for The Hollywood Reporter, where they reflected on their careers in the entertainment industry. Lynskey shared that she has painful memories of being shamed and pressured to lose weight on the set of 2000s Coyote Ugly.
“All the girls had this regimen they had to go on. It was ridiculous,” Lynskey explained. “I was already starving myself and as thin as I could be for this body and I was still one [size] four. There were already people who put a lot of Spanx on me in the dressing room and were very disappointed when they saw me, the costume designer said, “Nobody told me there would be girls like you.” Really intense feedback about my body, my body, people putting makeup on me and saying, “I’m just going to help you out by giving you a little more jaw line and stuff.” Only the feedback was constantly like this: ‘You are not beautiful. You are not beautiful. In your early 20s, so much of it is about beauty, and how people react to you, and will people fuck you?”
In May, Lynskey told Vulture that she faced this kind of pressure after her breakout role in the 1994s Heavenly creatures, when she was just a teenager. She said at the time that she was constantly reminded that she wasn’t “thin, confident, pretty.”
“Mostly thin,” she explained. “There was a certain pleasant energy they wanted people to have. Unchallenging. And I didn’t succeed with that.”
She said that at the time she struggled to lose weight and engaged in disordered eating behaviors, such as going on starvation diets and throwing up after meals, which continued until her boyfriend at the time pointed out the dangers.
Lynskey also opened for Human beings about how this kind of focus on looking a certain way distorted her sense of self – and how grateful she was for it Yellowjackets didn’t require her to lose weight or appear younger than she is to play her role.
“I had a lot of faith when I started about how I was going to look,” she told the magazine in May. “It feels really nice to be in a body I’m comfortable in, to age and have people who want to throw me.”
Back in January, Lynskey hit back at body-shaming Yellowjackets fans on Twitterafter they accused her of not being thin enough.
“The story of my life since Yellowjackets premiered,” she tweeted. “The most extreme is ‘I care about her health!!’ people…b**** you don’t see me on my Peleton! You don’t see me running through the park with my child. Lean doesn’t always equal healthy.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, call National Eating Disorders Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.
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