'It's been a very long journey. I fought against it for a very long time—the shape that my body's supposed to be.'
After more than three decades in Hollywood, and struggling with body image for almost just as long, actor Melanie Lynskey recently revealed that she has finally reached a place of acceptance with her body. In an interview with The Skimm this month, the "Yellowjackets" star acknowledged the pressures of the industry and her own strength, revealing that "it's been a very long journey. I fought against it for a very long time—the shape that my body's supposed to be." Lynskey has previously opened up about what that struggle has been like for her, sharing that she suffered from an eating disorder since she was a teen.
"It's hard to be a size 10 next to a size 0," the 45-year-old said in her recent interview. "I spent many years not really eating and being very worried about what I looked like." These days, however, Lynskey is making a conscious choice to be a role model for her fans and her 3-year-old daughter, Kahi, whom she shares with husband Jason Ritter. "A couple of years ago I had a miscarriage and I just didn't really recover from it physically and having a very young daughter made me really think about, 'OK, I need to be kinder to myself and accepting and saying sorry to my body for what it just went through.' And giving my daughter a positive example of what it looks like to have a mother who just is accepting of her body," she shared.
"I just think it's good for women to get to see different shapes and sizes," Lynskey added of her visibility onscreen. "I want to be representative of what a lot of women in the world look like." The New Zealand-born actor—who got her start in Hollywood at the age of 15 in Peter Jackson's critically acclaimed 1994 drama "Heavenly Creatures"—recently called out body shamers who commented on her appearance following the premiere of "Yellowjackets." After writer Ashley C. Ford tweeted, "It's wild how confused people in the Midwest seem to be that I’m not thin and also not trying to lose weight. Folks act genuinely confounded that I'm not calorie counting, avoiding carbs, or even just hating myself out loud. But... how could I hate someone as sexy as I am?" Lynskey quoted the tweet and added her grievances with the oh-so-caring public.
"The story of my life since 'Yellowjackets' premiered. Most egregious are the 'I care about her health!!' people... b*tch you don't see me on my Peleton! You don't see me running through the park with my child. Skinny does not always equal healthy," the star wrote. Lynskey also revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone that her co-stars defended her after she was pressured by a production member to lose weight before filming. "They were asking me, 'What do you plan to do? I'm sure the producers will get you a trainer. They'd love to help you with this,'" she recounted.
Lynskey's co-stars, Tawny Cypress, Christina Ricci and Juliette Lewis banded together to support Lynskey, with Lewis going as far as to write a letter to the producers on her behalf. "It was really important to me for [Shauna] to not ever comment on my body, to not have me putting a dress on and being like, 'I wish I looked a bit better,'" Lynskey said. "I did find it important that this character is just comfortable and sexual and not thinking or talking about it, because I want women to be able to watch it and be like, 'Wow, she looks like me and nobody's saying she's the fat one.' That representation is important."