Melanie Lynskey came from New Zealand to Los Angeles at the age of 18 to pursue her Hollywood dreams and was told almost immediately that her body type was going to be an issue. That feedback set her on a path of loathing her body for almost two decades, but since becoming a mom, she’s rewriting her story.
The Yellowjackets star explained to The Los Angeles Times‘ The Envelope the damage that was done at such a tender age. “The ways my body wasn’t what they wanted. I didn’t wear enough makeup. My clothes weren’t tight enough. If my clothes were tight enough, my body had problems,” she said. “People were so thin, and I was a tiny little person at that time, but just always told, like, ‘Not enough, not enough.'” Lynskey shared that the process of auditioning and hearing those harmful words were “very demoralizing” and “difficult.”
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It created a dialogue in her head where she truly believed that she was less than everyone else she was competing against for a role. “It sort of stripped me of that confidence that I had. I was shy in a lot of ways. I was filled with all kinds of self-doubt like most young women are, but there was something innate where I didn’t really question myself,” the 45-year-old actress said. “And then I got here, and it made me really just be like, ‘Oh, gosh, I guess I am not what they’re looking for.'”
The negative talk in her head began to shift when she gave birth to her daughter in December 2018. Lynskey didn’t want her child to grow up with the same type of thoughts that she endured — and the Emmy nominee realized it was time to change her mindset as well. “I don’t want to be onscreen, judging my own body,” she explained. “I wanna be onscreen as a free person who’s just living her life in the body that she has, because that’s the reality.” That has allowed her the freedom to give her “body some grace” and “just live” in a way that healthier and happy for her.
Before you go, click here for more celebrities who’ve spoken out about being body-shamed.