Melanie Lynskey Got Real About Her 'Long Journey' to Body Acceptance

The Yellowjackets actress shared how being a mom has made her want to set "a positive example" for her daughter.

Close Up of Melanie Lynskey
Photo: Getty Images

Melanie Lynskey has accomplished a lot during her decades-long career. Although the 45-year-old got her first acting role at 15, staring alongside Kate Winslet in Heavenly Creatures, Lynskey has recently taken on major roles, such as playing Betty Gore in Candy and Shauna in Yellowjackets. Spending time in the spotlight has led the actress to scrutinize her body, and finding acceptance has "been a very long journey," she told The Skimm in a recent interview.

"I fought against it for a very long time, the shape that my body is supposed to be," she said. "It's hard to be a size 10 next to a size 0." (See: Chloe Bailey Used to Be 'Ashamed' of Her Curves — Now Her 'Favorite' Part of Her Body Is Her Butt)

It's not the only time Lynskey has opened up about her relationship with her body. Most recently, she explained the pressure she was under to look a certain way while filming Coyote Ugly and the "really intense feedback" she received from people about her body during the time in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I was already starving myself and as thin as I could possibly be for this body, and I was still a [size] four," Lynskey told the publication. "That was already people putting a lot of Spanx on me in wardrobe fittings and being very disappointed when they saw me," she added, noting that costume designers and makeup artists routinely jabbed at her appearance with subtle comments. "Just the feedback was constantly like, 'You're not beautiful. You're not beautiful,'" she said.

Lynskey has discussed struggling with an eating disorder in the past too. "I don't remember a time before food was the enemy," she told Vulture earlier this year, noting that she's had "eating issues" since she was 12. Reading issues of Vogue as a young teenager and being in the public eye once her acting career began contributed to the pressure she felt to be "thin, confident, [and] pretty," she said in the Vulture interview. It led to extreme dieting and forcing herself to throw up if she ate more than her allotted daily calorie count, she explained to the magazine.

Lynskey began to recover from her eating disorder with help from a former boyfriend, according to Vulture. And recently, experiencing motherhood and having a miscarriage have helped her to embrace her body exactly as it is, she told The Skimm.

"A couple of years ago, I had a miscarriage, and I just didn't really recover from it physically," she said. But being a mom to a young daughter gave her a different perspective, Lynskey told The Skimm. "I need to be kinder to myself and accepting and [say] sorry to my body for what it just went through," she explained. She also wants to be "a positive example" for her daughter, showing her "what it looks like to have a mother who is just accepting of her body."

Now, she seems to be in a much better place on her journey toward accepting her body, and she's not afraid to speak up when people, especially strangers on the internet, question her. Earlier this year, she took on Twitter trolls who commented on her body, writing, "Most egregious are the 'I care about her health!!' people…bitch you don't see me on my Peloton! You don't see me running through the park with my child. Skinny does not always equal healthy."

Lynskey is certainly correct that being skinny doesn't necessarily mean you're healthy. "I think it's just good for women to see different shapes and sizes," she told The Skimm. "I want to be representative of what a lot of women in the world look like." Cheers to that!

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, NEDA's toll-free, confidential helpline (800-931-2237) is here to help.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles