Melanie Lynskey says she was body-shamed on the set of 'Coyote Ugly': 'I was already starving myself'

·3 min read

Melanie Lynskey is reflecting on the body shaming she faced during her early days in Hollywood.

The Yellowjackets actress, 44, joined her co-stars Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci and Tawny Cypress in a profile for The Hollywood Reporter, in which they reflected on their careers in the entertainment industry. Lynskey shared that she has painful memories of being body-shamed and pressured to lose weight on the set of 2000's 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 possibly be for this body, and I was still a [size] four. That was already people putting a lot of Spanx on me in wardrobe fittings and being very disappointed when they saw me, the costume designer being like, 'Nobody told me there would be girls like you.' Really intense feedback about my physicality, my body, people doing my makeup and being like, 'I'm just going to help you out by giving you a bit more of a jawline and stuff.' Just the feedback was constantly like, 'You're not beautiful. You’re not beautiful.' In your early 20s, so much of it is about beauty, and how people respond to you, and do people want to f*** you?"

374795 14: Actress Melanie Lynskey poses for photographers July 31, 2000 at the premiere of Coyote Ugly at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City. (Photo by George De Sota/Liaison)
Melanie Lynskey poses for photographers at the premiere of Coyote Ugly at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City on July 31, 2000. (Photo by George De Sota/Liaison)

In May, Lynskey told Vulture that she faced this kind of pressure after her breakout role in 1994's Heavenly Creatures, when she was just teenager. She said at the time she was constantly reminded that she was not "thin, confident, pretty."

"Mostly thin," she explained. "There was a certain pleasant energy they wanted people to have. Unchallenging. And I wasn’t successful doing that."

She shared that, at the time, she struggled to lose weight and engaged in disordered eating behaviors, like going on starvation diets and throwing up after meals, which continued until her boyfriend at the time pointed out the dangers.

Lynskey also opened up to People about how this kind of focus on looking a certain way warped her sense of self — and how grateful she was that Yellowjackets didn't require her to lose weight or appear younger than she is in order to play her role.

"I had a lot of beliefs when I started about what I was supposed to look like," she told the magazine in May. "It feels very nice to be in a body that I'm comfortable in, to be aging and have people want to cast me."

Back in January, Lynskey hit back at body-shaming Yellowjackets fans on Twitter, after they accused her of not being thin enough.

"The story of my life since Yellowjackets premiered," she tweeted. "Most egregious are the '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. Skinny does not always equal healthy."

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.

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