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Melanie Lynskey says she was body shamed on set of Coyote Ugly

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Leah Sinclair
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Melanie Lynskey

The actor shared that she received negative comments about her physical appearance while filming the 2000 film.

Yellowjackets star Melanie Lynskey has been vocal about her body shaming experience in Hollywood – and she’s just revealed that she was criticised for her physical appearance on the set of Coyote Ugly.

Lynskey starred in the 2000 cult classic film alongside Piper Perabo and Tyra Banks. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she said that production staff scrutinised her physical appearance, alongside some of her co-stars.

“It was ridiculous,” Lynskey told the publication. “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.’”

The actor added that make-up artists would say they were ‘helping’ her by contouring more of a jawline for her with products, adding: “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, how people respond to you, and do people want to fuck you? Do people think you’re their best friend? Even the best friend thing, I started to be like, ‘I don’t want to do that too many times.’”

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In the interview, which she did alongside her Yellowjackets castmates, Lynskey says she was subjected to “really intense feedback about (her) physicality, (her) body,” and that she and fellow costar Christina Ricci had both been typecast as “character actors” and criticised the use of the word “quirky” to describe themselves.

“I never liked that word,” she said.

Because of her earlier experiences dealing with body shaming in the industry, Lynskey says she’s protective of her younger Yellowjackets co-stars and has told them they can reach out to her if they have any concerns.

Since the premiere of Yellowjackets in 2021, Lynskey has used her platform to speak on toxic beauty standards and the struggles she’s faced to help others.

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In a recent interview with Vulture, the actor shared that she suffered from an eating disorder and that in the early years of her career she was constantly reminded of the need to be “thin, confident [and] pretty”.

The Yellowjackets star explained that it was only when she met her ex-boyfriend that she started on the road to recovery.

“I met a boyfriend, Andrew Howard, who helped me so much with my eating disorder on the set of The Cherry Orchard [in 1999],” she explained.

Lynskey explained that prior to meeting Howard, she had been in a severe pattern of restricting calories and throwing up. But their relationship marked a significant turning point in her recovery.

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“It changed my life,” she said. “I stopped throwing up, mostly. It took a while. But that was a big one.”

In an interview with Rolling Stone in January, Lynskey opened up about frequently being targeted for misogynistic comments about her appearance throughout her career and how Yellowjackets is an opportunity for better female representation.

“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,’” she continued.

“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.”

For information and help on eating disorders, visit eating disorder charity Beat’s website. Helplines are open 365 days a year.

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