Melanie Lynskey is a veteran of the entertainment industry, which unfortunately means she’s had to endure scrutiny and criticism of her body far longer than anyone should have to deal with.
In an interview for The Hollywood Reporter, the “Yellowjackets” star opened up about how comfortable people were body-shaming her on the set of the 2000 film “Coyote Ugly.”
She recalled a costume designer looking at her after they’d put her into Spanx to try and achieve whatever body standard they were seeking and saying, “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.,'” Lynskey said.
She said it felt like she was just getting the same feedback over and over again: “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?” she noted.
But it wasn’t just Lynskey, who played the classic “best friend” role, that was under that microscope. She recalled “the scrutiny that was on Piper [Perabo], who’s one of the coolest, smartest women, just the way people were talking about her body, talking about her appearance, focusing on what she was eating.”
Lynskey said all of the women in the cast were on a strict regimen. “I was already starving myself and as thin as I could possibly be for this body, and I was still a [size] four,” she said.
Unfortunately, 22 years later and a #MeToo movement and Lynskey found herself facing much the same thing on the set of the hit Showtime series.
Back in January, Lynskey told Rolling Stone that a member of the “Yellowjackets” production team had asked her, “What do you plan to do? I’m sure the producers will give you a trainer. They’d love to help you with this.”
She said she also got some flak on social media for her character’s confident sexuality and the fact she never talks about her body, which is something that was very important to Lynskey with her interpretation of adult Shauna.
“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 to watch it and be like, ‘Wow, she looks like me and nobody’s saying she’s the fat one,'” she explained. “That representation is important.”
“Yellowjackets” has been renewed for a second season on Showtime.