TV and Movies·Updated on 1 Jul 2023Channing Tatum Didn't Like His "Magic Mike" Body And Thought It Was "Unhealthy", And 18 Other Actors Who've Spoken About Body Image In Hollywood“I would love to switch on my TV and see a disabled person talking about something they are genuinely interested in or acting out a part that doesn’t just focus on their impairment.”by Benjamin DzialdowskiBuzzFeed StaffFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink For years Hollywood has set unrealistic and unhealthy body image standards. Not only is this problematic for us impressionable viewers, but it's also exclusionary and harmful to actors. 20th Century Fox So, here are 19 actors who have spoken up about Hollywood's beauty standard and body image problems: 1. Ashley Benson Tibrina Hobson / Getty Images The Pretty Little Liars star revealed a time when, at size two, she was told that she was too large for a part. She went on to speak about how it made her feel, saying: "I cried for 30 minutes, but then you have to let it roll off your shoulders or it could cause a serious eating disorder." It's casting decisions like this that, firstly highlight Hollywood's ridiculous body standards, and secondly emphasise the unrealistic and dangerous presentations of the body that Hollywood is giving viewers. The actor has also been outspoken about editing and Photoshop to make actors come across without blemishes. She criticised one advertising poster for Pretty Little Liars, commenting: "Way too much Photoshop. We all have flaws. No one looks like this. It's not attractive."Fellow actor Troian Bellisario agreed with Ashley, posting the photo herself with a caption reading: "I couldn't agree more. Very cool concept as always. But aren't we attractive enough women as we are? Why can't we just look like us. Once." View this photo on Instagram Instagram: @sleepinthegardn 2. Jennifer Lawrence Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images Jennifer has long been outspoken about the problem with Hollywood's beauty standards. The star has talked about how 'normal' for Hollywood is something unrealistic and unhealthy: “I think we’ve gotten so used to underweight that when you are a normal weight, it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, she’s curvy.’ Which is crazy.”She's also been keen to try and establish a change in the industry, saying: “I would like us to make a new normal body type."She's also refused to agree to "slim down" for roles, including The Hunger Games because she didn't want to project a certain image to the younger viewership.Speaking about getting the part, she recalled the pressures she was under: "I remember the biggest conversation was, ‘how much weight are you going to lose?’”But she stood firm and refused to: "I'm never going to starve myself for a part. I don't want little girls to be like, 'Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I'm going to skip dinner' – I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong—not thin and underfed." Lionsgate 3. R.J Mitte Rodin Eckenroth / FilmMagic / Via Getty Images The Breaking Bad actor has spoken up about the lack of opportunity for disabled actors to appear on screen. Despite there being a large pool of talented actors with disabilities – Hollywood is continually ignoring them in favour of able-bodied actors. He added that even when a disabled actor is cast, their character's storyline and plot will almost always revolve around their disability: “I would love to switch on my TV and see a disabled person talking about something they are genuinely interested in or acting out a part that doesn’t just focus on their impairment.”It's been reported that 95% of actors that play disabled roles are actually able-bodied, and only 2% of disabled actors actually get on screen. 4. Carrie Fisher Jason Laveris / FilmMagic For her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Carrie was pressured into losing 35lb for her return. Speaking about the demand, she said: “They don’t want to hire all of me – only about three-quarters!”Describing the industry as a whole, she outlined its problem: "I'm in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up."She added, "They might as well say get younger,” which gets to another issue with Hollywood that she's spoken up against. Referring to the double standards the industry has concerning the ageing of men and women, she said: “Men don’t age better than women, they’re just allowed to age.” Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 5. Gabourey Sidibe Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images for Bottomless Closet / Via Getty Images Gabourey has spoken about the way Hollywood scriptwriters will never fail to have her or other characters reference her body at the first opportunity – “I get a lot of scripts and offers where someone has to make mention of my body immediately.” Gabourey has also opened up about instances where writers have written a role specifically for her but still manage to uphold Hollywood’s rigid beauty standards:"Someone wrote a script with me in mind, and the first time someone other than my character was talking about my character, they say 'this hippo' or 'this elephant,” she said. "I'm like, 'Are you serious? You wrote something for me, and you're calling me a hippo.'” 6. Mindy Kaling Rodin Eckenroth / FilmMagic / Via Getty Images Talking about ridiculous body standards in Hollywood – how about an actor being told they're not attractive enough to play... Themself.Mindy spoke about a "humiliating" experience in her early years in the industry, when a network offered her a sketch show, but made her audition. The network subsequently rejected her for the role of herself... Mindy said that the reasoning was, "We were not considered attractive or funny enough to play ourselves."The network in question went off the air, and Mindy found great success with The Office and beyond, but she still said the experience left her feeling terrible, 7. Florence Pugh Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for Tiffany & Co. Florence has talked on the subject of body image for women in society in general and also in Hollywood. She's admitted that her refusal to comply with Hollywood's imagined body rules and specifications led to a bit of a "weird chapter" at the beginning of her career. She added, "I think that was confusing to people, especially in Hollywood."She went on to speak on how Hollywood necessitates some women to comply: "Women in Hollywood, especially young women in Hollywood, are obviously putting themselves in all these ways in order to get whatever opportunity that they need to get because that's just the way that it's been."But she's steadfast in her stand to not change her body to fit Hollywood's archaic beauty standards: “I’m never losing weight to look fantastic for a role. It’s more like, how would this character have lived? What would she be eating?” 8. Rebel Wilson Rodin Eckenroth / WireImage / Via Getty Images Another facet of Hollywood's problem with body image is that they'll often pigeonhole larger actors into specific roles such as the funny friend. This issue in particular is what Rebel has spoken about: “I was thinking for a while that I’d like to get healthier. I was stereotyped in playing that fat, funny friend, which is so hard because I love those roles."This was in relation to her part as Patricia “Fat Amy” Horton for Pitch Perfect, when she was contractually obliged to not lose too much weight, as she revealed: “You can’t lose — I think it’s not more than 10 pounds or gain more than 10 pounds. You have to kind of stay at the weight. It’s in your contract.” Universal Pictures 9. Richard Madden Leon Bennett / Getty Images Richard has done his fair share of roles that have requested him to get his body into the Hollywood male body type. Speaking about the way Hollywood wants men to look, he revealed that he's had his fat rolls pinched and been put in costumes so tight and incredibly restricting. When reading scripts, he can tell that certain scenes are made for him to just take his top off, and he shared his thoughts about this, saying: "'Right, if you can f**king explain to me why it’s important that I have my shirt off then I will absolutely do it. But if you can’t’ – which they often can’t – ‘then I won’t.’”Talking about the unhealthy regime it takes to get this body type, and then promoting it on screen, he expressed his conflicts: "I find myself with actor friends — after we’ve done a kind of barely eating, working-out-twice-a-day, no-carbing thing for these scenes — looking at each other going: ‘We’re just feeding this same shit that we’re against.’" Amazon Prime Video 10. Viola Davis Gilbert Flores / Variety via Getty Images Viola has not held back about the issues in Hollywood and the pigeonholing of certain actors in specific roles. She's previously stated that, before her role in How To Get Away With Murder, she'd "never seen a 49-year-old, dark-skinned woman who is not a size 2 be a sexualized role in TV or film." And had been offered a lot of "downtrodden, mammy-ish" roles. Speaking about the wider issue of beauty and body standards and the things she learnt when getting into the industry, she said: "People have to think you're pretty. I was going to have to face a fact that people were going to look at me and say: 'I have no idea why they cast her in a role like this. She just doesn't fit. It should have been someone like Halle Berry. It's her voice, and she doesn't walk like a supermodel in those heels.' And people do say that, they do." 11. Channing Tatum Cindy Ord / Getty Images for Vanity Fair / Via Getty Images We're well aware of what actors have to go through to get their bodies to fit the image that the producers want. With superhero movies in their heydey right now, we're constantly seeing actors take to the screen with bulging muscles and seemingly no body fat whatsoever. The intense diet and training regimes, however, are not good for you, and Channing Tatum has spoken about how horrible it can be to undergo these transformations. In fact, the condition of getting his body into that shape was largely the reason that he didn't want to make a third Magic Mike movie. He spoke about the process: “It’s hard to look like that. Even if you do work out, to be that kind of in shape is not natural. That’s not even healthy. You have to starve yourself. I don’t think when you’re that lean, it’s actually healthy.”Indeed, when you hear about other actors' training programmes, it sounds far from healthy. In preparation for Logan, Hugh Jackman would drink three gallons of water in the days before filming, and then for the 36 hours before the shoot, he would drink nothing at all. Speaking about this preparation the actor said:"Don't do this at home. Yeah, don't. Dehydration can cause kidney damage, as well as cramping, heat exhaustion, and potentially heatstroke, especially if it occurs during workouts." Warner Bros. Pictures 12. Zendaya Greg Doherty / FilmMagic / Via Getty Images Zendaya was highly praised for her comments regarding colourism; she recognised and acknowledged the disparate treatment of darker and lighter-skinned Black actors, where many of her peers have not. The star spoke about her relative privilege compared to those with darker skin, saying: "Unfortunately, I have a bit of a privilege compared to my darker sisters and brothers. Can I honestly say that I've had to face the same racism and struggles as a woman with darker skin? No, I cannot."She referred to herself as "Hollywood’s 'acceptable' version of a Black girl" – referencing the lack of opportunity for dark-skinned actors in the industry and highlighting a need for change.Zendaya has also spoken up about beauty standards before too, after a magazine altered an image of her for a shoot in 2015: "Had a new shoot come out today and was shocked when I found my 19-year-old hips and torso quite manipulated." 13. Sophie Turner Dia Dipasupil / WireImage The Game of Thrones star has spoken about being told to lose weight and specifically talked about how often the weight loss will be completely irrelevant to the character she'll be portraying. This highlights the toxic way Hollywood has curated this vision of 'normal' which perpetuates fat-shaming and promotes an unrealistic body image. Discussing the problem with the industry, she said: “There are often times when I have done jobs and they’ve told me that I have to lose weight, even when it has nothing to do with the character. It is so fucked up.” 14. David Harbour Gabe Ginsberg / WireImage / Via Getty Images David recalled a time when he'd been told he was too large for a role, but the role in question was to play The Blob... He remembered what it was like when the casting director told him he'd be great for the role initially: "I was like 'Okay, wow, that's flattering. And [the casting director] was like, 'No, no, it's not that you're fat, it's just that we need a big guy to wear the suit.'"He went along to the audition and as a joke, he got his stomach out and said to the director, "I've got your Blob right here." This is what he was told after the audition:"He was like, 'David, look, you're wonderful, we really think you're just a great actor, we're just concerned … we're really concerned … it's just, you lifted up your shirt and ... we're just a little worried about your health.' – I was like, 'Wait a minute. You are telling me I'm too fat to play The Blob?'" 15. Lupita Nyong'o Lia Toby / Getty Images Lupita has discussed how dark-skinned actors are still misunderstood in Hollywood, and how the industry is not set up for them. Speaking about colourism in Hollywood, she said: "There is still definitely a misunderstanding of dark skin. I recently had a makeup artist say to me 'Oh well you know, you're skin can take anything it's so tough.'" She went on to suggest a change in the demographic behind the camera was needed, alongside in front of it, to make a positive change to the industry. 16. Lamorne Morris Amy Sussman / Getty Images Lamorne has also revealed his experience with Hollywood's disregard for Black actors, specifically with his hair. It's been an issue that many Black actors have spoken about – the fact that Hollywood and production studios are often not set up to sufficiently handle Black hair. Lamorne was once told that he had to be his own hair stylist one production: “I would have to go to the barbershop at 4, 4.30 am before set to get my hair cut. When I would get to set, I would see everyone else in the hair and makeup trailer getting their hair cut. When I asked why I couldn’t get my hair cut at work, it was because – this is what they told me – they didn’t have the budget for my hair.” 17. Chris Pratt Han Myung-gu / WireImage / Via Getty Images On the subject of casting larger actors in unserious roles, Chris Pratt made the realisation that he would have to change his body type if he wanted to land both bigger and more serious roles. While he'd initially seen his future in acting as playing the "fat friend who makes you laugh," he realised that if he wanted to do more serious roles, he'd have to lose weight. This theory proved correct – but he was still getting demands to slim down after he'd lost the weight. When he was called into Marvel's offices, they showed him a selfie from the time he was training for Zero Dark Thirty and said: "You're too fat for Star-Lord. How long will it take you to look like this?" Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 18. Kate Beckinsale Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images for Chopard / Via Getty Images Hollywood's beauty standards are so pervasive that even for roles that shouldn't require a particular body shape or image, actors have been told they're not slim or attractive enough.For Kate's role in Pearl Harbor, director Michael Bay made it very clear what he thought the actor taking the part should look like. According to Kate, he wasn't at all pleased by her appearance because, as she recalled, "I wasn’t blond and my boobs weren’t bigger than my head. I didn’t make sense to him as an attractive woman." So, the team had her on exercise regimens and diet plans, which she found rather peculiar because she was just playing a nurse: "There were diet plans and exercise regimens that [were] really punishing. [They] really baffled me because I couldn’t understand why a '40s nurse needed to work out that much. It was just a whole different situation." Buena Vista Pictures Distribution 19. Aneesh Sheth Gary Gershoff / WireImage / Via Getty Images Aneesh has been vocal about Hollywood's treatment and neglect of Trans actors. The experience for Aneesh represents the same experience for many Trans actors – the studios decide to cast a man to play a Trans woman and vice versa. Aneesh recalled auditioning for a lead role to play a Trans Indian American woman, just like herself. But after being praised in the callback, Aneesh was told she was not "masculine" enough...Here's what Aneesh had to say: “You spend all this time developing your sense of self. Then you go into the room, and the criticism is not about your work. It becomes about your identity.” So, there's a long way to go. But things have improved from how Hollywood used to be, and with actors stepping up and calling it out, hopefully, we're going in the right direction!