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    Christina Applegate Opened Up About Being Sexualized As A Teen, And How It Affects How She Sees Herself On TV Now

    Christina Applegate looked back at how the emphasis on her "image" as a teen actor has made it hard for her to watch herself in Dead to Me Season 3 following her multiple sclerosis diagnosis.

    It's literally no secret that Christina Applegate is — and always will be — one of my favorite actors. From Married... with Children to her award-worthy work in Dead to Me and Samantha Who?, Christina consistently delivers some of my favorite acting performances.

    Closeup of Christina Applegate at a red carpet event

    While I loved every single season of Dead to Me, the final season just held a little more magic because of the bond the cast and crew had behind the scenes after Christina's multiple sclerosis diagnosis.

    Judy saying to Jen in bed, "No, I mean, I've had the best time with you"

    About halfway through filming, Christina was diagnosed with MS. Christina was determined to finish filming Dead to Me on her own terms, and with the help of creator Liz Feldman and her costar Linda Cardellini, she succeeded. In turn, she delivered her best — and arguably her most important — performance as Jen.

    Jen saying to Judy, "You are not a burden — you are my fucking heart, and I would do anything for you, anything; do you understand me?" And then they hug after Judy says, "I'm scared"

    Christina has talked about how Dead to Me will likely be her last live-action project as the demands for filming for both TV and movies is a lot with multiple sclerosis, given the long hours on set.

    Jen and Judy standing side-by-side

    This has led to some great conversations with Christina where she looks back at her long career, what could possibly be ahead, and more. Namely, she's reflected on how big of a deal her "image" was when she was a teen and how, in turn, it has led to how she sees herself on TV now.

    Christina Applegate and her daughter hold hands on the red carpet

    In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Christina talked about playing Kelly Bundy on Married... with Children and how being sexualized in Hollywood because of the character was "pretty gross."

    Kelly Bundy wearing a bikini in an office in a scene from "Married... with Children"

    "I was never on the receiving end of any kind of lasciviousness from anyone before [Married… with Children] because I was wearing bells around my ankles and moccasins and wearing patchouli. I was a gross little hippie kid," she began.

    Closeup of young Christina Applegate

    Christina continued, saying, "Looking back on it in hindsight, it’s pretty gross. Yeah, that part of it kind of sucked. Men had posters of this little 17-year-old, with me holding pearls. Like, who let me do that? I didn’t even know what the connotation was."

    Kelly Bundy sitting on the couch in a short dress in a scene from "Married... with Children"

    For years after Married... with Children ended, she explained that she was offered countless roles that were very similar to the character, but she wanted to do other things so she "never took one of them."

    Kelly Bundy posing in a crop top and short shorts in a scene from "Married... with Children"

    Christina's early career being so associated with her image, body type, and more is one reason she's found it hard to watch any of Dead to Me Season 3 right now.

    Christina sitting in a bar in a scene from "Dead to Me"

    "It's just that sometimes I get cringey about the way I look. It's so hard to look at myself as this other person, and I don’t look like myself anymore, obviously," she told Vanity Fair when asked if she'll ever sit down and watch the final season of Dead to Me.

    Christina standing teary-eyed in a scene from "Dead to Me"

    Christina continued, saying, "And it's really, really hard for me because so much of my life was my image, and then I see this person, and I'm like, Who is this person with 20 chins? To be really brutally honest, that’s kind of what's really hard about it for me to watch."

    Judy saying to a teary Jen, "I will always be there, okay?"

    After her multiple sclerosis diagnosis, Christina said she's gained "40 pounds from medication," has immobility, and more symptoms that have led to a change in her appearance.

    Jen and Judy smile as they stand in a doorway in a scene from "Dead to Me"

    Ever since her MS diagnosis, Christina has been a vocal advocate for speaking about it and educating people about living with a disability.

    Christina Applegate sitting cross-legged with her hands on her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

    She's called out people in her DMs who have commented on her appearance, she talked about the importance of disability representation after Candace Owens commented on a Skims ad featuring a wheelchair user, and much more.

    Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini at Applegate's Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony

    She's also leaned on fellow actors and friends Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Selma Blair, who also have MS, explaining that it's "impossible" for everyone to fully understand what it's like having MS, but it's "imperative" for her to have people who understand as much as possible.

    While Dead to Me finished last year, the show is still eligible for the 2023 Emmy Awards, and I'm hoping that Christina gets a nomination for her work in the final season because it's truly one of my favorite performances from her.

    Jen and Judy riding in a car in a scene from "Dead to Me"

    You can read Christina's full interview with Vanity Fair here.