Repeat after me: We do not comment on other people's bodies. If you aren't convinced yet, maybe you will be after reading how the cast of Showtime's 'Yellowjackets' handled some unsolicited body remarks of one of their own.
Melanie Lynskey—an amazing character actress that any millennial worth their salt could recognize in a split second—has a lead role in the hit show, along with Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, and Tawny Cypress.
The show follows an extremely talented high school girls' soccer team in the early nineties. While on the way to nationals, the team's plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness. The survivors of the crash are left stranded for 19 months and have to learn how to fend for themselves and navigate the elements—both physical and psychological. The show jumps back and forth between the post-crash period and the present day, where we see the mental and emotional impact of their time in the wilderness still deeply affects them as adults.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Lynskey said that while shooting the show back in 2019, a crew member implied that she needed to lose weight for the role.
"They were asking me, 'What do you plan to do? I’m sure the producers will get you a trainer. They’d love to help you with this.'"
Lynskey, who also opened up about the misogyny and body criticism she's faced in the industry since she was a teen, says her co-stars immediately defended her and offered their support. Juliette Lewis even wrote a letter to the producers on Lynskey's behalf. It's also worth noting that Lynskey began filming the series a year after giving birth.
While it's amazing to see these women all banded together and refused to tolerate body-shaming of any kind, it's extremely disappointing that even now, actresses are under pressure to conform to unrealistic beauty standards.
Especially given the fact that Lynskey has struggled with this kind of criticism throughout her entire career. Though we all know her and love her for her role as Jacqueline in Ever After, Lurlene in Sweet Home Alabama ("You have a baby! ...In a bar.), and as Piper Perabo's New Jersey accented pal in Coyote Ugly, Lynskey didn't start getting lead roles until later on in her career.
"It was the mid-nineties and there was a look that was popular, and it wasn’t this chubby, dark-haired New Zealander," she said.
Luckily, Lynskey is more determined than ever to change the way we view women's sizes and ages in entertainment. Starting with her brilliant 'Yellowjackets' character, Shauna.
“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 says. “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.”
As someone who looks like Lynskey, I can't stress enough how deeply I love her views here and her character on 'Yellowjackets.'