Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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Megan Fox’s Struggle With Body Dysmorphia Is Heartbreakingly Relatable

Placing celebrities on pedestals creates a twofold problem. First off, we find it that much harder to relate to them as real people with genuine feelings. And second, the star has even further to fall when they don’t live up to their elevated position’s lofty expectations. Unfortunately, this is an issue with which Megan Fox has become well acquainted during her time in the spotlight.

The “Transformers” and “Jennifer’s Body” star has garnered a well-known reputation for her stunning looks, appearing in sultry photoshoots across the pages of Sports Illustrated, Maxim, and Rolling Stone, among others. With her long, dark hair, blue eyes, and signature pout, Fox seems to fit today’s beauty standards to a T. But just because we think that doesn’t mean she agrees. 

Fox has made several startling confessions about her self-image in previous interviews, candidly describing how she fights to feel good about her appearance every day. In fact, she admitted, “I have body dysmorphia,” in a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit video. Indeed, hearing Fox discuss her rocky relationship with her body pulls back the curtain to reveal an ordinary woman with all-too-relatable problems.

Even stunning stars struggle with what they see in the mirror

According to the Cleveland Clinic, body dysmorphia (also called body dysmorphic disorder) is a condition that causes you to analyze and critique your appearance unrealistically. Body dysmorphia leads individuals to hyper-fixate on perceived flaws to the point of negatively affecting their mental health and overall quality of life. 

It’s a very common condition — affecting millions of men and women in the U.S. alone — that often carries comorbidities of depression, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Body dysmorphia can be caused by environmental factors like childhood abuse or bullying and popular media, genetics, or brain chemistry. That means no one is immune — not even superstars. 

As Megan Fox explained to Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, “I don’t ever see myself the way other people see me. There was never a point in my life where I loved my body, ever. When I was little, that was an obsession I had — ‘Well, I should look this way.’ Why I had an awareness of my body that young, I’m not sure. It definitely wasn’t environmental because I grew up in a very religious environment where bodies weren’t even acknowledged.”

Fox is still learning to love herself in her own way

This isn’t the first time Megan Fox has been heartbreakingly candid about fame’s adverse effect on her mental health. In a 2019 interview with Entertainment Tonight, the actor recalled entering an unhealthy headspace following the release of “Jennifer’s Body,” a horror-comedy about a popular cheerleader-turned-succubus. Fox described feeling both an aversion to and ostracization from the public, including within the #MeToo movement.

“I was speaking out and saying, ‘Hey, these things are happening to me, and they’re not OK,” Fox recounted. “And everyone was like, ‘Oh well, f**k you. We don’t care. You deserve it.’ Because everybody talked about how you looked or how you dressed or the jokes you made.” In the face of global scrutiny over her appearance, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which this environment wouldn’t have a negative effect on her self-image. 

Unsurprisingly, Fox cited this as one of her biggest regrets about fame. Still, the outspoken star is gradually learning how to push these preconceived notions — good and bad — aside. “The journey of loving myself is going to be never-ending, I think,” Fox acknowledged in the SI Swimsuit video. Such is the case for so many of us, regardless of whether we identify as having body dysmorphia. The path to self-acceptance is not easy to walk, but it’s imperative that we try anyway.

Originally sourced from thelist.

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