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Jonah Hill helps to start much-needed conversation on male body shaming

Jonah Hill isn’t here for your body shaming!

Recently, Yahoo! News reported that actor Jonah Hill called out The Daily Mail for posting shirtless pictures of him while on a surfing trip. The actor shared that he has endured many years of body insecurity, exacerbated by the way the media has treated him because of his weight. 

“I don’t think I ever took my shirt off in a pool until I was in my mid 30s even in front of family and friends, he wrote in an Instagram post. “Probably would have happened sooner if my childhood insecurities weren’t exacerbated by years of public mockery about my body by press and interviewers,” he wrote.

He goes on to say: “This isn’t a ‘good for me’ post. And it’s definitely not a ‘feel bad for me post’. It’s for the kids who don’t take their shirt off at the pool. Have fun. You’re wonderful and awesome and perfect.”

Hill’s comments have resonated with many friends and peers, especially those who have had similar experiences. His comments also recently helped to call attention to the way male bodies are scrutinized in the media, and how much this conversation is often ignored.

However, many male celebrities have spoken out in the past, including the likes of Robert Pattinson and Chris Pratt, who took to Instagram in 2017 to call out his body shamers.  In a recent article, Evan Ross Katz of Yahoo! News discussed how conversations about male body image remains taboo.

 “So many people have said I look too thin in my recent episodes of What’s My Snack?” he wrote. “Some have gone as far as to say I look ‘skeletal.’ Well, just because I am a male doesn’t mean I’m impervious to your whispers. Body shaming hurts.”    

Yahoo! News spoke with plus-sized male model, Ady Del Valle, who addresses the silence around this topic.  

“In Jonah’s case, a lot of people — men in particular — don’t speak up about these insecurities about their bodies so openly because of societal stigma,” Del Valle commented. “It may seem ‘too soft’ or ‘feminine’ to want to express a vulnerable area you struggle with… and how you overcome or are dealing with it.”

Del Valle continues: “This is not new. These dialogues are not new. They have been a part of conversations and advocacy for years by people that look like Jonah — heck even people bigger than Jonah — that also share that struggle. People like myself talk about these body acceptance topics every day on our platforms and spaces. We are also doing the work and being the voice for people that look like Jonah or look like me – a Puerto Rican, fat, queer plus model – to be the representation in media, in fashion and in the industry.”

The good news is that the reaction to Hill’s post so far has been incredibly positive, with nearly 2 million “likes” and 45,000 comments. He has gained support from his sister Beanie Feldstein, as well as celebrities such as  Diplo, Kat Dennings, Sam Smith, Andy Cohen, FKA Twigs, Johnny Knoxville, Justin Timberlake, Ava Duvarney, Olivia Munn, Rashida Jones and more.

Let’s hope that the conversation about male body image continues. We love to see it!                                                                                                                                                                                                   

BWM Staff

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