For many people struggling with body dysmorphia, the journey towards loving their own body could feel like forever. For Hollywood celebrity Jonah Hill, it took him as long as 30 years before he found his break.
In an Instagram post on Saturday, the “22 Jump Street” and “War Dogs” actor fires back at UK-based tabloid Daily Mail for posting shirtless photos of him while changing surfing attires, an act of body-shaming that Hill has constantly been subjected to.
“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. Probably would have happened sooner if my childhood insecurities weren’t exacerbated by years of public mockery about my body by press and interviewers,” Hill revealed.
But instead of demanding that Daily Mail take down the photo, the celebrity chose to embrace it.
“So the idea that the media tries to play me by stalking me while surfing and printing photos like this and it can’t phase me anymore is dope. I’m 37 and finally love and accept myself,” the actor added.
The message serves for many a culmination of years of torment towards his weight from media outfits and Hollywood reporters that started as early as when he was a teenager. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres while promoting his coming-of-age film “Mid90s,” Hill shared that he always held a “snapshot” of himself, a version of himself which people pinned his worth on.
“For me, it’s definitely being like this 14-year-old kid, being overweight, wanting to fit in with these skaters and hip-hop kids, and just feeling lonely and maybe not understanding my own worth. I spent most of my young adult life listening to people say I was fat, gross, and unattractive,” Hill said.
He has also been famously mocked for slimming down for his role alongside Brad Pitt in 2011’s Moneyball, and then regaining that weight for his stint in War Dogs in 2016 with Miles Teller. Through it all, Hill has been called the “Whale of Wall Street” over and over, even when he shed the weight.
Despite these, Hill reclaimed his peace with himself. He ended his message on Instagram ended a positive note: “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. All my love.”