Speaking to Hunger magazine about the "onslaught of horrific memes" about her body that she was bombarded with, Moretz said: "I’ve actually never really talked about this, but there was one meme that really affected me, of me walking into a hotel with a pizza box in my hand. And this photo got manipulated into a character from Family Guy with the long legs and the short torso, and it was one of the most widespread memes at the time."
The Kick Ass star went on, "Everyone was making fun of my body and I brought it up with someone and they were like, 'Oh, shut the f*ck up, it’s funny.' And I just remember sitting there and thinking, my body is being used as a joke and it’s something that I can’t change about who I am, and it is being posted all over Instagram. It was something so benign as walking into a hotel with leftovers. And to this day, when I see that meme, it’s something very hard for me to overcome."
As for how the meme impacted her mental health, the 25-year-old admits she was "kind of sad" and "super self-conscious" for a long time. "I think that Body Dysmorphia – which we all deal with in this world – is extrapolated by the issues of social media. It’s a headf*ck," the actor added.
To overcome the ordeal, Moretz says she took time out of the spotlight to focus on herself. "I basically became a recluse," she told Hunger. "It was great because I got away from the photographers and I was able to be myself, and to have so many experiences that people didn’t photograph, but at the same time it made me severely anxious when I was photographed. My heart rate would rise and I would hyperventilate."
The actor says the pandemic – and the ability to go incognito in public with a mask as well as take a break from work – helped her overcome a lot of the trauma. "To say that these past two years have been transformative is an understatement, to say the least," Moretz continued. "I’m a very different girl than I was. I feel like a woman now."
If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s health, you can contact Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, 365 days a year on 0808 801 0677 or beateatingdisorders.org.uk.
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