Melanie Lynskey: ‘Coyote Ugly’ body-shaming was very real

Melanie Lynskey: ‘Coyote Ugly’ body-shaming was very real

Published August 5, 2022
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Melanie Lynskey started talking about herself as a character actor very early on, she said in a recent interview — possibly because deflecting the spotlight was easier than having makeup and costume people constantly body-shame her size-4 frame as unacceptably fat.

The actor has been recalling playing Piper Perabo’s “best friend from Jersey” in the 2000 movie “Coyote Ugly.” The flick depicted women who were all, as screenwriter Gina Wendkos once described them, “sexy, they’re hot, but they’re not objects of sexuality.”

“[T]he scrutiny that was on Piper, who’s one of the coolest, smartest women, just the way people were talking about her body, talking about her appearance, focusing on what she was eating. All the girls had this regimen they had to go on,” Lynskey recently told THR. “It was ridiculous.”

“It was really hard …,” she told The Times this week. “The ways my body wasn’t what they wanted. I didn’t wear enough makeup. My clothes weren’t tight enough. If my clothes were tight enough, my body had problems. People were so thin, and I was a tiny little person at that time, but just always told, like, ‘Not enough, not enough.’ And it was very demoralizing. It was difficult. It sort of stripped me of that confidence that I had.”