Chloë Grace Moretz recently opened up about the body dysmorphia and anxiety she experienced after becoming the brunt of an “onslaught of horrific memes” about her body back in 2016.
The actress, whose career in Hollywood skyrocketed when she was just 12 years old and starred in the superhero flick Kick-Ass, has always had a hard time dealing with harassment from paparazzi. Ever since Moretz and her mother were assaulted by men trying to take her photo, she has hated and feared the sound of that camera shutter.
In a recent interview with Hunger magazine, Moretz spoke about her struggles with her body image after photos of her in a t-shirt, shorts, and high heels while carrying two boxes of pizza became a meme online.
Internet users were quick to edit the photo, extending the length of the actress’s legs and shortening her torso, and then placing the altered image next to the Family Guy character Legs Go All the Way Up Griffin.
“For a long time I was able to be the Chloë that people see and the Chloë that I am in private,” she said in the interview. “Then those two worlds collided and I felt really raw and vulnerable and open. And then came the onslaught of horrific memes that started getting sent to me about my body.”
“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,” she went on. “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.”
When she told someone close to her that the meme made her uncomfortable, they just told her to “shut the f’ck up” because it was funny.
“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,” she said. “And to this day, when I see that meme, it’s something very hard for me to overcome.”
What Moretz once enjoyed, “getting dressed up and going to a carpet and taking a photo,” became an anxiety trigger for her.
“I basically became a recluse,” she continued. “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.”
Meanwhile, the COVD-19 pandemic in a way became a positive experience for the actress, allowing her a little more freedom while out in public.
“I just put a hat on, put a mask on and then put my hood up and would be able to get away with a lot more, like go to a concert or bite my lip or have undocumented pimples,” Moretz said.