Beanie adds that she’s determined to get her old mindset back and she wants other people to help her do it.
Beanie Feldstein plays Julie Steffans in the new hit movie Lady Bird. She recently wrote an essay for Refinery29 about all of the attention that’s been on her weight lately, and how jarring it is. She says she recently dropped a dress size or two, and suddenly it was all anyone wanted to talk about. “Recently, I have heard a lot of: ‘Beanie, you look amazing. You’re half your size!’ ‘Bean, you’re tiny! No seriously, you are tiny!’ Friends, family… everyone is talking about it. Even my therapist chimed in: ‘I would never have known it was you! You’re disappearing!’” she wrote.
Beanie says she struggled with her weight as a kid and teenager and it affected her deeply. But as she got ready to graduate from high school, she says she finally felt comfortable with her body. “I was chubby and it was chill!” she said. Once she went to college, she says her body image was something she “barely ever thought about” and, since her weight was pretty constant, no one commented on it.
But last month, she went home to visit her family and suddenly everyone started talking about her recent weight loss. “I felt like my body was the only topic of conversation. And I have to be honest: It really messed with my head,” she said. “After years of pain, I had finally found such a beautiful peace, one that most people, no matter what size they are, don’t have. And all of those ‘compliments’ took that away from me.”
Beanie says she knows her family and friends just thought they were being kind, but she didn’t interpret their comments that way. "After years of finally not feeling judged by myself or others, all of a sudden I felt so seen," she writes. So she has a simple request: Stop complimenting her on her body. “A person's body changing is simply not clearance for you to talk about it,” she writes. “Because sadly, I am here to tell you that even well-intentioned compliments can be upsetting. In my case, that brought to the surface feelings about my body that had taken years to work through. And it is not how I want to continue.”
Beanie adds that she’s determined to get her old mindset back and she wants other people to help her do it. “If you [want] to be loving and supportive, stop talking to me about my body. Because honestly, it would just really help a girl out if you'd stop telling me I look skinnier!”
She’s not the only famous women to speak out on this topic: Gabourey Sidibe also told Refinery 29 in June that she wants people to stop talking about her weight loss after she underwent bariatric surgery. "What had been happening is, since I’ve been losing weight over the past year, people have been saying, 'Congratulations on your weight loss!'" she said. "It just annoys me, because I’m just like, don’t congratulate me on that. If you’re going to congratulate me on my weight loss, also congratulate me every time I pee. Congratulate me every time I’m burping." She continued, "My body actually has nothing to do with you. I don’t really need your support for it. It seems ill-placed."
Sure, some people who are actively trying to lose weight like being complimented on their progress. But, as Beanie points out, it’s important to take a sec to consider whether a body-related comment is wanted or welcome before you speak.