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Fending Off Body-Shamers Shouldn’t Be More Exhausting Than Surviving an Apocalypse

In this house, we respect Melanie Lynskey.

Melanie Lynskey in a scene from The Last of Us: a white woman wearing a thick coat stares indignantly.

First, I need to be clear on something: I am a Melanie Lynskey fan. Like, top-tier fan. I think Yellowjackets is the best show on TV, and I have followed her career since Ever After. So, all I can say to Adrianne Curry, who was the cycle 1 winner of America’s Next Top Model is not today, not tomorrow, not ever. She came for the wrong person when she decided to pick a fight with Ms. Melanie Lynskey, friends. Let me explain.

If you are not a fraidy cat (like me!) you are probably watching The Last of Us every Sunday night (I am watching it Monday afternoon with all the lights on because I think a zombie—or Cordyceps—apocalypse could happen, but I digress.) The last episode had Lynskey show up as a baddie in every sense of the word, and most people loved it! Except for Curry, who decided to be a real shit about it, taking to the internet to be oddly fixated on Lynskey’s body, because it’s 2023 and that’s still our go-to! Curry decided to be like every toxic fan ever and voice her displeasure about Lynskey and her body because being mean is free.

The weird thing is, she didn’t fire off a free-standing tweet. She decided to reply to a post of a picture of Lynskey (in a since-deleted tweet on her also-deleted account) to piggyback off engagement to get maximum damage from her complaints. She wanted her criticism to land, and she wanted it to hurt.

In case you don’t feel like reading the tweet, and I don’t blame you, Curry has a bug up her butt about Lynskey’s (slammin’) body type being indicative of a “life of luxury” and then compares her unfavorably to Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. Holy misogyny Batman! Pitting women against women, body-shaming—Curry’s just going for broke here.

Like, come on. I don’t even have the energy for this. Anytime Melanie Lynskey shows up, it is a gift, OK? She’s a Gen X New Zealand Joe Pesci! I’m not going to explain what that means, either, because if you get it, you get it! Complaining about her is like complaining about having pizza for a meal. No one does that! Everyone likes pizza, it’s delicious. You’re just nitpicking because you felt like coming to the internet and being a jerk.

It’s also just exhausting that the focus here is on Lynksey’s body and has nothing to do with her performance or acting choices. If you’re going to criticize someone’s work, at least make that criticism interesting. Taking to your platform (Curry had 293.5k followers on Twitter) to shit on an actor’s performance for the way they look, is stale, misogynistic, and just lazy.

The irony of this all is that Curry didn’t like the immediate and almost universal feedback that she was mean and out of line, and went straight for the victim card. Of course.

As a result of Curry’s comments, Lynskey posted a Twitter thread outlining the thought and care that went into creating the character of Kathleen. It’s always fun to see the behind-the-scenes thought process that goes into an actor crafting their character, but there’s something a little heartbreaking about this, too. That this wouldn’t have been posted had someone not decided to be a jerk and say Lynskey didn’t belong there in the first place because she didn’t fit the look for the character they had in their mind.

Also, if Lynskey doesn’t look like what many people see in their minds when we picture this kind of role, that’s kind of the point, as she made clear in this incredible thread.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick to death of hearing about female actors’ bodies in general. In my view, bodies are the meat bag jails that house our ghosts, and nothing more. Yet so much time and energy are spent dissecting the bodies of actors. It’s boring. I genuinely don’t think anything new could be said on the subject, and at this point, we all need to keep our thoughts to ourselves. Comments need to be relegated to “oh, that dress looked nice” or “that outfit did not work for me” and leave it at that. It is 2023, have we really not figured out that bodies come in all shapes and sizes and they all must be powered by food in order not to die? What else can be said on the subject? If bodies come in all sizes, then surely characters’ bodies do, too. What part of this is rocket science? Call me when people start genetically modifying their bodies to grow third arms or tails. Until then, no more!

Let actors be miscast due to the inexplicable goofy voices they opted to use (looking straight at you Nic Cage in Peggy Sue Got Married, although I love you for it) and not because you don’t think their dress size is appropriate for the character they’re playing. I assure you, your opinion is stale and unwelcome. More to the point, do not come for Melanie Lynskey. We want more of her in our entertainment projects, not less. Do not make her question her choices, take her talents, and go home. I haven’t seen Yellowjackets season 2 yet, but I already know I need season 3. Plus, more importantly, she is a human being, and I don’t care how thick someone’s skin is, those types of comments hurt, especially if you take your grievances to a public forum.

Be kind, and if you can’t do that, just be quiet.

(image: HBO)

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