Chloë Grace Moretz on Hurtful Meme: “My Body Is Being Used As a Joke”
The actor is still haunted by an old internet meme, proving once again that body-shaming culture has to stop.
At 25 years old, Chloë Grace Moretz is already a seasoned actor. Since starring in Kick-Ass in 2010, Moretz has proven no role or no genre is out of her reach. She’s worked on several critically acclaimed and beloved projects over the years including If I Stay, Clouds of Sils Maria, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, and Greta. With great fame comes even greater scrutiny. For Moretz, unfortunately, it began when she was just a kid.
In a new interview with Hunger magazine, Moretz opened up about her experiences with paparazzi and celebrity attention. She said that, as a teenage actor, she remained “blissfully unaware” of how much recognition she was receiving. “But after Kick-Ass, the first time I experienced paparazzi, it was 10 to 15 adult guys surrounding a 12-year-old girl,” she recalled.
“For a long time I was able to be the Chloë that people see and the Chloë that I am in private,” Moretz explained. “Then those two worlds collided and I felt really raw and vulnerable and open.”
For the first time, Moretz spoke about a time a paparazzi photo of her was turned into a horrific meme in which her body was contorted to look like a Family Guy character.
“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,” Moretz told the outlet. “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 Moretz voiced her hurt feelings, she was dismissed by her peers and told to “shut the f*** up, it’s 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. 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.”
Unfortunately, Moretz’s experience is not unique.
Body-shaming culture is just as prevalent today as it was 5, 10, and 15 years ago. Twitter user Habibah Perez (@Habibah_Perez) sums it up perfectly in a meme that’s gone viral: “They body shame coi leray [sic] for being skinny, Megan the stallion for being tall&strong, saweetie for plastic surgery, and lizzo for having fat. I’m starting to think there’s no right way to occupy a body when you’re a woman.”
Instead of comparing each other’s differences, let’s celebrate what makes us unique. There’s no space for body-shaming and it needs to stop.
As for Moretz, the actor credits therapy for helping her work through the “self-loathing” and “jarring shift in my consciousness” she began experiencing at age 18 due to the media attention and scrutiny. This should serve as another wake-up call—even if you’re a celeb, words still hurt.