Amanda Seyfried is taking a stand for promoting realistic body image. But as she learned on Instagram, it can be a little tricky.
On Wednesday, July 10, the Mamma Mia! actress reposted a screenshot of a critical comment one of her friends left on a photo posted by Something Navy founder Arielle Charnas. The mirror selfie, posted the day before, shows a very thin and toned Charnas in a bikini and is captioned, “Proud of my body after two kids 💚.”
The friend’s comment read, in part, “Totally fine that you’re privileged and thin, good for you (I am too-ish!). … BUT if you don’t acknowledge how your wealth made your workouts/body possible, you’re just perpetuating the patriarchal (totally unrealistic) notion that mothers should ‘bounce back’ after childbirth, an impossibility for anyone who can’t afford ample childcare (which is almost everyone in this country).” The friend also slammed Charnas for “glorifying an unhealthy body image.”
In Seyfried’s post, she shared that she and her “very smart” friend were both blocked by Charnas afterward. “If we’re ready to get paid for flaunting our lifestyle (and inspiring some in the meantime) we have to be open to the discussions surrounding what we’re promoting,” Seyfried, 33, wrote. “We have to back ourselves up- not run away from the issues it presents.”
The Mean Girls star — who has 2-year-old daughter Nina with her husband, Thomas Sadoski — continued, “There are gray areas everywhere. Each of us has a chance to back ourselves- especially on this platform. If you know who you are- take a second to decide if what you’re throwing out there is worth it- in the big picture. 👊🏼”
While many praised the Art of Racing in the Rain actress for her body-positive activism, others felt her attack — which also described the fashion blogger and designer as a “semi-influencer” — was unfair. In response to Seyfried’s and her friend’s comments, the Something Navy founder reportedly posted in a since expired Instagram Story that she had been “bullied” and “punished because I’m thin.”
For her part, Seyfried — though she wrote in her comments “I’m sorry if this stinks of judgement. It’s not meant to. It’s all a discussion that needs to be had” — has stuck by her criticism. She posted a second Instagram later that same day: a selfie with the text “INFLUENCE=POWER. And if you’re taking advantage of that-EMPOWER.”
Seyfried signed off with the caption, “Goodnight, all, and thanks for a much needed discussion. I’m tired!”
One day later, the Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again actress apologized for any mixed messages she may have sent to those struggling with their body image in the wake of her rant with a meme about educating oneself. “To all who feel bullied or thin-shamed during our recent social media discussion,” she began a lengthy Instagram post. “If you know me or are familiar with any of my beliefs or stances you’ll recognize that it isn’t in my character to tear down anyone for ‘being who they are.’ … As I’m acutely aware, there’s a price tag for the group of people who find themselves with a platform to stand on. You have to be aware of the message you’re sending and be able to back it up when faced with criticism (not just praise). Hold yourselves accountable instead of using the terms above.”
Seyfried continued on to say that she felt remorse for sending any negativity Charnas’ way. “The only thing I’d take back is exactly how I started this debate. I desperately wish it hadn’t targeted (or blasted) one person (there are MANY who engage in this questionable messaging) and instead started a cleaner, general conversation. No one needs to tear anyone apart. And I regret that it’s present right now. To the lady in question: I’m sorry for the truly negative feels you’ve endured because of this.”
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