Megan Fox took viewers deep into her mind in an interview for Sports Illustrated, revealing that she contends with body dysmorphia.
“I don’t ever see myself the way other people see me. There’s never a point in my life where I loved my body, never, ever,” the hyper-sexualized and perennially objectified screen actor said in a video for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2023 issue, which features her among the four women on its covers.
“When I was little, that was an obsession I had of, like, ‘But I should look this way,’” the 37-year-old explained. “And why I had an awareness of my body that young I’m not sure, and it definitely wasn’t environmental because I grew up in a very religious [Pentecostal Christian] environment where bodies weren’t even acknowledged.”
The “Transformers” and “Johnny & Clyde” star added that “the journey of loving myself is going to be never-ending.”
The American Psychological Assn. defines body dysmorphia as “an extreme disparagement of some aspect of appearance that is not supported by the objective evidence.” There may be only a mild defect in the body feature or, in extreme cases, there may be no objective evidence of any malformation or oddity of appearance, the association says.
The issue is related to the more severe body dysmorphic disorder, which is characterized “by excessive preoccupation with an imagined defect in physical appearance or markedly excessive concern with a slight physical anomaly.” The Cleveland Clinic estimates that the disorder affects 2.4% of adults in the U.S. overall — about 2.5% of women and people assigned female at birth and about 2.2% of men and people assigned male at birth. The disorder also shares features with obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it is not what Fox described as dealing with in her interview.
Instead, the cover star noted that she has other flaws and mentioned one feature people have obsessed over: Her “kind of short” thumbs.
“I think I have tons of other flaws that are way more interesting than my thumbs,” she said, at one point adding that she wished people focused more on her metaphysical qualities, like her “rainbow aura.” She also hoped that her swimsuit cover portrait gives off “a healthy good girl” frequency rather than telegraphing her physical attributes.
“I hope that people take away — what I always hope they take away — is that I’m a thoughtful, articulate, deep person,” she said.
While headlines earlier this year have focused on Fox’s antics and on-off relationship with musician Machine Gun Kelly, the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “New Girl” star found positive aspects of her life to focus on in the sit-down. She continued to challenge dated misconceptions about her personal life and career and re-upped her appreciation for her 2009 horror-comedy “Jennifer’s Body,” in which she played a demonic, man-eating campus mean queen opposite Amanda Seyfried,
“‘Jennifer’s Body’ is still my favorite project and probably always will be,” she said. “There’s just something about the timing of that. How it aligned with my public crucifixion that I was going through and my internal psychological breakdown. What the character went through was very much a metaphor for what I was going through in Hollywood and with media and with the world at large.”
She speaks, of course, of her public fallout with “Transformers” director Michael Bay after she likened his on-set style to that of Adolf Hitler, ultimately leading to her abrupt departure from the third installment of the blockbuster mega-bot franchise. She also referred to her whistle-blowing ahead of the 2017 #MeToo movement, saying that she was ahead of her time and is now no longer “giving my life away to people who don’t appreciate it.”
Striking a more positive note, the mother of three spoke proudly of parenting her children with ex-husband Brian Austin Green: Noah, 10, Bodhi, 8, and Journey, 6.
“The things I’m most proud of [have] to do with my children and the relationship that I have with them and the way that I raised them,” she said. “That’s one area of my life where I feel really comfortable because I know that I thrive there. I’ve excelled there. When I step back, I know how connected I am and have always been, and how present I’ve always been. And I see the reflection of the type of mother that I am in their eyes and in their behavior.”
As for what she’ll leave behind, the actor said that she doesn’t “know if I believe in legacy, per se.”
“Because when I’m dead, what timeline am I going to be in and will it matter? It won’t matter. So, I’m not someone who does things for legacy,” she said.
“I think that the greatest testament to something like that — to be considered a legacy — is I can’t tell you how many girls specifically come up to me and say, ‘You were the reason I realized I was gay,’ or ‘I realized I was bisexual.’ Or ‘You gave me the courage to tell my parents that I was gay.’ And that’s so much more gratifying than somebody coming up to me and being like ‘I love your movies’ or ‘you’re so talented.’ Having somebody tell me that I somehow had a part in giving them the courage to realize who they are is the best compliment that I can imagine.”
In the same issue, famed lifestyle expert Martha Stewart made history as the oldest swimsuit model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.