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Jonah Hill Gets Real About Body Shaming After Tabloid Prints Beach Photos

"I’m 37 and finally love and accept myself."

Body shaming and narrow beauty standards affect people of all kinds, celebrities included. And some stars are pushing back on how the media still perpetuates harmful ideals. Recently, Jonah Hill opened up about body shaming and his complicated history with his own body image after a British tabloid published paparazzi photos taken at the beach without the actor's knowledge. The 21 Jump Street actor, whose body has been scrutinized publicly over the years, was cheered by friends and fans alike for sharing the body-positive message. Read on to find out what he said, and for more social media statements, check out Britney Spears' Boyfriend Just Slammed Her Dad on Instagram.

On Thursday, The Daily Mail published paparazzi photos of Jonah Hill surfing in California.

Jonah Hill, Kelly Slater and friends at the beach

"Jonah Hill slips into his black wetsuit for surf day in Malibu…" the headline reads, "before showing off his tattoos while going shirtless to towel himself off."

Hill is an avid surfer and has posted his own beach shots to his Instagram, like the one above of him with famed pro surfer Kelly Slater and others when he was being interviewed for World Surf League. But the article includes photos and video of the actor surfing in Malibu and then toweling off shirtless, while the URL references his "clinging" wetsuit. The text discusses the dog he adopted in quarantine as well as his upcoming projects, but it was the unposed and secretly taken accompanying visuals that the Wolf of Wall Street star took issue with.

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In a lengthy Instagram post, Hill responded to the tone of the article.

Jonah Hill at TIFF in 2011
Dan Kosmeyer/Shutterstock

On Saturday, Hill posted a screenshot of the article to Instagram along with a moving, lengthy caption. He began by looking back on how beauty and body standards impacted him from childhood through young adulthood.

"I don't think I ever took my shirt off in a pool until I was in my mid 30s even in front of family and friends. Probably would have happened sooner if my childhood insecurities weren't exacerbated by years of public mockery about my body by press and interviewers," the star wrote. Hill started appearing onscreen in his early 20s, with his first major starring role, Superbad, coming out when he was 24.

He continued, "So the idea that the media tries to play me by stalking me while surfing and printing photos like this and it can't phase [sic] me anymore is dope. I'm 37 and finally love and accept myself."

For another celebrity who's pushing back, check out Serena Williams' Husband Defends Her Against Body Shaming Comment.

He also made it clear that he wanted to speak out for kids who are battling the same insecurities he once did.

Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Michael Cera in 2007

"This isn't a 'good for me' post,'" Hill added. "And it's definitely not a 'feel bad for me post.' It's for the the kids who don't take their shirt off at the pool. Have fun. You're wonderful and awesome and perfect. All my love."

He ended the post by brushing off the tabloid: "Oh and Daily Mail, not even you can take that smile from my face ;)"

For Hill and more stars who go by stage names, here are 50 Celebrities Whose Real Names You Never Knew.

Hill has spoken out about body image issues before.

Jonah Hill and Beanie Feldstein
Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

In 2018, Hill interviewed his sister Beanie Feldstein for a 'zine that accompanied his directorial debut, Mid90s. The conversation touched on their different responses to thin privilege and pressures to look a certain way.

"It's just part of who I am," Feldstein said to her brother, via Bustle. "I think that's great. I'm like a human teddy bear. I'm soft and squishy. I'm cuddly."

"And I'm affected more by society's view of attractiveness and weight," Hill responded. "That is like my Achilles heel."

Hill told Ellen DeGeneres the same year that making Mid90s helped him to finally face the lasting effects of childhood bullying. "I spent most of my young adult life listening to people say I was fat, gross, and unattractive," the actor said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, per Men's Health. "And it's only in the last four years writing and directing my movie, Mid90s, that I've started to understand how much that hurt and got into my head."

For more stars you may not have realized are related, here are 17 Celebrities You Didn't Know Were Siblings.

Sage Young
Sage Young is the Deputy Entertainment Editor at Best Life, expanding and honing our coverage in this vertical by managing a team of industry-obsessed writers. Read more
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