Painful. Actress Chloë Grace Moretz is opening up about how a paparazzi photo taken of her was turned into a brutal meme that caused her to fear being photographed and led to body dysmorphia.
“For a long time, I was able to be the Chloë that people see and the Chloë that I am in private. Then those two worlds collided, and I felt really raw and vulnerable and open. And then came the onslaught of horrific memes that started getting sent to me about my body,” Chloë, 25, explained in an interview with Hunger magazine published on September 20.
“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. 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,” the Kick-Ass star explained.
“Everyone was making fun of my body and I brought it up with someone and they were like, ‘Oh, shut the f–k up, it’s funny.’ And 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,’” Chloë revealed.
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,” she shared.
The trauma she experienced from that one photograph led her to hate being in front of paparazzi cameras. “After that, I was kind of sad. It took a layer of something that I used to enjoy, which was getting dressed up and going to a carpet and taking a photo, and made me super self-conscious,” Chloë confessed, adding, “I basically became a recluse,” as a result of her body being scrutinized and made fun of.
The Carrie star said that there were upsides, as, “It was great because I got away from the photographers and I was able to be myself, and to have so many experiences that people didn’t photograph,” but noted, “at the same time, it made me severely anxious when I was photographed. My heart rate would rise, and I would hyperventilate.”
Chloë was given a respite from cameras when the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns occurred, as she could go out and be anonymous. “I just put a hat on, put a mask on and then put my hood up and would be able to get away with a lot more, like go to a concert or bite my lip or have undocumented pimples.” During that time, she also lost her father, McCoy “Mac” Lee Moretz, with whom she says she had a “very tumultuous relationship.”
The Peripheral actress has come out the other side a changed person. “To say that these past two years have been transformative is an understatement, to say the least,” she revealed. “I’m a very different girl than I was. I feel like a woman now.”