“I have body dysmorphia,” she explained. “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.”
Body dysmorphic disorder is “a mental health condition in which you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
During the video segment with Sports Illustrated, Fox noted that while she struggled with body dysmorphia when she was younger, she didn’t know where these issues stemmed from.
“When I was little, that was an obsession I had of, like, but I should look this way,” the Jennifer’s Body star said. “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 environment where bodies weren’t even acknowledged.”
Fox, who is engaged to Machine Gun Kelly, acknowledged that she’s working on improving her mental health, adding: “The journey of loving myself is going to be never-ending, I think.”
During an interview withBritish GQ Style in October 2021, Fox first revealed that she has body dysmorphia. She also noted that while men have been intrigued by her looks, they’ve also made false assumptions about her appearance.
“We may look at somebody and think, ‘That person’s so beautiful. Their life must be so easy.’ They most likely don’t feel that way about themselves,” she said, before adding: “Yeah, I have body dysmorphia. I have a lot of deep insecurities.”
In addition to speaking out about her struggles with body image, Fox has also discussed how she’s felt like she’s been sexualised throughout her career in Hollywood. During an interview with Entertainment Tonight in 2019, she recalled how she made headlines in 2008 when she was featured in GQ Magazine, who called her their “Obsession of the Year.”
“I’m not offended if someone were to say, ‘Hey, people think you’re sexy!’ I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being sexy,” she said. “It’s just a problem that that part was so loud that it muted out the rest of who I was — and has continued to even now.”
She went on to explain that throughout her childhood, she knew that some of her strengths were being smart, funny, or strange, but “in a good way”. However, she said that this all changed when she started being defined by her looks, which was a lot of pressure for her throughout her career.
“I was supposed to just be a sexy girl or the prettiest girl or the most beautiful — which is the most burdensome title to have to carry around, especially when you don’t feel that way about yourself,” Fox explained.
The actor continued: “You feel like eventually, people are going to figure out that this is not true. The shoe’s going to drop at some point and then what? What am I valued for? I’m valued for this thing which is a farce.”
During her photoshoot with Sports Illustrated, she also acknowledged what she wants her fans to take away from her photoshoot.
“What I most want people to know is that I’m a genuine soul who is hoping to actually belong to something and not always have to live as a misunderstood outcast,” the Transformers star said during a video interview. “I want all people, not just women, to have respect for their bodies and for themselves.