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On October 14, Jonah Hill posted a photo on Instagram with the caption “I know you mean well but I kindly ask that you not comment on my body good or bad I want to politely let you know it’s not helpful and doesn’t feel good. Much Respect.” This isn’t the first time that the actor has spoken out about body image, and contributed to the bigger conversation about social media and body acceptance.

Hill has been in the film industry from a young age, gaining popularity with his first leading role in Superbad, released in 2007. Since then he’s starred in films such as 21 Jump Street, and The Wolf of Wallstreet and  written and directed several  other films. 

Jonah Hill’s career has spanned decades, peaking at the high of the internet. It’s no secret that social media  promotes a negative body image. Certain content exposure contributes to disordered eating by setting unrealistic expectations and seeding dissatisfaction. Throughout his years of work, Hill has received a lot of commentary on his body and appearance, coming from fans as well as other actors in the film industry. 

But in recent years, he’s taken back the narrative. In February, Hill posted a moving comment on an Instagram post. The original stated that at the age of 37 years old, he had finally learned to love and accept himself after years in the public eye, with anyone and everyone sharing unwanted and hurtful opinions on his body. Since then he’s even gotten a tattoo based on the Body Glove brand, with the words “Body Love” to promote and celebrate his body acceptance. 

So, what is there to learn from the man who’s been recognized for cursing more than any actor in the history of film? A lot! 

Taking control over your own narrative is a step toward acceptance and a great show of strength that many people, especially those in the younger generations, could benefit from. Asking the public to stop commenting on his body is also a courtesy that should be extended toward everyone, regardless of gender or identity. 

There’s no reason to comment on someone’s body, even if the intent is good. Hill promotes and sustains the idea that body positivity isn’t always a realistic standard for people to attain. 

Sometimes, body acceptance or body neutrality is just as powerful and strong, if not more. In his Instagram post from February of 2021, Hill shared that “This isn’t a ‘good for me’ post. And it’s definitely not a ‘feel bad for me post’. It’s for the kids who don’t take their shirt off at the pool. Have fun. You’re wonderful and awesome and perfect.”

Hannah is a junior at American University. She's studying political science with a focus on race and gender in politics. She loves writing and baking, and can typically be found with a large iced coffee and a pair of knitting needles.
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