Jonah Hill posted an inspiring message about body image on Instagram on Friday, February 26, after shirtless photos of the actor surfaced online.
“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 two-time Oscar nominee wrote alongside a story that showed him surfing and later removing his wetsuit. “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 me anymore is dope. I’m 37 and finally love and accept myself. 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. All my love.”
Hill, added a note to the outlet, writing, “not even you can take that smile from my face ;)”
A slew of the actor’s celebrity pals added supportive comments to his honest post, with Superbad producer Judd Apatow writing, “When I take my shirt off at the beach it looks like I am still wearing a shirt…or sweater. Now I will show it off with pride!”
“You are a G!!! And my spirit animal! Love you, bro!” Justin Timberlake added.
More than 800,000 people liked the post, with one fan writing, “I’m in my early 20’s and can’t take my shirt off in front of anyone besides my girlfriend. I’m working on getting more secure about my physical appearance but it’s extremely hard. I don’t see a lot of men be open about their insecurities especially physical ones so thank you for posting this and being an inspiration.”
“I think everybody has a version of themselves ― I call it, like, a snapshot, let’s say, at some point in your life, of the person you are. You’re trying to kind of hide from the world or makes you feel a certain way, and even if you get success or you grow up or you become good-looking or whatever … you kind of carry some part of that with you,” he said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show while promoting Mid90s, a coming-of-age movie he wrote and directed. “For me, it’s definitely being like this 14-year-old kid, being overweight, wanting to fit in with these skaters and hip-hop kids, and just feeling lonely and maybe not understanding my own worth.”
“I became famous in my late teens and then spent most of my young adult life listening to people say I was fat, gross, and unattractive,” he said. “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.”
“I’m under construction like we all are, you know what I mean?” the Wolf of Wall Street star added. “We’re all just trying to figure it out.”
Hill previously revealed a slimmed-down figure in 2011, but he gained 40 lbs for his role in War Dogs four years later. He later got help from a nutritionist and support from his 21 Jump Street costar Channing Tatum to lose the weight.