Jonah Hill Makes A Powerful Statement About Body Acceptance

For all our lofty talk about self-acceptance and not judging people based on looks, the truth is that weight discrimination is still very much alive. Sports Illustrated began featuring plus-size model Hunter McGrady in its celebrated swimsuit issue (via Page Six), but the rest of the pages look like they're packed with size-0 women. It's still considered news when celebs like Rebel Wilson drop dress sizes, or when stars "lose the baby weight" after pregnancy in a ridiculously short time – as if new moms have nothing better to do than go to the gym two hours a day. And movies and TV series are still primarily the domain of the thin; actors of a certain size appear as the wisecracking buddy, the oddball loner, or the bullied kid who's nobly befriended by the star. 

There's one actor who refuses to be fat-shamed any longer. Despite being an established Hollywood actor/writer/director/producer with two Oscar nominations to his credit and a design partnership with Adidas (via GQ), Jonah Hill still gets attention for his size. If he loses weight, he gets hailed (as when he toned up in 2017, per Men's Journal); if he doesn't, the snarking starts. When one tabloid recently took a potshot at Hill, he responded with class and courage.

Jonah Hill spoke out for "the kids who don't take their shirt off at the pool"

The British tab Daily Mail is known for printing candid shots of celebs going about their day, frequently commenting on their appearance. When Hill recently went surfing in Malibu, the paper made a point of showing him with his shirt off as he toweled dry – a shot that seemed more aimed at shaming his body than at highlighting his tattoos.

Hill posted the image and headline on his Instagram account, along with a powerful message. He spoke about his "childhood insecurities" about his body, which were "exacerbated by years of mockery about my body by press and interviewers." He went on to say, "I'm 37 and finally love and accept myself," refusing to be "[fazed]" by the media's continued attempts to ridicule his looks. Hill concluded that he wasn't out for praise or sympathy; he spoke out "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."

Among the million-plus (!) likes to the post were responses by Justin Timberlake, Johnny Knoxville, Andy Cohen, and FKA Twigs. Judd Apatow said, "When I take my shirt off at the beach, it still looks like I am wearing a shirt...or a sweater. Now I will show it off with pride!" Rashida Jones praised his "King energy." Proud sister Beanie Feldstein said, "You're the best in the world and i love you."