When we first met Jonah Hill—really met Jonah Hill—he was a twenty-something up-and-comer starring in 2007’s Superbad, arguably one of the best comedies of the past 20 years. Now he’s a 37-year-old actor, writer, producer, and director who has worked some of Hollywood’s biggest names—Martin Scorsese, the Coen Brothers, and Quentin Tarantino among them. He’s also been nominated for two Academy Awards. Yet all people ever seem to want to talk about is Hill’s body and his weight, and he’s really f*cking sick of it.
On Wednesday, Hill took to Instagram to post a very simple request: please stop making his body a topic of conversation. “I know you mean well,” the actor wrote, “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.”
It’s a simple message, but a powerful one that immediately found support among his fans—famous and otherwise. Hill’s sister, Impeachment: American Crime Story star Beanie Feldstein, was among the first to show support for his message, replying: THATS 👏 MY 👏 BROTHER 👏
As Complex reported, Hill’s post happened shortly after US Magazine posted a story titled “Jonah Hill Shows Off Dramatic Weight Loss: See the Before and After Pictures.” (No, we didn’t link to it—nor should you.) The article was cobbled together with photos and quotes taken from other interviews Hill has done over the years, but not with his direct participation. And for good reason: Hill has been very forthright that he has struggled with body issues over the years, and how that has affected his own self-view.
While appearing on Ellen in 2018, Hill offered some insight into the challenges he has faced, noting:
“I think everybody has a version of themselves—I call it a snapshot—at some point in life, trying to hide from the world. Even if you get success or grow up or become good-looking or whatever … you kind of carry some part of that with you. 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.”
Whether it’s one’s body or something else, it’s hard to imagine there isn’t a person reading this who can’t relate to the idea of still viewing yourself as you were at a certain time in life—and how damaging it could be to have strangers keep reminding you of that image and talking about it—especially when you’ve achieved so much at such a young age. Frankly, even writing about Jonah Hill asking people to stop talking about his body feels like a betrayal of that very message. So let’s just leave it at that.