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After Shirtless Pic in Tabloid, Jonah Hill Delivers a Message

Actor reveals past body image insecurities, tells others struggling that they're 'awesome and perfect'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2021 8:16 AM CST

(Newser) – Actors are used to seeing their photos, often furtively shot by paparazzi, strewn about the tabloids, but Jonah Hill decided he wasn't going to stay silent after a recent set popped up. Per CNN, the UK's Daily Mail tabloid published pictures of the Superbad and Wolf of Wall Street actor surfing in Malibu, Calif., including one that showed him in a form-fitting wetsuit and another shirtless. After seeing those images, Hill took to Instagram on Friday with a most personal message, dedicated to all "the kids who don't take their shirt off at the pool." That's because he didn't take his own shirt off at the pool until he was well into his 30s, Hill noted, though those days are now over. "I'm 37 and finally love and accept myself," he wrote, noting that he likely would've gone shirtless a lot sooner "if my childhood insecurities weren't exacerbated by years of public mockery about my body by press and interviewers."

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ETOnline.com notes that Hill has spoken about his weight and body acceptance before, telling Ellen DeGeneres in 2018 that "[I] spent most of my young adult life listening to people say that I was fat and gross and unattractive. And it's only in the last four years ... that I've started to understand how much that hurt and got into my head." In his Instagram post, Hill added that such media mentions and photos don't faze him anymore. "This isn't a 'good for me' post," he wrote. "And it's definitely not a 'feel bad for me post.'" Instead, he said, his encouragement was for others who still keep their shirts on at the pool, with a bit of advice for them: "Have fun. You're wonderful and awesome and perfect." Per The Hollywood Reporter, Hill got virtual high-fives from followers, including director Judd Apatow, who commented, "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!" (Read more Jonah Hill stories.)

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