Elizabeth Banks recalls feeling insecure over photos of her 'chicken legs' and 'raging acne'

·2 min read

Elizabeth Banks is weighing in on how photos affect the perception we have of ourselves.

On her new Audible original podcast My Body, My Podcast, the Charlie’s Angels director spoke to The Good Place star Jameela Jamil about wading through a culture that seems hellbent on making people, and especially women, insecure about their bodies. Banks noted that her own insecurities crop up when she sees what she believes to be an unflattering photograph of herself.

“Images of myself have always affected me,” Banks shared, detailing a time in which she attended a “big dance at school” with a boyfriend who was “sweet to me.”

“We had an amazing time,” she shared.

Elizabeth Banks pictured in 2019. (Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
Elizabeth Banks pictured in 2019. (Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

However, her outlook on the night shifted when she went to CVS to see the photos she had developed from that night.

“This is before social media,” she explained. “I confronted a photo of myself after the fact, way after the fact, and it changed my entire perception of the night I had. On the night I experienced this dance, I had an amazing time. I got that photo and all I could think about was, ‘Oh my God, all anybody was looking at was my chicken legs and my raging acne, and my shiny forehead.’ The fact that it could ruin an evening for me still strikes me. I can still feel that feeling.”

Now, Banks can look back on the situation and reflect.

“Self images are incredibly powerful and there are never more images being made than now, and never more tools, like filters and Photoshop, to alter those images,” she shared. “It’s important to be reminded that images aren’t our bodies. They’re just pictures of our bodies.”

The Pitch Perfect star previously spoke out about how, earlier in her career, she was asked to change her body by an agent. As she explained on the Smartless podcast, “The first agent I ever met in L.A.…said to me, ‘Have you ever thought about getting a boob job?’ All I was thinking of was, I’m not having surgery, and I don’t know why we’re talking about it in a professional setting.”

Banks is speaking out about many issues involving her body: Her new podcast features episodes on everything from periods to gender and pleasure, with guests that include Laverne Cox, Lindy West and Peggy Orenstein. 

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