Sydney Sweeney has sparked heated debate online after candidly discussing her struggles with accepting her body throughout adolescence and into adulthood.
The 25-year-old was catapulted to international stardom in 2019 for her role as Cassie Howard on the hit HBO series Euphoria, which explores social issues among young people such as substance abuse, mental illness, toxic relationships and sex.
In an extensive interview with The Sun, Sweeney - who has also starred in The White Lotus and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - spoke frankly about how her physical appearance has often been highlighted over her on-screen talent and acting credentials.
She also admitted that she resented her figure during adolescence due to developing earlier than her peers, with her body causing her to feel judged and "sexualised". Those feelings continued into her acting career, she said, where she has been stereotyped as the "blonde" with "big boobs". Being judged by her looks or reduced to her physical attributes has often seen her skill as an actor overlooked, she added.
"I had boobs before other girls, and I felt ostracised for it," Sweeney told the outlet. "I have big boobs, I'm blonde - and that's all I have."
Sweeney has previously spoken out about the widespread trolling and overt sexualisation she faced following the airing of her nude scenes in Euphoria, telling British GQ in November that people were even tagging her family in screenshots of the scenes online.
"My cousins don't need that. It's completely disgusting and unfair," she told the outlet.
"You have a character that goes through the scrutiny of being a sexualised person at school and then an audience that does the same thing.
"I think it's ridiculous. I'm an artist, I play characters. It makes me want to play characters that piss people off more."
However, Sweeney's candidness with The Sun hasn't been universally well-received, with her recent comments attracting widespread attention on social media.
While many have offered their support to Sweeney and shared their own similar experiences with their bodies, others have accused her of making superfluous complaints about having "big boobs" and being conventionally attractive.
"Ostracized? By who? I'm sure she was quite popular with the boys in her school," one tweeted, with another man adding: "Hot girls will find any excuse to complain about something everyone else wants."
Despite the debate stirred by Sweeney's remarks, many have rushed to the 25-year-old's defence, opening up an important dialogue around the shaming and sexualisation of young girls who develop ahead of their peers. Many women took to Twitter to share their own anecdotes about being sexualised at school from a young age and how it negatively impacted their body image, leading to feelings of self-hatred and resentment.
"Women, from the time they reach consciousness, are shamed for simply existing, so idk [I don't know] why it's so hard for people to understand that a child developing breasts earlier would lead to scrutiny or feelings of insecurity," one wrote.
"I feel like every time this girl speaks out about an issue, y'all are quick to just dismiss her as a sex icon who 'signed up' for this. Y'all need to pack that internalised misogyny," said another.
"Anyone mocking this probably wasn't catcalled at [ages] 10/11 and wasn't told to 'cover up' for wearing the same things other kids were allowed to wear. When your body becomes sexualized as a child you can start to hate it and blame yourself," a third tweeted.
"The reason she getting hate for this is [people] genuinely believe getting objectified or fetishized is a compliment and they can't conceive [the idea of] a man's attention not being some type of 'privilege'," said another.