Megan Fox candidly discusses body dysmorphia, says she's 'never' loved her body in Sports Illustrated interview

Megan Fox for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2023
The star has candidly spoken out about her lifelong battle with body image. Photo credit: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit / Instagram

Megan Fox has candidly discussed her lifelong struggle with body dysmorphia in a new wide-ranging interview with Sports Illustrated, making the frank admission that she's never been able to view herself "the way other people" do.

Speaking to the publication, the 37-year-old revealed that she's "never" been able to love her body, despite being regularly hailed as an international sex symbol. 

The Jennifer's Body star is one of four women to feature on this year's cover of the iconic annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, with the other models being Martha Stewart, Kim Petras and Brooks Nader.

"Shooting [for] Sports Illustrated Swimsuit is definitely a lot of pressure," she said, before adding, "I have a vision in my head that I'm trying to achieve... I hope that the photos are beautiful."

She later discussed her struggle with the mental illness body dysmorphia, also referred to as body dysmorphic disorder. A person with BDD will often obsessively focus on a perceived flaw or flaws in their appearance, despite the flaw usually being minor or imagined. The condition can be characterised by a preoccupation with examining themselves in a mirror, constantly comparing their appearance to others or avoiding photos or social situations.

"I have body dysmorphia. I don't ever see myself the way other people see me," the mother-of-three said.

"There's never a point in my life where I loved my body. Never, ever," she added. "When I was little, that was an obsession I had of like, 'But I should look this way'.

"Why I had an awareness of my body that young, I'm not sure. It definitely wasn't environmental because I grew up in a very religious environment [Pentecostal Christian] where bodies weren't even acknowledged.

"I remember being little, I would go in the bathroom and pull my shirt up and check to see if I had boobs yet… The journey of loving myself is going to be never-ending, I think."

Megan Fox for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2023.
Megan Fox for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2023. Photo credit: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit / Instagram / Greg Swales

Elsewhere in the interview, Fox also touched on the public ridicule she faced in the late 2000s after speaking out against Transformers director Michael Bay, comments which ultimately led to Fox being fired from the franchise.

In an interview with Wonderland in 2009, the Transformers star claimed Bay was a "nightmare to work with", compared his "tyrannical" on-set demeanour to Adolf Hitler, and described him as "hopelessly awkward" with "no social skills". Shortly after the interview was published, Fox also called Bay out for sexualising her when she appeared as an extra in the 2003 film, Bad Boys II, despite her being a minor at the time.

"I had just turned 15, and I was an extra in Bad Boys II. They were shooting this club scene, and they brought me in - and I was wearing a Stars and Stripes bikini and a red cowboy hat and six-inch heels," she said during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

"[Michael] approved it, and they said, 'Michael, she's 15 so you can't sit her at the bar, and she can't have a drink in her hand'. So his solution to that problem was to then have me dancing underneath a waterfall getting soaking wet.

"At 15, I was in 10th grade [year 11]." 

Looking back on the backlash she faced in the wake of her comments, Fox described the period as "public crucifixion" that caused her to suffer an "internal psychological breakdown". 

"I was ahead of the #MeToo movement just in terms of timing, because I was coming out and talking about these things maybe a decade before," Fox added.

It wasn't until 2020 - a few years after the #MeToo movement gained international traction - that Fox's past comments about Bay were retrospectively acknowledged and his behaviour came under scrutiny.