Eiza González From ‘Baby Driver’ Recalls Being Body-Shamed as a Teen Actor
González scored a coveted role on a Spanish soap opera and remembers being a total unknown teenager to suddenly fielding a slew of opinions from the public.
“I was really excited to just do [the role],” she revealed on the Life is Short with Justin Long podcast. “And I remember he took a picture of me and they released it. And then it was like, boom! Like if I was thrown into a different stratosphere. It was the weirdest thing. I went from complete … never had done any job in my life, not like a small role here, nothing.”
“I was not ready, Justin,” she told Long. “Everyone had an opinion of me. If I was good, not good. Great. Talented, not talented. Pretty, not pretty.”
Everyone suddenly had an opinion about Eiza González’s physical appearance
González said she looked like an average teen, which was a rarity on television. “Oh my God,” González said about the moment. “And I was a normal girl. I had a normal body. I had like a 14-year-old girl body. It was like chubby in the cheeks, chubby, didn’t wear makeup. I didn’t care.”
She said no one made her lose weight or make any physical changes. “But then, it wasn’t like it is now, which I really feel so happy that this has changed,” she said.
“Because body shaming was just so not … it was really overlooked,” she continued. “People would do it all the time. Press would do it all the time and no one would call the press on doing that. So every time was … it was weird.”
González’s mom was her rock
The focus on her physical appearance had a damaging impact, especially since she was already dealing with the death of her father.
“It was weird, and it really created dysmorphia with who I was supposed to be, because the truth of the matter is, I went through a really deep depression when my dad died,” González shared.
“And I gained an aggressive amount of weight from depression because I went through [age] 12 to 13 eating,” she continued. “I started eating compulsively. And my mom who, at the time, she owned a model agency, unlike people’s opinion or thoughts of what she did, she never brought awareness to, “You’re gaining weight.” Never.”
“She just never mentioned it,” González added. “She was working on my emotions in a different way, but she never made a point of looks or how I should look or should I lose weight or should I … Never. So it went from being completely unaware of these things …to insanely aware. Day to night, like that. 360.”
The experience was a lot of pressure on a teenager
She admitted the experience made her feel like she never wanted to have children. “Yeah, and then you’ve got to live up to the thing,” she remarked. “And then 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, all those crucial years of your life. Your first kiss, your first date, your first real relationship, the first time you start feeling like a sexual person, getting into your body, want to be attractive, going through I’m-an-awkward-teenage stage to a woman.”
“Or going into looks, finding what looks good on your body,” González added. “And everyone has an opinion of it. And on top of it, you are a role model. So people have that pressure, especially in a country like Latin America, which is raised very Catholic, I was like, ‘You can’t.’ And I was a rascal. I was a little rebel. In my heart, I was the girl you know now.”