Once You See Megan Fox’s Subtle Genetic Malformation, You Can’t Unsee It: ‘They’re Really Fat’

For most of her time as a celebrity, Megan Fox has been considered a standard-bearer of modern beauty. That level of magnetism can be a gift and a curse. The 35-year-old’s status as a sex symbol drew more attention to her after Transformers. But the flip side of the coin is that every inch of Fox’s body is put under the microscope.

People have stared at the Jennifer’s Body star long enough to notice that her thumbs are strangely shaped. The reason for this is a rare genetic condition that creates shorter “toe thumbs.” Plenty of jokes have been made about her digits, but Fox has not let it hurt her self-esteem.

Megan Fox has ‘toe thumbs’

Actor Megan Fox waves to fans at the 2021 Met Gala
Megan Fox at the 2021 Met Gala | Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Fox’s stubby thumbs are due to brachydactyly. Brachydactyly is an inherited trait that results in shorter bones in the fingers and/or toes. In case you want a mnemonic device to remember this, brachydactyly literally translates to “short finger” in Greek, as Healthline reports.

Several forms of this genetic quirk exist. But Fox has type D, which only results in smaller “clubbed thumbs” while leaving the rest of her fingers a normal size. The cause of brachydactyly is not clear. Possible reasons for the slight deformity involve exposure to certain medications a mother takes during the pregnancy, or blood flow issues to the hands when the owner of the thumbs was a baby.

On the bright side, brachydactyly does not require any medical treatment in the vast majority of circumstances. Severe cases may induce surgery if grip problems are apparent. The only other functional issue may be finding form-fitting gloves. 

It would be hyperbolic to say Fox has been held back by her thumbs. But the fact that they became a talking point at all is indicative of how celebrities’ bodies are ruthlessly inspected, usually in bad faith by media members and social media trolls. 

Fox hasn’t let her thumbs impact her self-image

Fox learned early in her career that being anointed as a Hollywood starlet comes with a level of misogynistic scrutiny that is annoying at best and insidious at worst. 

In 2020, a clip from Jimmy Kimmel Live! went viral when Fox described her sketchy experience shooting a scene for Bad Boys 2 with Michael Bay when she was 15. Bay’s grossness with an underage girl may be extraordinary (though probably not as extraordinary as it should be). But it set a precedent for how Hollywood viewed Fox. From that experience on, she was treated like the latest piece of red meat and not a person. 

The Tennessee native’s sexuality morphed from an asset to a hindrance. Fox’s exit from the Transformers franchise came with a needlessly vindictive letter trashing her reputation. Her 2009 movie Jennifer’s Body was written off by many as just another sex-infused horror movie. It’s since been reclaimed as a feminist cult classic. 

Fox has remained herself through it all. During an interview with Jay Leno in 2012, she referred to her thumbs as “weird” and “really fat,” but she isn’t ashamed of them. (Although her confidence couldn’t impede the use of a thumb double for a Super Bowl Motorola commercial, as you can see on Youtube.)

Abnormal genetic conditions hasn’t stopped many stars from making it in the industry 


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Would David Bowie have had the same legacy if his eyes were the same color? Absolutely, but it did make him look cool. Sure, his left eye was the result of a damaged iris after getting punched in the face, but he made it work for him. 

Mila Kunis was born blind in one eye and with heterochromia (each of her eyes is a different color). She hid these facts for years as her career ascended. 

On the younger side, Gaten Matarazzo of Stranger Things fame was born with Cleidocranial dysostosis (CCD), which affects his ability to grow his teeth, collarbones, and skull. Matarazzo has spoken about living with this condition in order to advocate for the relative few who have CCD.

These examples don’t erase the fact that discrimination is alive and well in the entertainment industry. But some of the talk around these conditions does seem to be better than it once was.