Does Amanda Seyfried Have Big Love For Her Body?

The actress talks raw diets, "soft parts," and body image

Following in the gilded footsteps on "It" girls Blake Lively, Taylor Swift and Rihanna, Amanda Seyfriend is absolutely blowing up right now. The 24-year-old actress mesmerizes with eyes as big as saucers and as blue as robin’s eggs, long, blonde waves and, according to Esquire magazine…tabbouleh lodged between her teeth?

Let me explain: Esquire recently named Seyfried a “Woman We Love.”  In the interview, she brings her own food to a gourmet café, blaming it on a raw-food diet. "It's intense. And sort of awful. Yesterday for lunch? Spinach. Just spinach. Spinach and some seeds."

A few weeks later, she told AOL Stylelist that toting tabbouleh is just one habit she’s cultivated in a seemingly Herculean effort to stay thin.

"I clearly like being fit, but it's not thin without a hell of a lot of work -- I run and I exercise a lot and then I eat," she said. "I'm not going to deny that I don't think about it every day, it's always on my mind…I have to stay in shape because I'm an actress. It's f**ked up and it's twisted, but I wouldn't get the roles otherwise. If I'd been bigger, I don't think they would have cast me for Mamma Mia!"

But the actress’s uber-frankness may have nabbed her some negative attention. Some bloggers are calling her out on contradicting herself, after she told SELF magazine (she’s the new cover girl) “If we're so busy trying to change ourselves, especially aesthetically, we're going to miss out on more important things. I used to live and eat and sleep by an exercise schedule, and I just couldn't enjoy myself if I didn't exercise. And then I realized, what a waste of time! Just praying I'd wake up a little fitter, a little more toned. It's important in the grand scheme of things to keep in shape, but if you're always worrying about imperfections and how you look, these things aren't going to change for the most part. The thing you can change is the way you perceive.”

OK, first of all, let me just say that if I had to pose in outfits like this for Esquire, I’d eat nothing but kale and oranges and chain myself to a treadmill, too.

But here’s where I really come to Seyfried’s defense. First of all, it is absolutely possible to one day feel like your body will never be good enough and mope around in sweats, but the next day, have an awesome workout, pull on a cute outfit and feel hot. It’s just the nature of body image: It ebbs and flows, and our goal is to ease the fluctuations so it stays higher, longer.

Second, despite what people want to believe, even conventionally beautiful women feel insecure at times. As Seyfried tells SELF, "Clearly, some people think I can play the attractive girl. That is still a mystery to me. It's a face thing -- I pick apart my face. I guess we're naturally inclined to want to change things about ourselves, and that gets heightened when I'm watching on a big screen." Last year, when Australia's body image advisory group released a proposed National Body Image Strategy designed to help Australian women and girls accept and embrace their bodies, it was criticized because the campaign’s faces, Minister Kate Ellis, Mia Freedman, and Sarah Murdoch, were simply "too beautiful" to really  know what it felt like to be insecure. As I wrote then  -– and no, I’m not comparing myself to Seyfried! - I’m 5’11”, wear a size 8, and despite the fact that I’ve been told I’m pretty, I still have bad body image days here and there. We all do! Just because someone tells you you're gorgeous doesn't make you believe it -- in fact, I'd imagine if it happens all the time, like it must for Seyfried, it might even prey on your insecurities even more because it makes you feel like nobody looks past your exterior.

Also, part of a successful actress’s job is to appeal to as many different segments of the population as possible. So it makes sense that she would be a bit more provocative with a men’s magazine like Esquire, dropping F bombs and lamenting (while simultaneously taking credit for) the time and effort required for her hot bod. Male readers may not want to hear her proclaim that her "soft parts are probably never going away," or that "At the end of the day, if you can't have a Girl Scout cookie and a piece of cheese, what is life all about?" because, in a way, it spoils her sexpot image. (Yes, I know men are always claiming they love curves and want a girl to eat meat on a date instead of picking at a salad, but then they pick women who look like this and this and this as their "Hot 100" and the truth is, the vast majority of us can’t achieve that type of body without excommunicating cheese and Girl Scout cookies for our diets and toting our own raw veggies to restaurants.)

Whether or not she’s pretty, workout-obsessed, having a bad body image day or a good body image day, I especially like the advice Seyfried gave SELF readers struggling to cultivate and nurture a positive body image: "You are your harshest critic. If you don't like your body, you can do something about it. It's in your control and that should be a positive feeling. Put more time into the exercising. You'll feel better about yourself for actually doing it, not just for how it makes you look. Endorphins are a godsend. And stop looking in the mirror. I try not to look in the mirror very much -- you can't wake up and expect your body to be different than it was last night. You've got to realize that you're living for yourself, not for other people. Nobody's perfect."

Do you think Amanda Seyfried is a hypocrite for following a raw food diet in one interview and talking about how she loves herself in another ? Or do you identify with her struggle to have a healthy body image? Chime in below.


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