Amanda Seyfried is clarifying her message about body image and expectations.
The 33-year-old Mamma Mia! actress made headlines this week when she shared a friend’s reply to a bikini photo on Something Navy influencer Arielle Charnas‘ Instagram, which criticized Charnas for “perpetuating the patriarchal (totally unrealistic) notion that mothers should ‘bounce back’ after childbirth, an impossibility for anyone who can’t afford ample childcare.”
Having initially supported the comment (which Charnas, 32, deleted from her post) and others like it, Seyfried used Instagram once more on Thursday to post a quote from Robert Frost that read, “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”
“To all who feel bullied or thin-shamed during our recent social media discussion: If you know me or are familiar with any of my beliefs or stances you’ll recognize that it isn’t in my character to tear down anyone for ‘being who they are.’ Each of us has the ability and the freedom to say and do as we choose,” the star began in her caption.
“However, as I’m acutely aware, there’s a price tag for the group of people who find themselves with a platform to stand on,” Seyfried continued.
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The Mean Girls actress encouraged those with such platforms “to be aware of the message you’re sending and be able to back it up when faced with criticism (not just praise),” as well as to “hold yourselves accountable instead of using the terms above.”
“The only thing I’d take back is exactly how I started this debate,” Seyfried continued. “I desperately wish it hadn’t targeted (or blasted) one person (there are MANY who engage in this questionable messaging) and instead started a cleaner, general conversation. No one needs to tear anyone apart. And I regret that it’s present right now.”
“To the lady in question: I’m sorry for the truly negative feels you’ve endured because of this,” she wrote.
But “aside from the messy detour,” Seyfried concluded, she believes “the bigger, important message seems to filtering through and helping a lot of women feel supported. And that’s the name of the game.”
The conversation began Wednesday when Seyfried shared her friend’s comment, where the actress expressed her discontent after Charnas posted a bikini selfie showing off her slim frame the previous day with the caption, “Proud of my body after two kids.”
“Totally fine that you’re privileged and thin, good for you (I am too-ish!),” Seyfried’s friend wrote to Charnas. “Got no problem with either of those things. BUT if you don’t acknowledge how your wealth made your workouts/body possible, you’re just perpetuating the patriarchal (totally unrealistic) notion that mothers should ‘bounce back’ after childbirth, an impossibility for anyone who can’t afford ample childcare (which is almost everyone in this country).”
Seyfried, who’s mom to 2-year-old daughter Nina, decided to share her friend’s comment after Charnas “blocked both of us,” adding that Charnas needs to recognize she has a significant influence because of her following.
“If we’re ready to get paid for flaunting our lifestyle (and inspiring some in the meantime) we have to be open to the discussions surrounding what we’re promoting,” Seyfried said.
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Charnas fought back against these and other critical comments in her Instagram Story, asking, “Why am I being bullied for posting myself in a bathing suit? I should be punished because I’m thin and worked hard to be fit after giving birth to two kids?”
The fashion and lifestyle blogger, who had her second child in June 2018, also said that she has a nanny but that it “has absolutely NOTHING to do with my body and for random women to tell me I should be crediting them for my figure and my ‘excessive workouts’ is actually disgusting.”
After the back-and-forth on Tuesday, Charnas’ husband Brandon mocked the criticism with a post on his own page. Alongside a photo of the couple in swimsuits, he posted a sarcastic “warning” about their bodies: “THIS BODY IS NOT ATTAINABLE. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ATTAIN SUCH BODY BY WORKING OUT. IF YOU ATTEMPT TO ATTAIN, YOU MUST HAVE AT LEAST THREE NANNYS AND BE SURE TO NOT ONLY PAY THEM BUT ALSO THANK THEM IN A MINIMUM OF 4 SHOUTOUTS A WEEK ON INSTAGRAM.”
“IF YOU CANT AFFORD A NANNY, PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HAVE A VERY SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN ORDER TO DO SO,” he added. “GENETICS MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE PLAYED A FACTOR. ONLY AGES 30 AND OLDER ARE ALLOWED TO VIEW THIS POST, YOUTH MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A THERAPIST.”
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