Actor Chloë Grace Moretz was everywhere in the public eye for quite some time, especially after starring as Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass and headlining the high-profile remake of Carrie back in 2013 made her a household name.
But Moretz has maintained a low profile in recent years and it all comes down to having been the subject of a viral meme.
In a new interview with Hunger magazine, Moretz described the experience of having a paparazzi photo of her photoshopped and turned into a Family Guy meme and how it made her so insecure about her body she became a "recluse."
The meme used a photo of Moretz carrying pizzas into a building in which she was wearing shorts and high-heels, showing off her long legs.
Internet jokesters Photoshopped the image, elongating her legs and shortening her torso into an homage to the Family Guy character "Legs Go All the Way Up Griffin"—a woman who wears heels and short dresses to show off her legs that are so long she essentially has no torso.
The Photoshopped version of Moretz was placed next to the Family Guy character to create the meme.
It may just be a silly pop-culture reference for most people, but for Moretz the viral mockery of her body was deeply traumatizing.
Speaking about the meme, she told Hunger:
"I’ve actually never really talked about this, but there was one meme that really affected me..."
“Everyone was making fun of my body and I brought it up with someone and they were like, ‘Oh, shut the fu*k up, it’s funny.’"
"And I just remember sitting there and thinking, my body is being used as a joke and it’s something that I can’t change about who I am, and it is being posted all over Instagram."
She added for a time it ruined one of her favorite parts of being an actor, the red carpet.
“After that, I was kind of sad. It took a layer of something that I used to enjoy, which was getting dressed up and going to a carpet and taking a photo, and made me super self-conscious."
The experience was so traumatizing it triggered a struggle with body dysmorphia, to the point she would sometimes "hyperventilate" if photographed "basically became a recluse."
Moretz said the meme still affects her all these years later.
"And to this day, when I see that meme, it’s something very hard for me to overcome.”
So how has Moretz overcome the experience?
Therapy helped, but so has the forced retreat from public that we've all faced to one degree or another over the past couple years due to the pandemic.
As she put it:
“To say that these past two years have been transformative is an understatement, to say the least. I’m a very different girl than I was. I feel like a woman now.”
On Twitter, people were mostly sympathetic.
Moretz is returning to the public eye in advance of her starring role in the new Prime series The Peripheral , an adaptation of the William Gibson novel of the same name, which premieres next week.