On screen Lisa Kudrow was the epitome of confidence as she played the role of quirky Phoebe Buffay on “Friends,” but now she has come forward to reveal the worst part of being in the show.
It’s been 15 years since fans said goodbye to the beloved sitcom, and now Kudrow has finally opened up about what it was like to be on set with co-stars Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston. Chatting to Marc Aaron on his WTF podcast, she made some sad revelations about her struggles with a negative body image.
“You see yourself on TV and it’s that, ‘Oh, my God, I’m just a mountain of a girl,'” she said, according to Marie Claire. “I’m already bigger than Courteney and Jennifer — bigger, like my bones feel bigger. I just felt like this mountain of a woman next to them.”
The 1980s and 1990s were a dangerous time for young women. It was the height of the skinny movement, before the body positive wave took over social media. The National Eating Disorders Association noted an increase in rates of eating disorders including bulimia during that time.
A report by The Independent found that female characters on television during the 1990s were notably thinner than average women, with many actresses having just 10% to 15% body fat compared to the recommended 22% to 26%. It was during this era that “Friends” dominated televisions.
“Unfortunately for a woman, if you’re underweight, you look good. And that’s all I ever got,” Kudrow said, per Marie Claire. “When I was too thin, I was sick all the time. A cold, sinus infection… I was always sick.”
It took time but Kudrow said she eventually managed to conquer her demons and develop a healthier body image.
“I end up with, ‘So what? So, all right. You’re older. That’s a good thing. Why is that a bad thing?'” she said.