The television show ‘Friends’ ended in 2004 but its impact on popular culture can still be felt today. Similarly, it also left a lasting effect on its cast members particularly on the actress Lisa Kudrow who played the eccentric vegetarian Phoebe Buffay on the show.
While her 10-year stint on the now-iconic sitcom surely brought her fame and fortune, it also led her to develop a rather distorted view of her own body image. Find out how pressure led her to a dangerous path and how she turned her life around for the better.
TV and Body Image
As Kudrow recently revealed in an interview, she felt the pressure to compare herself and her looks to that of her female co-stars. She even said that she felt like a ‘mountain’ when standing next to them. Now, this could easily be attributed to her tall 5″8′ stature, but she says it was more than that.
The 55-year-old actress remembers seeing herself on screen with Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel Green, and Courtney Cox, who portrayed Monica Geller, and thinking how big she looked next to them. Even her bones felt huge, she admits.
Interestingly, Cox’s character background involves a story about how she used to be fat and eventually lost the extra pounds after being teased about it by another character.
Battle with Weight
Because of her insecurities, Kudrow decided to lose some weight. It worked for her in the beginning. After all, being thin was very in at the time in the world of small screen shows. But she, later on, went overboard and became ‘too thin’ by her own standards.
While she was constantly getting sick trying to maintain her low weight, she was also getting compliments for looking good. According to Kudrow, being an underweight actress in Hollywood got her positive feedback. She even described a co-star who said that she became dateable once she slimmed down further enforcing the positivity that thinness brought in her life.
This may be associated with the decade’s obsession with the waif-thin look glamorized by extra skinny supermodels like Kate Moss. Her unhealthy habits soon took a toll on her health. She remembers being constantly sick with a cold, an infection, or the flu.
How She Copes Now
Fortunately, the 55-year-old comedienne is now in a great place with her life. Being more accepting of her body and the effects of aging, she says she can now gain weight and not be too worried about it.
Kudrow says she’s now fine about getting body rolls though she can still have that ‘battle’ in her head sometimes. To prevent these negative thoughts, she also admits that she prefers not to watch ‘Friends’ episodes in case she sees something she doesn’t like.