Meryl Streep’s Body Image Advice: “What Makes You Different Is Your Strength”


Just call her Dr. Streep. No seriously, academy award winning actress Meryl Streep just received an honorary doctorate from Indiana University from the Bloomington School. She was presented with a Doctor of Humane Letters diploma from the school’s cinema director Jon Vickers, and of course the ceremony was accented by graduation gowns, speeches, and trumpet players.

Meryl accepted the award for her work as a role model and humanitarian in the arenas of women’s rights and social justice. IU provost Lauren Robel spoke to those in attendance, saying Streep was an “inspiring choice,” nominated for her “generous spirit and utmost sincere concern for public good.

After the ceremony, Meryl sat down for an interview to answer questions submitted via twitter. Her words were worthy of a doctorate in and of themselves and proved just what a beacon of light she is in Hollywood, and for women of all ages.

When asked about how she started her acting career, she mentions being an “attention-seeker” as a kid, but soon developed a more mature understanding of the craft, and of herself.

“I think I was probably like every other girl who puts on a princess dress and expects everyone to pay full and total attention. And most of us grow out of that.” (We bet Goldieblox loved that quote!)

“I was always in plays, but I thought it was vain to be an actress,” Streep says. “Plus, I thought I was too ugly to be an actress. Glasses weren’t fabulous then.”

Good to know she also grew out of that type of thinking also. Growing up, Meryl studied language and humanities at Vassar College,  before attending Yale to achieve a graduate degree in drama.


Now that she is 64 and holds the record for being the most Oscar-nominated actress in history, she has some great perspective on women in Hollywood and that whole aging debate.

“When I was 40, I was offered three witches in one summer. And I thought, ‘Okay, this is it. You turn 40, and oh my god.’ The only reason I have a career at 64 is that I’ve had hits later in life. I’ve found that once certain movies are out, audiences aren’t so age-phobic. They were willing, and they were happy.”

Even 41 year-old Cameron Diaz has recently said how the roles get better and more interested for women in the film industry as they get older. That should be some sort of encouragement to all those who think looking young is the only key to success and happiness.

The best advice came from the question asked about how she would encourage young women looking to get into the entertainment industry. Her words are the type of advice that translates to young women in all walks of life, we think.

“For young women, I would say, don’t worry so much about your weight. Girls spend way too much time thinking about that, and there are better things. For young men, and women, too, what makes you different or weird, that’s your strength.”

“Everyone tries to look a cookie-cutter kind of way and actually the people who look different are the ones who get picked up. I used to hate my nose. Now I don’t. It’s okay.”

Thanks Meryl for being the type of role model that everyone wants as their mom. Words like these are words to live by, and once again reiterate that trends should not dictate people.



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