Lisa Kudrow Experienced A Bunch of Body Image Issues on The Set of Friends - Women's Health

Lisa Kudrow Experienced A Bunch of Body Image Issues on The Set of Friends

Her advice: don't compare yourself to anyone.
Courtesy of NBC

If you haven’t watched the Friends reunion, you’re probably in the minority of people reading this article who skipped out.

The show, which is nothing short of a cultural phenomenon, aired from 1994 to 2004 and was watched with the kind of reverence you’d expect of a religious ceremony: outfits were committed to one’s personal mood board, hairstyles were scrutinised and attempted at home, character arcs were celebrated or bemoaned, and the very stars who played the six key figures in Friends soon found themselves hailed as icons in pop culture.

Thanks to HBO Max, the reunion special eventually happened, airing on May 27, and brought the original cast members of Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer together once again.

While some wished it hadn’t happened (and others blamed it on the actors’ huge pay day), most reviews were overwhelmingly positive, calling it the one last hit they needed before finally saying goodbye.

With the special came a mass of news that surrounded the crew both then and now, with a few looking to crowd favourite Lisa Kudrow and her favourite loveable character Phoebe Buffay.

Like when the show was airing, the actress and comedian has no qualms about keeping it real and taking on more difficult topics. One of which that first aired in 2019 on an episode of the “WTF with Marc Maron” podcast surrounded the body image issues she experienced on the set of Friends, when she constantly compared herself to co-stars Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston.

“You see yourself on TV, and it’s that, ‘Oh my god, I’m just a mountain of a girl’,” she said of the thoughts that would run through her mind at the time. “And I’m already bigger than Courteney and Jennifer. [I was] taller, bigger. My bones feel bigger, I just felt like this mountain of a woman next to them.”

Further delving into the pressures of being under the public magnifying glass, Kudrow admitted that during the show’s run, she regularly lost weight “on purpose.” And, in retrospect, she’s disappointed that her slimming down was always met with compliments.

“Unfortunately for a woman, if you’re underweight, you look good,” she explained, underlining that praising weight loss is often fraught. Despite being admired for the way she looked, Kudrow said it took a toll on her. “When I was too thin I was sick all the time, a cold, sinus infection, I was always sick.”

Over time, Kudrow says she’s developed a healthier relationship with her body and is embracing ageing with a positive outlook. “I just go, ‘Alright, so what? You’re older, that’s a good thing, why is that a bad thing?”

By Nikolina Ilic

Nikolina is the web-obsessed Digital Editor at Men's and Women's Health, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she spends most of the time in the gym or with her husband and daughter. She was previously a Digital Editor at GQ and Vogue magazine.

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