The actress and former model opens up about body struggles

By Julie Mazziotta
Updated December 02, 2020 01:06 AM
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Credit: Jody Rogac/Yahoo Style

Even Liv Tyler questions her beauty when she compares herself to fashion-industry standards.

“I’m looking at photos and thinking, ‘wait, should I look like that? Do I need to do that? Do I want that?’ ” Tyler says in an interview with Yahoo! Style.

“I’ve always felt this strange combination – a will to be myself and to keep what is authentic about me [with] this other side of my work, which is very much about beauty and physical appearance. I think there is a lot of pressure to look the same, now more than ever.”

When self-doubt creeps in, the actress, 38, says she has a way of pulling herself out of the rut.

“I always try to remind myself of who I am, and stay true to that, to not compare myself to others,” she says.

Tyler, a former teen model, says expectations for models have changed in recent years.

“If you look back at Helena Christensen or Christy Turlington, they were probably a 4 or a 6 – they had beautiful bodies, very lean, obviously, and gorgeous,” she says. “They obviously took beautiful care of themselves – they weren’t malnourished.”

“The girls walking the catwalk [now] are very, very thin and very tall,” she adds.

Though tall herself, Tyler laments that sample sizes too have shrunk.

“Samples are a size zero – they’re so tiny,” she said. “I’m 5’10”, a giant, and I wear a size 10 shoe. Sometimes I just have to settle for what fits.”

“But if I were 5’2″ and really petite [like a lot of actresses] I could wear those things.”

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Tyler had to jump right back into filming HBO’s The Leftovers just two months after her youngest son, Sailor, 8 months, was born. Tyler and fiancé David Gardner also have Milo, 10, and Gray, 8, from previous marriages.

After going back to work, the actress says her first scene required her to show some skin.

“We got scripts for the first three episodes, and that was my first scene in the whole season. Sailor was two months old so I was a little bit like, what? I have to do what?”

“I just remember thinking, ‘I just had a f—ing baby, I can’t believe that’s the first scene you write for me right after,’ ” Tyler said.

But she was grateful for the push. “It was kind of amazing, because I had to get back in shape.”

Tyler said that she sometimes wants to give it all up for a more normal life, one with less pressure about how she dresses.

“I go through periods where I just want to wear sweatpants and a puffer coat, and I wish I lived in Maine where I grew up and I could just jump in the car and go to school,” she said. “And then I stop myself and say, wait, you’re so lucky you get to live in New York City and you have beautiful clothes. Pull yourself together.”