Everyone flocked to ballet studios and barre classes after seeing Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis in last year’s “Black Swan”—we couldn’t escape headlines about how they lost an incredible 20 pounds each thanks to their grueling dance training schedules. The move, and media, happily glorified their physical transformations, but now it seems the smoke has cleared: Dance workouts have resumed their normal share of attention on fitness blogs, and, according to a new interview with Bazaar, Kunis has returned to her pre-swan weight. Only now she’s admitting that the transformation changed her body permanently—one of the not-so-glorious side effects of near-starvation diet plans and over-exercise.
In her interview, Kunis explains that her body hasn’t exactly returned to what it was before Black Swan:
My shape is different. When I got down to 95 pounds, I was muscles, like a little brick house, but skin and bones. When I gained it back, it went to completely different areas.
I’d be happy if my a** got bigger. All the weight that left my chest went to my side hip, my stomach.
Which makes sense, when you consider that the extreme weight loss likely put her body into starvation mode, slowing her metabolism and changing her body’s chemistry to accommodate a demanding energy load and insufficient diet. Anyone who’s gone on an extreme diet, and watched the weight come back and then some, knows how this works.
Kunis seems surprisingly down-to-earth about her looks and weight for someone who’s been the focus of so much scrutiny—she also commented on botox, admitting that while she’s terrified of altering herself now, she knows she’ll likely want to get work done as she ages. But for many women, extreme dieting doesn’t just mess with metabolism: It can also cause body dysmorphia and eating disorders. We just hope that her explanation of the punishing effects of drastic weight loss will help remind everyone that it’s not worth trying in the first place.