Producers pinched his fat and told him to lose weight. This actor says it has to stop.

You might remember actor Sam Claflin as Finnick, the uber-athletic former champion from the "Hunger Games" movies.

Sam Claflin. Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images.

He's also played a leading man in a number of other films and TV spots, including "Me Before You" and "Snow White and the Huntsman."


But he said making a career out of playing the heartthrob ain't what it used to be, according to a recent interview in The Sydney Morning Herald. In fact, he says there's an ugly side to becoming an action star these days that people don't seem to want to talk about.

Claflin said men in Hollywood face enormous pressure to live up to unrealistic body standards.

The last time most of us saw him on screen, Claflin was sporting a lean and athletic look, but there was a lot we didn't see.

"I remember doing one job when they literally made me pull my shirt up and were grabbing my fat and going, 'You need to lose a bit of weight,'" he told the Herald. "This other time they were slapping me. I felt like a piece of meat."

If it sounds familiar, it's because women in show business go through this all the time. The truth is that the constant pressure to look flawless in front of the camera is damaging for men, too.

"I'm not saying it's anywhere near as bad as what women go through but I, as an actor approaching each job, am insecure — especially when I have to take my top off in it — and so nervous," he said. "I get really worked up to the point where I spend hours and hours in the gym and not eating for weeks to achieve what I think they're going for."

It wasn't always this way. There was a time when actors didn't have to appear chiseled out of stone before they'd be considered for a role.

James Bond then (1980s) and now (2000s). Photos via Central Press/Getty Images and Damian Oswald/YouTube.

"In the '50s and '60s, it was never an issue," Claflin said. "James Bond never had a six pack. He had a hairy chest. Marlon Brando​ in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' had an incredible body but he was by no means ripped to within an inch of his life. There's a filter on society that this is normal but actually it's anything but normal."

While actresses are being held to absurd standards of beauty and told they're too old to play the lead by the time they hit 30, men have it a little different.

They're spending months and months working themselves into peak physical condition through brutal exercise and diet regimens and dropping to almost dangerously-low body fat and dehydration levels.

All in the name of looking ripped.

The pressure on professional actors to push their bodies beyond their limits is bad, but the effect it has on regular people might be worse.

When the only women allowed to appear in movies have to fit a certain aesthetic, it rubs off on young women everywhere. It's similar for men when every time they turn on a movie or TV show, all the guys look like bodybuilders.

Some studies are finding that men, and young men in particular, are turning to dangerous steroids to bulk up. This pressure to be big and muscular is wreaking havoc on their self-esteem.

It's time for Hollywood to loosen the reigns and display more body diversity on-screen.

We get it — Thor has to have big muscles. He's a demigod. But does every spy, dad, police officer, and accountant we see have to have six-pack abs? Does every actor need to dehydrate themselves before each shoot so you can see the veins in their biceps?

The effect on-screen may be striking, but the effect it's having on people in the real world is anything but.

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

Keep Reading Show less