The actor opened up about no longer letting online criticism about his appearance impact his mental health
Taylor Lautner is speaking out about criticism of his appearance.
On Monday, the 31-year-old actor posted a candid video on Instagram about mental health while responding to comments about how he looked during a recent outing in New York City.
“I just got back from a run, I was feeling really good about myself, trying to stay healthy both physically and mentally and I felt compelled to share something with you because when I got back from that run, I hopped on Instagram and read a post from last week,” he began the clip. “I was going through the comments and it brought up old feelings and memories on why I don’t look through comments.”
The Twilight alum then shared several examples of the negative comments from those who claimed the star was “not aging well” and “looks so old.”
“Those comments are all from one single post, which is crazy but that’s the world we live in and there’s only so much we can do to change it,” Lautner said.
"If this was 10 years ago, five years ago, maybe even two, three years ago, that really would have gotten under my skin and it would have caused me to want to just go in a hole and not go outside,” he explained, recalling the “unhealthy” time in his life when that was his reality.
"You find value where you put it," the actor continued. "And if you put your value in what other people think of you, that's how you're going to feel. But if you put your value in you knowing who you are, what's important to you, what you love, that kind of stuff won't get to you."
Lautner said he’s thankful that he’s “in a different place now” and although the comments on his appearance bother him, they don’t “make me question who I am.”
"My biggest point is just think about and remember where you put your value in life, and also just be nice,” he added. “It's not that difficult. Let's be nice to each other. Let's spread love and positivity. It's that simple."
“Spread love. #mentalhealthawarenessmonth,” he captioned the post. “You find value where you put it ❤️”
Last year, Lautner spoke about his mental health and past struggles with body image after filming the Twilight saga.
"When I was in it, when I was 16 through 20 years old, starring in this franchise where my character is known for taking his shirt off every other second, no, I did not know that it was affecting me or going to affect me in the future with body image," he said on an episode of his podcast The Squeeze — which he hosts alongside his wife, Taylor Dome Lautner. "But now looking back at it, of course it did, and of course it is going to."
Lautner said for years he was "forced to be in a gym multiple times a day, six days a week" so after the franchise ended, he started "rebelling against the gym" and stopped working out entirely.
"What happens when you don't want to see a gym? You start losing the eight pack. I started having more normal of a body," Lautner said at the time. "I remember one of the first times seeing it online was very tough. I was filming a movie called Run The Tide, and my character in that is not supposed to be a bodybuilder or ripped guy in any way. I thought I looked fine."
"But then seeing it online where they put the side-by-sides of me shirtless in the ocean in a scene from that movie compared to me in Eclipse or whatever and being like, 'Wow, he's let it all go.' I was like, 'Oh, man. Did I really let it all go?' I didn't think I looked that bad," he continued.
The criticism, which he says continued for years, ultimately caused Lautner's mental health to decline. The star said he had to learn how to prioritize self care and not focus on body image by getting his mind healthy first before getting his body healthy.
"Your body can look unbelievable, you can be ripped, shredded, whatever you can lose weight, you can put on muscle, and if you're not healthy mentally, then that's all for nothing because that can work against you," he said.
"Don't find happiness in what you want your body to look like," Lautner added. "Don't think just because you lose the 20 lbs. or put on the muscle, you're going to wake up and look in the mirror and all of a sudden be happy. That's not where you should be finding value."
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