Jane Fonda has spoken of how her father’s criticisms of her appearance lead to a lifelong obsession with her image. The Oscar-winning actress was talking to You magazine about her legendary father, Henry, and how his comments about her weight as a child traumatised her for life. In her career Fonda has suffered from bouts of bulimia and anorexia which has been unable to control until later in her life.
The 73-old told the magazine: "I was brought up to feel fat, though my father wouldn't tell me directly - he'd get one of his wives to tell me that I shouldn't wear a bikini. One day, I overheard him talking about me and I can't even tell you what he said because it traumatised me and I can't pretend I'll ever get over it.
"So I was the product of objectifying parents and also a product of the '50s, when the way a woman looked was so important. It's why I pay attention to my appearance now. I believed that to be loved you had to be perfect, and even though I've got over that now, it took a long time."
She said that the legacy of those early days also deeply affected her relationships with men and gave the three-time married Fonda a low self-esteem. "I went through phases of bingeing and purging and it was many years before I could sit at a table without feeling any anxiety. Bulimia is very easy to hide, but you can't be intimate with people if you're an addict."