Sydney Sweeney comments on conservative politicisation of her appearance

Sydney Sweeney has commented on the political discourse about her body.

Following the Euphoria star’s appearance on Saturday Night Live earlier this month, right-wing commentators declared that “Wokeness is dead”, while Canada’s National Post asked: “Are Sydney Sweeney’s breasts double-D harbingers of the death of woke?”

The Post writer Amy Hamm argued: “We’ve spent years being chastised for desiring or admiring beauty – because beauty is rare and exclusionary, and to exclude is to hate – or so we’ve been scolded to accept by today’s diversity, equity, and inclusion fanatics. We aren’t supposed to admire Sweeney’s beauty; but we’ve done it anyways. The times, they are a-changin’. Aren’t they?”

In a new interview with NME, Sweeney said “there’s not anything I can do” about the obsession with her appearance.

Asked if it made her want to stay off the internet, she responded: “Um, no, I think it’s important to be aware of everything and then use that information however I may well. But I’m just being me, that’s all.”

Her comments mirror those she made in an interview with Variety published earlier this week.

Sydney Sweeney (AFP via Getty Images)
Sydney Sweeney (AFP via Getty Images)

“I see it, and I just can’t allow myself to have a reaction. I don’t know how to explain it – I’m still trying to figure it out myself,” she told the outlet when asked about the viral reaction to her SNL debut.

“People feel connected and free to be able to speak about me in whatever way they want, because they believe that I’ve signed my life away. That I’m not on a human level anymore, because I’m an actor. That these characters are for everybody else, but then me as Sydney is not for me anymore,” Sweeney said.

“It’s this weird relationship that people have with me that I have no control or say over.”

Earlier this month, the White Lotus star’s appearance on SNL drew criticism from viewers for centering some sketches on her body. In one skit, Sweeney portrayed a Hooters waitress who received a tonne of tips from male customers who found her attractive. Meanwhile, a promotional clip for the episode, which also featured musical guest Kacey Musgraves and SNL cast member Heidi Gardner, had Sweeney poking fun at herself and her fan base.

“Weirdly, a lot of my fans are men,” she said, to which Musgraves replied: “Hmm, I wonder why.”

Speaking to The Independent in 2022, The White Lotus actor said she believes there’s “a stigma against actresses who get naked on screen”. “When a guy has a sex scene or shows his body, he still wins awards and gets praise. But the moment a girl does it, it’s completely different,” she said.

The two-time Emmy nominee also admitted how it “bothers” her that most of the attention surrounding her performance is focused on her nude scenes. “I’m very proud of my work in Euphoria. I thought it was a great performance. But no one walks about it because I got naked,” she said.

“I do The White Lotus and all of a sudden critics are paying attention. People are loving me. They’re going, ‘Oh my God, what’s she doing next?’ I was like, ‘Did you not see that in Euphoria? Did you not see that in The Handmaid’s Tale?’”

Sweeney currently stars in the horror film Immaculate, in which she also served as a producer, as devout American nun Cecilia who joins an Italian convent. Immaculate hits theatres in the US on 22 March.