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The Sad Reason Why Meryl Streep Can't Watch Her Old Movies

Jack Mitchell

Very few stars in Hollywood have a track record as impressive as Meryl Streep's.

The actress has been an Oscar contender since her performance in the 1978 film The Deer Hunter, and so far, she has taken home three of the coveted golden statuettes.

As of 2018, for the second year in a row she broke her own record by becoming the most nominated actor in the history of the Academy Awards with 21 nominations.

Streep, who many critics consider the greatest living actress, has appeared in more than 60 films, dozens of television shows, and several theatrical productions.

While the 69-year-old film icon is proud of the work she has put into her career, she doesn't really like to look back at her extensive filmography.

While attending the annual Montclar Film Fundraiser in New Jersey, Streep revealed the heartbreaking reason why she doesn't like taking a trip down memory lane when it comes to the work she's done in the past.

The actress confessed that watching her earlier works reminds her of the insecurities she harbored at the time, especially about the way she looked.

“I’ll come upon a movie I’m in, and I’m very young and very beautiful. But I was so unhappy,” she said, according to Vanity Fair. “I thought my nose was too big. I thought I was fat. Because these are the things that people tell you.”

Despite being told to present herself in a certain way to book roles, Streep never conformed to the beauty standards of Hollywood.

In fact, the Mammia Mia! Here We Go Again star would pick roles that put less emphasis on her beauty and more on her talent.

“I could play older when I was young. I could play a man in Angels in America. I could screw around with how I looked,” she told Stephen Colbert at the event. “Which to me is a political act: to say ‘it’s not always going to attract your lust or your interest, or anything to do with ingratiation.’”

As proven by the characters she portrayed in films like The Devil Wears Prada (2006), The Iron Lady (2011), Into the Woods (2014), and Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), Streep is a chameleonic actress who has not once shied away from fully disappearing into a role by physically transforming herself.

If only Steep knew back then that she had so many girls and women admiring her. Not only did they see her as talented and smart, she was and still is a "timeless beauty," as supermodel Cindy Crawford put it.

Meryl Streep as the Witch in "Into the Woods"Disney

The 52-year-old admitted that she looked up to Streep as a young girl with dreams of making a career out of modeling. "I really looked up to, of course, beautiful women like Marilyn Monroe and I loved Jane Fonda and Meryl Streep," she told Vogue UK.

Streep's past insecurities are something that many women, both in and outside of Hollywood, can relate to. There are so many unrealistic beauty standards that women are expected to meet, and when that doesn't happen, it can take a heavy toll on a person's confidence and mental health.

So ladies, don't be too hard on yourself now. You don't want to look back 20 or 30 years from now and see someone who wasn't happy.

What's your favorite Meryl Streep film?

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.