Warning: This article discusses body dysmorphia, and also contains spoilers for Ginny & Georgia Season 2.
Season 2 of the popular teen drama, Ginny & Georgia, delves deeper into mental health issues surrounding adolescents. In Season 1, audiences watch as Abby (Katie Douglas) struggles with body dysmorphia and tapes her legs to make them appear more slender.
Abby begins taping her legs after high schooler Matt Press (Damian Romeo) comments on her body.
The Netflix series explores how these issues can develop through seemingly harmless comments and how they can trigger someone.
In Season 2, Abby and Press begin dating and their relationship is further explored as we learn more about Abby’s view of herself. As she and Press get closer, Press discovers that Abby has been taping her legs.
So why does she do this and how does that affect her relationship with Press? In an exclusive interview with Distractify, actor Damian Romeo opened up about the Ginny & Georgia storyline.
Abby tapes her legs in ‘Ginny & Georgia’ due to her body dysmorphia.
Abby’s body dysmorphia is first explored in Season 1 after Press calls her “whale legs.” Though she tries to shake ofr the comment by saying “whales don’t have legs,” the off-handed remark sticks with Abby.
In another scene, audiences watch as Abby, who is objectively a tiny young woman, tapes her thighs under her jeans to accentuate her “thigh gap.” With Ginny & Georgia’s return, these scenes are a hot topic of conversation on TikTok.
In an interview with Variety, showrunner Debra J. Fisher says that the inspiration comes from her own team. “We had several people on our creative team with that lived experience,” she told the outlet, referring to taping legs.
When we look at fashion trends, the “thigh gap” has gone in and out of style since the 1990s, but is also a completely unrealistic view of women’s bodies. In fact, on The Doctors, Dr. Travis Stork and Dr. Andrew Ordon discuss how a thigh gap actually has nothing to do with your body size, but your body structure, and that it’s a “genetic phenomenon” that causes “unrealistic expectations.”
'Ginny & Georgia' actor talks Press's relationship with Abby in Season 2.
While Press may be one of the many causes that contribute to Abby’s body dysmorphia, Damian is very progressive and open about mental health and how words matter.
“I think that what Ginny & Georgia does really well, and why it's so successful, is that it talks about topics that are taboo that normally don't get represented,” he told us. “And a lot of people experience these things, especially when it comes to mental health.”
As far as Press’s reaction to Abby, Damian expressed, “I think he's taken aback. I think it's the first time he really sees that maybe his off-the-cuff remarks and jokes really sting and get to people in a way that they think about it for a long time. Words can do that to people.”
Damian is familiar with this feeling because of his own experiences, especially with his rising fame.
“One negative comment can flood out 100 positive comments, especially for me as a person,” he told us. “That's why I try to stay away from social media. And sometimes people can just be genuinely mean on the internet because there are no repercussions for what they say. People wouldn't say it in person.”
And while Damian understands Abby’s struggles in Ginny & Georgia, his character isn’t quite as empathetic… yet.
“I think Press is shocked because it is the first time he sees that she’s been doing that,” Damian said. “And then he calls her ‘whale legs’ again. Press’s communication skills are zero. I think he's trying to be playful and funny about it.”
Well, hopefully in Season 3, the character will change his ways.
'Ginny & Georgia' actor Damian Romeo opens up about his own mental health struggles.
Damian has had his own brushes with body dysmorphia, which is rarely talked about when it comes to men.
“I totally understand body dysmorphia and people who don't feel like they fit in the skin that they have and that they're ashamed of their bodies,” he explained. “When I was 12 or 13, I was short, and I was pretty chubby, and I can remember feeling really, really sad that I wasn't in control of my weight. I got bullied for my weight when I was younger.”
Even now, while Damian is trending on social media due to his shirtless scene in Ginny & Georgia, he revealed that he still has his own insecurities. “For me, there's a difference between being fit, and then having abs like that, and it takes a while," he shared.
“So for two and a half weeks, I focused on my diet and my exercise regime and I went all out so that when I ripped my shirt off for the show, I looked fit… I think half of that had to do with my own image of my body," he continued. "I wanted to showcase the best side of myself to the world. And I walk around pretty lean but not shredded," adding, "I think that's an unreal estimation of someone.”
Ginny & Georgia Season 2 is now available to stream on Netflix.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder or body dysmorphia, call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.