Jane Fonda talks to Bazaar about bulimia, body image, dongs & Lindsay Lohan


Jane Fonda is shilling a new book,Prime Time, so she’s going to be making the interview rounds starting now. She sat down for a piece with Harper’s Bazaar for the September issue, and as much as I wanted to roll my eyes, I actually found much of the piece fascinating. You can read the whole Bazaar piece here, and some highlights are below. I know that some of you are going to bring up Vietnam and Hanoi Jane and all of the stuff that gets recycled endlessly whenever Jane’s name is mentioned. Here’s the thing: I do think Jane was really stupid back then, and her actions were ridiculous and completely inappropriate, if not criminal. But I also think that if Robert McNamara gets away with the “fog of war” excuse, maybe we should cut Jane a little slack, especially since her many, many apologies have seemed sincere and honest. That’s just my opinion.

Her 1970 mug shot for “drug smuggling” (they were vitamins): “It was like I had Richard Avedon in that jailhouse taking my mug shot; it’s a beautiful mug shot,” she pronounces. “My hair was in Klute mode. About four years ago, I went to the Sally Hershberger salon in New York and one entire wall, like six feet, was my mug shot!”

On her many changes over the years: In her new book, Prime Time, Fonda mentions daughter Vanessa’s suggestion that she illustrate the cover with a chameleon. “That was the rap on me,” she says. “When I was researching myself, I wondered, is there a ‘there’ there? Or am I just a hollow person who gets filled up by whatever man I’m with?” (She is currently dating music producer Richard Perry.) “I’m fine with women. My problem is always with men — you know, pleasing a man, turning myself into a pretzel to be who the man I’m with wants me to be. I’m not saying that that’s gone away 100 percent, but maybe 90 percent, 95 percent even.”

Jane’s Third Act: “Instead of viewing an arch — you rise, you peak, you decline — view it as a staircase,” she explains. “Your body may fall apart, but on every level that really matters, you can ascend toward enlightenment, wisdom, and authenticity. That’s what I’m going for.” Fonda is climbing the “staircase” two at a time. Prime Time is filled with advice ranging from pragmatic (“Figure out a baseline budget”) to penile. (“The penis starts to get smaller with age.”) What makes it so readable is her advice comes filtered through her personal experience.

Body image, the 1950s, and Henry Fonda: “I was raised in the ’50s,” she explains. “I was taught by my father that how I looked was all that mattered, frankly. He was a good man, and I was mad for him, but he sent messages to me that fathers should not send: Unless you look perfect, you’re not going to be loved.”

She was a fanatic for exercise, and she battled bulimia for decades: “I wasn’t very happy from, I would say, puberty to 50? It took me a long time. It was in my 40s, and if you suffer from bulimia, the older you get, the worse it gets. It takes longer to recover from a bout. I had a career, I was winning awards, I was supporting nonprofits, I had a family.” One day she just stopped. “I had to make a choice: I live or I die.” She refocused, trying to “fill that empty space with something.” Then came the workouts. “Gloria Steinem said empowerment begins in the muscles.”

She still exercises: In 30 years, Fonda has sold more than 17 million fitness books and videos, with Fit & Strong and Walk Out the latest. “I have a six-pack back,” she laughs about modeling a backless number in Naomi Campbell’s Fashion for Relief runway show in Cannes. “I don’t do lunges, though, because I have a fake knee and a fake hip. I set off as many bells and whistles at an airport as I did on that runway!”

Vanities: “I’m vain. My arms are thin, but I’m vain about loose flesh. And so I’m careful that what I wear will show off my best parts, which are my waist and my butt.” That said, “I have people in my life who will say, ‘Honey, you’re trying too hard.’ I like being saucy, but I’m 73 and a half. I’m still trying to find my way between matronly and coltishness. Colt, not cult: C-O-L-T.”

Jane’s thoughts on Lindsay Lohan: “I have nothing but compassion for her. I don’t think she has ever experienced a chaos-free life.” Leaving Hollywood would help. “It would require someone to put their arms around her and take her away someplace, maybe New Zealand, where she had absolutely no temptation. She would have to be surrounded with love.”

[From Harper’s Bazaar]

It’s interesting that she still won’t say one bad word about her father. Everyone else has talked sh-t about what a bastard Henry Fonda was in real life, but Jane has never gotten on that bandwagon. I also like Jane’s thoughts on Linnocent – the subtext being that Linnocent will never “get better” if she stays in Hollywood, or New York, or any place where she has easy access to a dealer. Of course, you could drop Linnocent in the Sahara and she would find something to snort.




Photos courtesy of WENN

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38 Responses to “Jane Fonda talks to Bazaar about bulimia, body image, dongs & Lindsay Lohan”

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  1. Chloe says:

    “I was raised in the ’50s,” she explains. “I was taught by my father that how I looked was all that mattered, frankly. He was a good man, and I was mad for him, but he sent messages to me that fathers should not send: Unless you look perfect, you’re not going to be loved.”

    Isn’t this what the majority of the cosmetic industry, Hollywood and fashion magazines are still saying? Maybe the notion of “looking perfect” evolved a bit (not much, if you asked me) but the message is still there.

  2. Cherry says:

    Jane is a beautiful woman, and probably a nice lady, but she doesn’t strike me as particularly intelligent or interesting, to be frank. Her advice to Lindsay Lohan is exemplary. ‘She would have to be surrounded with love.’ Come on.

    I keep hearing her talk about dieting, exercising and plastical surgery in all her interviews. I suppose she’s an expert on that, but it’s a bit sad that apparently, her primary life goal has always been to be slim and pretty. And that she, as a 70+ year old, still feels the need to talk about that for most of the time the gets interviewed. It also doesn’t make her the most suitable person to give advice to Linnocent, by the way.

  3. The Truth Fairy says:

    I LOVED her in 9 to 5!

  4. mln76 says:

    I love Jane Fonda’s stories-love it when she talks about Kate Hepburn taunting her when she won her fourth Oscar saying ‘You’ll never catch me now!’ and I love it when she talks about how much she worshiped her dad. Old Hollywood and 60’s dirt always trumps Lohan crapola.

  5. tiki says:

    fonda has never been out in front leading the parade. she has hopped on whatever passing bandwagon she believed would best promote her self-interest at that time. she’s been the poster child for each decade. the 50’s, a sex symbol. the 60’s and 70’s, a war protester and social activist. the 80’s, a fitness promoter. the 90’s, a mogul’s wife. currently, the face of the ‘sexy’ senior citizen. she’s the consummate hollywood elitist. full of herself and little else. i don’t wish her ill. i just wish she would go away.

  6. rebecca says:

    Oh, very good, Tiki! That completely sums up my feelings about her – very well-observed.

  7. Micki says:

    May be it’s her character ot her age but I like her frankness about vanity and body image and so on. I think 95% of us are vain but the half is going to sell the BS “I’m naturally thin, don’t have to diet, hate workouts, the kids make me run around like a hamster…the other half will chant “all natural”, healthy, bio bla bla lifestyle and workouts that only prove one KNOWS what discipline IS…

  8. ladybert62 says:

    I do like the polka-dot picture and I dont like the other pictures in which she seems to be shoving that butt in everyone’s faces.

    I liked her staircase analogy and will think on that one.

    I do think she was a good actress and wished she did more acting rather than politicing and pushing exercise videos.

    I am really tired of actors telling me how to think and vote.

    If I had all the money and time she has, I would also be beautiful through plastic surgery and skinny through exercise and personal trainers.

    Her vietnam stunt was misguided and she has paid her dues in that area.

  9. ladybert62 says:

    I agree 100% with tiki! Well said!

  10. gee says:

    Jane Fonda supported the North Vietnamese and met with American POWs who were being tortured and did nothing. She CONTINUED to support the North Vietnamese after that, positing on aircraft, calling Americans war criminals. She is treasonous and should be hanged. Those men were being tortured and many POWs were murdered so she could act like a big freaking fool. She has no respect and absolutely NO IDEA what it is like to be a real American. Even those who were against the war wanted the soldiers home and safe, and she didn’t care about multiple POWs suffering in her presence.

    I loathe her.

  11. sarahberra says:

    All I know about Jane is that my Vietnam vet in uncle loathes her after what she did in that POW camp during the Vietnam war. And my uncle is a big teddy bear so for him to hate someone is a bug deal

  12. serena says:

    She would snort sand LOL that’s Linnocent for you.

  13. Goofpuff says:

    She looks amazing for her age, but I agree with Tiki. So tired of her fakeness.

  14. Laura says:

    She’s kissed Stephen Colbert and sat in his lap. I am forever jealous.

  15. Original Tiffany says:

    Well, she’s right about the dongs. The little old men in the hospitals usually just have a little baby turtle with it’s helmet head poking out. BTW, the first one I saw like that freaked me the f out!
    Ha! At least we only get saggy boobs. They get their most prized possession shrinky-dinked:)

  16. Lady D says:

    I bought one of her work-out videos in ’85. It’s what I use to get in shape after slacking. I think aerobics is one of the best forms of exercise out there. It sure works for me. Can’t believe the tape still works. Talk about bang for your buck. The outfits on the class are a real hoot too.

  17. Bess says:

    I think what Ms. Fonda was trying to say about Lohan is that she needs to be protected from her enablers- including her blood-sucking family.

  18. Kimbob says:

    “Your body may fall apart, but on every level that really matters, you can ascend toward enlightenment, wisdom, and authenticity. That’s what I’m going for.” (I really like this quote, & as I age, this is my aim, as well.)

    I know Jane may not be the brightest bulb in the pack of lights, I know what she did in Vietnam can be termed, “treason.” Nonetheless, I think I may peruse Prime Time if I have the chance. I’m sure it IS an interesting read. My Mom once told me to always listen, be respectful to elders, because although I may not agree w/them, I can always learn from them. I think this may be the case w/her book.

  19. Emily says:

    @ Cherry & Tiki, I totally agree, great points.

  20. TQB says:

    I’m glad so many of you never made a mistake in your youth such that you can continue to condemn someone (treason? Seriously?) for something they’ve been apologizing over for 40 years.

    Jane is a neat lady. Sometimes she’s frustrating (talking about being judged by looks alone but still basically supporting that by relentless fitness and surgery) but sometimes she speaks with great wisdom and experience. If there is one person in hollywood who *does* know what Lindsey is going through, it’s Jane. There are many sordid details of her childhood and youth that are far worse than Lohan’s, but she’s still alive. At this rate, surviving to 73 should be Lindsey’s big goal.

  21. kmct319 says:

    Well said, TQB. We all change, and hopefully for the better. She shouldn’t continue to be judged for the mistakes of her past anymore than the rest of us should. I liked her last book. I admire her for not being afraid to admit the insecurities she’s suffered through the years. I hope I look as good as she does at 73 and would flaunt it too.

  22. gee says:

    TQB: Her youth?? She was in her 30s. And it was treasonous. Get a dictionary.

  23. Ari says:

    I swear by her VHS and now DVDs lol…but I simply can’t keep “up” with the slowness any more. I need something better which is why I love my Xbox 260 (pets Kinect) but yeah I never gave much thought to her war dis-efforts because to be quite honest – it was dumb but so was that war. My dad sure as hell wasn’t thinking about this broad when he was over there either, so why should I?

  24. Cheyenne says:

    A friend of mine was a Marine in Vietnam during the war. He is usually the sweetest, most even-tempered guy you would ever want to meet, but mention Jane Fonda’s name to him and he turns into Attila the Hun.

    That said, for a 73-and-counting woman, she looks absolutely great.

  25. e.non says:

    well, actually, fonda is correct about this country committing war crimes – from chemical warfare, bombing civilian targets, to torture. but, you know, it’s so much easier to blame a 70something woman who had the audacity to speak out.

    and, fwiw, she’s been a social activist for decades and continues to work with programs that empower young women. not to mention the work she did on behalf of the veterans who despise her.

  26. xxodettexx says:

    “hanoi jane!! wahhhh!”

    i mean, come on, some people need to learn how to move on… and YES i have actual family members that served in vietnam and i tell them the same thing: how about you get mad at YOUR GOVERNMENT for putting you through one of the most horrific wars in recent memory? anyway, think she definitely made some mistakes and i always hope i am not judged in the future for my immature past!

  27. gee says:

    I cant believe some of you people. I hope your brother, father, husband, or whomever is never a POW and none of them ever have an idiot celebrity laugh in their faces. Some of you are just as disgusting as she is.

  28. Cheyenne says:

    I got her Workout Book the year it was published. I did the advanced workout and lost ten pounds in two weeks.

  29. Jollytr says:

    If America can forgive the thousands of men that dodged the VN draft and the thousands who committed civil disobedience in opposition to the war, why can’t Jane be forgiven. She actually has apologized, repented and done alot of work for VN vets! I have family members who were hurt and/or killed in WWII and I’ve got no grudge against anyone from Germany or Japan for pity sake.

  30. mln76 says:

    Are we really fighting the Vietnam war all over again? My uncle was a Vietnam vet-he still suffers from PTSD pretty much never lived a ‘normal’ life do to what he saw there. Jane was tone deaf and insensitive but was she wrong that the US was committing war crimes-Absolutley not even Macnamara admits it.

  31. tiki says:

    i advise those who are ignorant of fonda’s activities during vietnam to refrain from commenting on what occurred. the woman was entitled to her anti-war opinion, thanks to the u.s. constitution. what she was not entitled to do was to betray pow’s and to spread propaganda both on u.s. and north vietnamese soil. she could have used her clout to help returning vets deal with the trauma they experienced in vietnam. instead, she propagated the lie that the majority of servicemen had committed atrocities while in country. for me, as the wife of a vet who served in vietnam and the sister of a vet who, to this day, suffers from the injuries he sustained in vietnam, fonda’s unforgivable act was the laughter and hand-clapping she displayed as she sat in a north vietnamese anti-aircraft gun that was used to shoot down american planes. she didn’t merely examine the weapon. she laughed and clapped. i will never forgive her for that.

  32. alex says:

    I live in New Zealand and we have a binge drinking culture plus lots of weed. If lindsay came here she would be in the same situation.

  33. John Wayne Lives says:

    @ Tiki… perfect assesment imo
    @gee… yes, yes, and yes.

    And btw people. Who the F*CK cares if she’s “apologised”? wow, what a winner. Still has American blood on her hands.

    I know the same anti-Jane stuff always gets brought up, but some wounds and traitorous acts are to gross and deliberate and painful to be easily forgotten.

    And I would like to add, being a protester or a pacifict is a world away from being a traitor.

  34. Vickyb says:

    On a slightly lighter note, I didn’t realise until I looked at her wiki page that she was baptised Lady Jayne Seymour Fonda. Geeeeeeez, her first name is Lady!!!!! This is infinitely more crazy than half the celebrity names out there now!! It is practically Anne Boleyn Beckham. Or Oliver Cromwell Kidman. Hilarious.

  35. vicky says:

    @ Tiki… perfect assesment imo
    @ gee… yes, yes, and yes.
    @ John DITTO everything you said.

    Just got back from my husbands VN reunion last night and I’ve seen the damage it caused.

    “Jane Fonda” is a name not ever spoken in our house. I wish her all the pain she has caused our service personnel!!

  36. maggiegrace says:

    Good god people, move on. Jeez.

  37. Erin says:

    Like most all of the older actresses in Hollywood, all she can talk about is how she looks. She is simply obsessed with it. Never cared for her and never will.

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