Walking Dead alum Emily Kinney recently released a new music album and one song in particular, titled "Skinny," has made an impact for its seemingly controversial approach to body image issues. Kinney, who's spent the past few years focusing heavily on her folk-pop artistry, recently sat down for an interview with Yahoo Entertainment on Sirius XM and shared that fans and friends alike have reached out to her about the song. "Like, even close friends have reached out specifically about 'Skinny.' And it's interesting because I wasn't anticipating that, actually."
In the song, Kinney sings candidly, "I wanna be skinny, let my bones show/Let the world grow while I am shrinking/I wanna be beautiful, I’m constantly in fear." She later expresses the struggle of her own self-perception, singing, "You’re a smart, pretty catch, quite a winner/If you were just a few pounds thinner." Commenting on how the emotional tune has struck a chord with fans rather than one of her more romantic tracks, Kinney said, "I always think my more love-song-type things will catch on."
Kinney starred in The Walking Dead from 2011 until 2015, playing Beth Greene, the daughter of Scott Wilson's Hershel Greene. She says that it was Wilson's death in 2018 that sparked an "epiphany" for her, leading her to craft her new album, The Supporting Character. Kinney explained that the album's overall narrative is told "through the perspective of analyzing different things about my life, through the lens of being an actor — because I do feel my auditioning and my work as an actor has shaped my life in a very specific way."
She continued, "It has influenced the relationships that I have. It's influenced how I process relationships, how I'm able to be present or not present. … And I do feel like so much of my acting career feels very out of control. I find myself at the mercy of the push and pull and the ups and downs of getting a job, or not getting a job. And in a way, I feel like my music is my way of like making myself my own lead — the lead of my album."
Going on to speak more specifically about using "Skinny" to open up about her body image struggles, Kinney explained that a big portion of it comes from working in the entertainment industry. "There's not a lot that you can control about whether or not someone picks you [for a role]. And so, I start to think, 'Well, what can I fix?'"
She later added, "I remember when I wrote "Skinny," the question that I was having in my head was many times coming back to this control thing. Truly, I was weighing myself really often — and if I'd gained a few pounds, it'd ruin my day. And then I just started to feel like, 'This is ridiculous.'" The Supporting Character is out now and available to stream or purchase on most music services.