Riverdale’s Camila Mendes Opens Up About Eating Disorder Battle
And now she hopes to share her message of body positivity.
She plays the cool and confident Veronica Lodge in cult-hit series Riverdale, but Camila Mendes has revealed there was a time when she wasn’t so sure of herself.
Speaking to Marie Claire Malaysia in a raw interview for the June 2018 issue, the 23-year-old opened up about suffering body image issues in her late teens and how she finally came to love herself, flaws and all.
"When I grew up, I was obsessed with being thin. I always wanted to be lean, and then I went to college, I noticed my body was changing and it made me feel out of control but I didn't understand it," she said.
At that time, there weren't many voices out there that championed curvier body types. But now, we see models like Ashley Graham who are encouraging women to embrace being unique, and that made me let go of the standard that was established so long ago -- that thin is the only type of beautiful.
While she didn’t believe she had a problem at the time, she stressed that eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes, and just because someone may look healthy doesn’t mean they couldn't be suffering from disordered eating.
"There is the common misconception that when you have an eating disorder, you are really skinny, and that's not the case at all — it's actually quite the opposite," she said. "People don't know that you don't necessarily have to look like you have an eating disorder to have one. And because I was never that skinny, I never thought that I did."
Fans across social media were quick to praise the actress for using her platform to bring awareness to the issue, which according to the National Eating Disorders Collaboration affects an estimated 16% of the Australian population.
It’s not the first time Mendes has spoken out on mental health issues, with the star recently pairing up alongside Project Heal to bring recognition to eating disorders and raise money to fund treatment for those who can’t afford it.
"I think the biggest message through Project Heal is to let the public know just how high the costs really are to get to treatment, and how an eating disorder is not recognised as a mental illness when, in fact, it is one of the deadliest mental illnesses there is."
You go, girl.
For further information about eating disorders contact the Butterfly Foundation National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 or email support@ .