Camila Mendes Says She Was Obsessed With Being Thin & This Is So Relatable

If Hollywood ever needed a shakeup in its younger variety, the cast of Riverdale has proven that it's time, and they're here to usher in the more vulnerable future. Lili Reinhart, who portrays Betty on the show, has been extremely vocal about her struggle with mental health and the downsides of adult acne. Cole Sprouse, a well known face for the Millennial generation, has been unapologetic about the amount of people who creep on him by dedicating Instagram space to people attempting to take photos of him. And the lovely Camila Mendes, the one and only Veronica Lodge, has been honest about her mental health and her struggle with eating disorders.

In a recent interview with Marie Claire Malaysia, the actress opened up about the pressures of society and the impact it's had on her. "When I grew up, I was obsessed with being thin. I always wanted to be lean, and when I went to college, I noticed my body was changing and it made me feel out of control but I didn’t understand it. I thought I was just gaining a lot of weight.”

She continued, "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.”

This is a problem that many girls face, especially in the social media generation. We're programed to think that thin is best and that it totally changes your life for the better if you are. I myself understand this mentality, as I have fought for quite some time to stop believing that being thin is a contributing factor in my overall worth. It's refreshing to hear someone in the public eye be so open about this struggle. 

Mendes is also working heavily with Project HEAL, an organization that works towards raising funds for necessary treatment and raising awareness of eating disorders. “I think the biggest message through Project Heal is to let the public know just how high the costs really are to get treatment, and how an eating disorder is not recognized as a mental illness when in fact, it is one of the deadliest mental illnesses there is. I also struggled with this illness, and although mine is not as serious as my sister’s, I went through phases in my life, and the hardest thing for me was acknowledging that I had an illness. Because when you have a sister that grew up with an eating disorder, you kind of compare yours to hers, and I would think ‘oh mine is not that bad’. And there is the common misconception that when you have an eating disorder, you are really skinny, and that is not the case at all, it’s actually quite the opposite. 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 [have the disorder].”

I commend Camila Mendes for speaking out about the struggle with body image that so many of us face. She's working towards being more open about the mental health aspect of it and breaking the stigma in discussing it. It's important for those in the limelight to champion important causes and let others know that treatment is possible, and that standards are changing.