Camila Mendes, aka Veronica Lodge in Riverdale, has shared her battle with an eating disorder with model Candice Huffine at Popsugar Playground in New York over the weekend, as Who reports.
Mendes spoke candidly about being “in denial” about her mental health issues, only realising that she was also suffering when she came on board with eating disorder support non-profit Project HEAL, after years in Hollywood.
“I don’t even think I knew I had an eating disorder until I was in the industry,” she said.
Her older sister had also struggled with bulimia, which made her doubt the legitimacy of her own experience.
“I had this mentality … [my sister’s] situation was a lot more serious than mine so I’d always find comparisons like, ‘Oh, I’m not like that so I must not have an eating disorder like I just purge every once in a while, it’s not a big deal, right?’”
Mendes became aware that she needed professional help when she became “overwhelm[ed]” during fittings for Riverdale, particularly two-hour ones where she had to try on clothes she wouldn’t wear in her everyday life, like short skirts and tight dresses.
I started to see a therapist and started getting serious about recovery when I couldn’t get through a fitting.
It was like so the opposite of what I like to wear and it was really uncomfortable. It made me really insecure, so it got to a point where I couldn’t get through a fitting. Thirty minutes in, I was crying … I was like, ‘Why don’t things fit me a certain way?’
Ultimately she said she “highly recommend[s]” seeing a therapist. And hell yes, girl, say it!!! Therapy is great!!!
In an Instagram post from early last year, Camila Mendes revealed her “anxiety around food and obsession with dieting“, before speaking to Shape later in the year about suffering from bulimia and how talking to a therapist changed her life.
“I had such an emotional relationship with food and anxiety about everything I put into my body,” she said.
“About a year ago, I got to a point when I realised I needed to see someone. So I went to a therapist, and she recommended a nutritionist as well, and seeing both of them changed my life.”
Source: WhoView this post on Instagram
When did being thin become more important than being healthy? I recently went to a naturopath for the first time in my life. I told her about my anxiety around food and my obsession with dieting. She phrased a pivotal question in such a way that struck a chord with me: what other things could you be thinking about if you didn't spend all your time thinking about your diet? I suddenly remembered all the activities I love that used to occupy my time. At some point in my life, I allowed my obsession with being thin to consume me, and I refused to make room in my mind for any other concerns. Somehow I had stripped myself of all the pastimes that brought me joy, and all that was left of me was my anxiety around food. My passion for education, cinema, music, etc. — all the interests that used to occupy my mind — had been eaten away by my desire to be thin, and it made me miserable. I'm done believing in the idea that there's a thinner, happier version of me on the other side of all the tireless effort. Your body type is subject to genetics, and while eating nutrient-dense foods and exercising regularly will make you healthier, it will not necessarily make you thinner, and the current system fails to make that distinction. I’m sick of the toxic narrative that the media consistently feeds us: that being thin is the ideal body type. A healthy body is the ideal body type, and that will look different for every person. I’m #donewithdieting – join me in this movement and share your story!
Image: Getty Images / Lars Niki