Riverdale's Camila Mendes Is 'Done Dieting' After Eating Disorder Struggles

By Victoria Kim 02/22/18

The 23-year-old actress says her obsession with thinness made her “miserable,” and had “eaten away” her passions for film, music, and more.

Camila Mendes

Camila Mendes is the latest star to join the body positivity movement, which promotes healthy body image and includes all body types.

The 23-year-old star of Riverdale announced that she’s “done dieting,” after revealing last October that she has long struggled with eating disorders.

“When did being thin become more important than being healthy?” she wrote in a Monday (Feb. 19) Instagram post.

Mendes shared how with the help of a naturopath, she was able to see how distorted her view of dieting was. She continued: “[My naturopath] 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?”

This made the actress realize that her obsession with thinness made her “miserable,” and had “eaten away” her passions for film, music, and more. “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,” she wrote.

At their worst, eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can cause thinning of the bones; damage to the heart, brain, and other organs; infertility, and death. Eating disorders are defined by the National Institute of Mental Health as “serious and often fatal illnesses that cause severe disturbances to a person’s eating behaviors.”

Mendes said that the “current system” fails to promote healthy nutrition, instead spreading skewed information about what a healthy body looks like. “I’m sick of the toxic narrative that the media consistently feeds us: that being thin is the ideal body type,” said Mendes. “A healthy body is the ideal body type, and that will look different for every person.”

Now that she’s addressing her anxiety around food and dieting, Mendes said, “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.”

Last October, the Riverdale actress announced her partnership with Project HEAL, a non-profit organization dedicated to funding treatment for eating disorders. At the time she revealed that both she and her older sister struggled with eating disorders. Through her work with Project HEAL, Mendes said she hopes to “help break the stigma associated with eating disorders.”

Mendes joins a host of other actresses, artists and musicians—like Demi Lovato, who herself is in recovery from eating disorders, model Ashley Graham and actress Danielle Brooks of Orange is The New Black—who are ditching old beauty standards for a movement that celebrates healthy and happy bodies no matter what they look like.

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