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Camila Mendes battled eating disorder during ‘Riverdale’ filming

The actress opened up about her struggles with body image and an eating disorder on the ‘Going Mental’ podcast.

The actress opened up about her struggles with body image and an eating disorder on the ‘Going Mental’ podcast.
Kevin TachmanGetty Images

Camila Mendes has revealed she spent years battling an eating disorder after struggling with body issues since childhood.

The 28-year-old played Veronica Lodge on The CW teen drama ‘Riverdale’, for which she won the Teen Choice Award for Choice Scene Stealer in 2017.

Despite the success on screen, Mendes has opened up about her struggles off it. In an interview with Eileen Kelly on the ‘Going Mental’ podcast, the actress explained that she’s struggled with body image issues since she was a child, and that things only got worse when she began filming the first season of ‘Riverdale’.

“I would watch every episode and be like, ‘Oh my God, my stomach there…’ I was so insecure and it really fueled my eating disorder,” said Mendes.

“I had one at various points in my life. A little bit in high school, towards the end of senior year, and then a little bit in college, and then it came back [during] Season 1 of Riverdale.

“When you’re in your early 20s, your body is fluctuating, my body hadn’t settled into itself yet. I was looking at myself, taking myself apart, my stomach, you know, my arms, my chin, anything — I would obsess over [it].

It got in the way of my acting, because when I was acting on camera … it really f****s with your process.”

Mendes sought help

Mendes said that she began to see a therapist to help her with her eating disorder, as well as a nutritionist due to her “fear of bread”.

“I was really afraid of eating carbs,” Mendes said. “And what would happen is I would avoid it for a long period of time and then I would binge and eat a bunch and then purge.

“So it was this terrible cycle, and she helped me overcome that by reintroducing bread into my life to be like, ‘See, it’s not going to kill you.’ Now, it’s something that rarely comes up in therapy.”

Mendes has learned to love her body since then, posting an inspirational message on her Instagram account back in 2018.

“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,” she wrote. “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.”

She added: “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.”