“Riverdale” star Camila Mendes was in denial about needing help for her eating disorder until her career as an actress took off.
“I don’t even think I knew I had an eating disorder until I was in the industry,” Mendes, 24, said during a panel discussion with model Candice Huffine at PopSugar Play/Ground on Saturday, adding that she downplayed her own struggles because her sister was also bulimic.
“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?’”
It wasn’t until she got involved with Project Heal, a non-profit organization that raises money to help people recovering from eating disorders, that she realized she had a disorder herself.
“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve been in denial about my issues,’” she said. After she began acting on the hit CW show “Riverdale,” did she finally seek help. “I started to see a therapist and started getting serious about recovery when I couldn’t get through a fitting.”
Mendes explained that every few episodes she had a two-hour fitting that was “overwhelming” because she was trying on clothes her character would wear that she normally would not, like tight dresses, short skirts and outfits that showed a lot of skin.
“It was like so the opposite of what I like to wear and it was really uncomfortable,” She said. “It made me really insecure, so it got to a point where I couldn’t get through a fitting. 30 minutes in, I was crying … I was like, ‘Why don’t things fit me a certain way.’”
But the agonizing fittings pushed her to find a solution to her body image issues.
“That’s when I made a change and I started seeing a therapist and I highly recommend it,” she told the crowd.
Mendes first revealed her struggle with an eating disorder in 2018.
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