Riverdale’s Camila Mendes on Why She’s Done With Dieting: ‘I’m Sick of the Toxic Narrative’

Camila Mendes from CW's 'Riverdale' poses for a portrait during Comic-Con 2017 at Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, California.
Camila Mendes from CW's 'Riverdale' poses for a portrait during Comic-Con 2017 at Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, California. Robby Klein/Getty Images

Truth time. Riverdale star Camila Mendes opened up about her past struggles with body image and revealed why she’s done dieting.

“When did being thin become more important than being healthy?” the 23-year-old actress began in a lengthy post on Monday, February 19, via Instagram. “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,” Mendes continued. “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.”

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!

A post shared by Camila Mendes (@camimendes) on

Mendes then explained that she is ready to accept her body and encouraged her six million Instagram followers to join her.

“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,” she wrote. “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!”

This is not the first time that The CW actress has started a conversation about body image via social media. Mendes announced her involvement with Project HEAL in October 2017 and opened up about her struggle with eating disorders: “Growing up, I watched my big sister suffer from one for many years, and I’ve experienced periods in my life when I’ve suffered symptoms as well. I’m joining Project HEAL to help break the stigma associated with eating disorders.”

Project HEAL provides financial and emotional support for people suffering from eating disorders and their #donewithdieting campaign encourages social media users to share their stories about why they have stopped dieting.

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