Lili Reinhart got honest about her body image struggles as a way to help others feel seen.
“I wish there were more average sized arms represented in mainstream media for women. My body dysmorphia has been going crazy because I feel like my arms need to be half the size they are currently?” the actress, 27, wrote via X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday, September 14. “We’ve glamorized these skinny arms that, for most of us, can only be achieved if you’re a literal adolescent.”
Reinhart added that she “truly wonder[s] how anyone survives or gets through this life without having severe” body dysmorphia.
“Maybe it’s a cruel amplified version in combination with my OCD, but damn,” she continued. “The amount of time I’ve wasted thinking about my arms in the last few months is insane. I wanted to throw my own thoughts out there to let other women know they aren’t alone.”
Reinhart is known for using her platform as a way to address mental health issues — while offering support to anyone feeling the same way. After skyrocketing to fame for her portrayal as Betty Cooper on The CW’s Riverdale, Reinhart opened up about facing insecurities while filming a hit network show.
“Actually, not everyone on this show is perfectly chiseled,” she replied to a viewer on Twitter in February 2020 who claimed that Riverdale featured unrealistic bodies. “And even I feel intimidated by the physique of my surrounding cast mates sometimes when I have to do bra/underwear scenes.”
Reinhart further detailed her complicated thoughts about filming scenes that require her to strip down on screen.
“I’ve felt very insecure due to the expectation that people have for women on tv, what they should look like. But I have come to terms with my body and that I’m not the kind of person you would see walking on a runway during fashion week. I have bigger boobs, I have cellulite on my thighs/butt, and my stomach sticks out rather than curves in,” she added. “This is still something I struggle with on a daily basis. And it doesn’t help when I’m being compared to other women.”
In the lengthy message, Reinhart recalled gaining weight “due to depression,” adding, “I’ve felt very insecure about it. But I did a recent bra and underwear scene and felt it was my obligation to be strong and show confidence in myself, looking as I do. And I want other young women to see my body on tv and feel comfort in the fact that I’m not a size 0. And I’m not a perfect hourglass shape.”
As she’s adjusted to living life in the public eye, Reinhart has noted that her negative thoughts haven’t completely gone away
“My body has carried me through 25 years of life. All my scars, tears, trauma … I wish I could love it more, even when it doesn’t look like it did when I was 20. But I’m trying,” she wrote in a series of Instagram Story posts in January 2022. “I know my body deserves equal love and admiration at any size. To not feel at home in my own skin is a devastating feeling. As if my body has betrayed me by changing. I’ve looked in the mirror and pulled my skin back tight to see what I *should* look like. What I’m expected to look like … in an industry where you’re ~inconvenient~ when not a sample size.”
Earlier this year, Reinhart prepared to say goodbye to Riverdale after seven seasons, reflecting on the lessons she’s learned one month before the series finale aired on The CW.
“It’s been trippy to grow up on this show and constantly see images of myself from when I was 19, 20, 21. My body does not look like that anymore. And suddenly this season we’re 17 again,” she told Vulture in August, referring to the show’s fictional characters traveling back in time in the final season. “I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and laughed at myself a couple of times. I don’t look like I’m 17, and I’m OK with that!”
Reinhart concluded: “But it’s this weird feeling, like you have to fit yourself back into this box that you presented to the world when we first stepped into these characters. Just being an actor in general, you feel like you’re holding yourself to a consistent standard of I must not age, and I must continue to look like I did.”
If you or someone you know struggles with an eating disorder, visit the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders (ANAD) website or call their hotline at (888)-375-7767 to get help.