The second season of “Riverdale” might’ve ended two weeks ago, but the drama isn’t over yet. On Monday, Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty Cooper on the smash CW show, shut down body-shamers who accused her of being pregnant with her rumored boyfriend Cole Sprouse‘s baby because her stomach looks “bloated” in recent photos.
The 21-year-old actress took to her Instagram story to scold those who accused her of looking pregnant because of an “unflattering” picture circulating the internet where her stomach looks more bloated than usual. Reinhart explained that her body has changed and she has gained weight like any person, and that that isn’t an excuse to body-shame her or speculate that she’s pregnant.
“It’s unfortunate that one unflattering photo of my stomach circulating the internet causes hundreds of people to think that I’m pregnant,” Reinhart wrote. “Nope. Not pregnant. This is just my body. And sometimes I’m bloated. Sometimes and unflattering photo is taken of me. Sometimes I go through periods of time where I gain weight.”
The CW actress went on to preach body positivity and warned her followers against commenting on someone else’s body. “My body is something that I will NEVER apologize for,” Reinhart wrote. “My body will constantly go through change. And so will yours. And that’s fine. So let’s not put so much time and effort into caring about a stranger’s figure.”
Reinhart’s “Riverdale” costar, Camila Mendes, who plays Veronica Lodge, praised her cast mate for speaking out against her body-shamers. Mendes also opened up about her body insecurities and fears that people would start scrutinizing her figure. She ended her message with an empowering note to her followers to embrace each other’s bodies.
“Inspired by you @lilireinhart,” she wrote. I feel bloated 24/7, my weight fluctuates constantly — it comes with being a woman and should be celebrated, not criticized,” Mendes wrote. “I used to fear that day that people start publicly criticizing my body and commenting on my weight. I’ve suffered too much from my own self criticism and wasn’t sure that I could handle it from others. But seeing somebody as beautiful as Lili respond to public scrutiny by preaching and practicing self love is all it takes for me to overcome that fear. Proud to call her my friend. Let’s continue inspiring women to love their bodies.”
Whether someone is pregnant or not, body-shaming is body-shaming, and speculating that someone “looks pregnant” is dangerous. As Reinhart and Mendes said, it’s time to stop criticizing each other’s bodies and start lifting each other up to embrace the bodies we’re in.