“Riverdale” star and mental health advocate Camila Mendes recently sat down with Marie Claire Malaysia to open up about her historically unhealthy eating habits and body image. Today, she’s rehabilitated—she even quit dieting—and works with an organization called Project Heal to help raise awareness for the mental illness that haunted her throughout her youth.
During her interview, Mendes explained that there’s a lot of stigma surrounding eating disorders and that they’re commonly misunderstood. One of the most popular (and incorrect) beliefs Mendes has encountered is the concept that everyone with an eating disorder is stick-thin.
“That is not the case at all—it’s actually quite the opposite,” she said. “People don’t know that you don’t necessarily have to look like you have an eating disorder to have one. And because I was never that skinny, I never thought that I did (have the disorder.)” Obviously, this mentality can be extremely damaging to an unknowing victim’s recovery.
Mendes continues to speak out about eating disorders, with emphasis on the fact that eating disorders of any kind are, in fact, mental illnesses and should therefore be treated as such.