American actress Camila Mendes, who currently plays Veronica on Riverdale, took to Instagram to open up about her issues regarding dieting. In October, the 23-year old got personal on the social media platform to talk about eating disorders. She explained her sister suffered from an eating disorder growing up and Camila, herself went through periods of struggling.
Camila continues on in her post to share Project Heal, an organization dedicated to helping break the stigma about eating disorders. They are am USA non-profit, who work hard to help with support recovery and treatment financing for those suffering.
Now, Camila is speaking out about the harm dieting can cause to us mentally and physically. Her post is eye opening and speaks volumes with just her own story. It proves just how important these kinds of talks are. It showcases the need and builds hope. The hash-tag #donewithdieting is blooming as of late with inspiring posts and stories from others who agree!
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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!
Camila’s story brings up important points and questions. When did being thin become more important than being healthy? Being skinny should never come at the cost of our health. Being thin has never been more important than our health! What do we miss out on when we’re obsessed with dieting and food? We shouldn’t put aside things that bring us happiness, and lose what makes us, us. In fact it only adds to our depression and struggles. The design of our bodies are made of many things like genetics, health, lifestyle and more. The media doesn’t take these things into account-they don’t care.
Camila’s courage and story resonated with fans who cheered her on and many bravely shared their own stories. They spoke about important Camila’s influence and how her very own message is helpful to others and in bringing about change to the discussion. This representation is exactly what so many people needed to see, to read and to know someone out there like them, understands what they’re going through.
Recently Weight Watchers started targeting young, female teenagers, and many, rightly so, were outraged. This type of business move is exactly why stories like Camila Mendes’ are key to changing the way we talk about these issues. Weight, dieting, eating disorders and mental health are not business moves or ways to cash in. These terms are filled with people, with stories of pain, struggles and triumph. We need to remember that. We are more than numbers. These are not only young girls, or women, but boys, & men who are struggling with societies ideals of what a perfect body is.
This very statement, the idea of a perfect body is damaging. It’s untrue and has proven time and time again that it’s affecting us negatively, it’s even fatal. When we look in the mirrors we shouldn’t be reminded ofnwhat society wants but see who we want. We should be holding our heads proud, embracing the skin we are in and owning that confidence. We should look at ourselves and see our accomplishments and what we’ve overcome.
It’s time we push back against the media and the unhealthy standards and toxic narrative forced upon us. It’s time to start understanding our bodies and what makes them. We deserve so much more, we are so much more. And as Camila says in her post,
“A healthy body is the ideal body type, and that will look different for every person.”
Featured image via Camila Mendes’ Instagram