'Riverdale' Star Camila Mendes Opens Up About Eating Disorder

On Riverdale, Veronica Lodge never seems to worry about her appearance, but for her portrayer Camila Mendes, that's not always been the case.

Mendes recently posted on Instagram that she is "done with dieting," indicating that she'd spent a lot of her life obsessing over her appearance and struggled with eating disorders. Mendes explained in her post that she had met with a naturopath to discuss anxiety about food and dieting and the experience had changed her mindset.

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

"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?" Mendes wrote. "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."

This isn't the first time Mendes has spoken out about her struggles with eating disorders. Last fall she posted to Instagram that she was becoming involved with Project HEAL, an organization that helps fund treatment for those with eating disorders and in the process, shared her own experiences with the condition.

"I can say from experience that eating disorders are serious mental illnesses." Mendes wrote last fall. "Growing up, I watched my big sister suffer from one for many years, and I've experiences periods of my life when I've suffered symptoms as well."

As for her declaration of being done with dieting, Mendes described her mental shift in accepting her body and took on the idea that the ideal appearance is a thin one.

“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,” she says. “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. A healthy body is the ideal body type, and that will look different for every person,” she says. “I’m #donewithdieting.”

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.