Camila Mendes has inspired a slew of people through her portrayal of Veronica Lodge on Riverdale, but recent comments from the actress are having a pretty profound impact. In a recent interview with Women's Health, Mendes revealed that she was drugged and sexually assaulted during her time as a student at New York University. While speaking about her "to build a home" tattoo above her rib, Mendes explained how she got the ink after a dark time in her life.
"I got the tattoo after my freshman year," Mendes revealed. "I had a very, very bad experience; I was roofied by someone who sexually assaulted me."
The interview goes on to say that after the traumatic event, Mendes vowed to make herself feel safe and comfortable in all aspects of her life, and that the tattoo serves as a reminder to "strengthen both her sense of self and the environment around her."
"Whenever I feel like I'm going through something difficult, I think about what I can do physically for myself," Mendes explained. "I danced for seven years, from age 4 to 11. Then I did musicals as a kid, then so much of acting school is movement classes and connecting your breath to your body. Activity has always been an important part of my life."
"It's health that's important, not appearance," Mendes added. "I make choices that are good for me—and not just in my body—but for my soul, for my mind. And sometimes that's eating ice cream because I want to eat ice cream."
Mendes also spoke to the magazine about her past struggles with bulimia, something that the actress has been candid about for years.
"I've only recently gotten better," Mendes revealed. "I needed professionals I trusted to tell me things that I didn't know. When I was a teenager, there were no role models when it came to body positivity—that simply was not a thing. Being thin was the thing."
"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," Mendes said in a social media post in February of last year. "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."
Riverdale's fourth season will begin Wednesday, October 9th, at 8/7c on The CW.