Camila Mendes Reveals How Riverdale & Social Media Affect Her Self-Image

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Monica Schipper/Getty Images for POPSUGAR

Red alert, we have yet another reason to stan Riverdale actress Camila Mendes. Not only does Camila absolutely slay as Veronice Lodge on Riverdale, but she’s also an outspoken advocate for self-care and positive body image. the whisp got to see the 24 year old actress get real about the pressures of staring on Riverdale and living in the age of social media at POPSUGAR‘s Play/Ground event on June 22 in New York City.

Camila’s talk was moderated by Candice Huffine, a plus-sized model who has founded her own size inclusive activewear line, DAY/WON and Project Start, an initiative to encourage women to start running. When Camila and Candice started talking about body image, social media, and the pressure to be perfect, our Riverdale fave dropped some serious pearls of wisdom and didn’t shy away from sharing her own experiences.

Camila has been open in the past about her struggles with disordered eating (she’s partnered with ProjectHEAL, a charity that makes treatment for disordered eating affordable), but on Saturday, she said that she didn’t realize she actually had an eating disorder for a long time.

Camila said, “I never knew I had an eating disorder until my sister had an eating disorder as well. She’s bulimic. My situation was never a comparison, I would purge every once in a while, thinking it’s not a big deal.” Of her decision to be open about her eating disorder, Camila told Candice that she thought about how, “If I had someone to look to when I was younger, how that would have changed my life … to know that I can be that for somebody. It’s like, there’s no question. Why would I fight that?

Camila also talked about the pressures of the social media era. While talking about the way some people use FaceTune to distort public perceptions of how they look, she said, “If that’s your body, just let it be. Like don’t mess with it. You’re giving people a fake idea of what humans look like.” Major props, Camila! We totally agree! In addition to body image issues, Camila also talked about how terrifying the permeance of social media was. “It’s scary [being on social media] because. . . You can delete your post, but it’s everywhere. You’ll never escape the choices you make.”

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Camila also opened up about how playing the perfect Veronica Lodge on Riverdale has impacted her self-image in real life. “I don’t dress like Veronica [on Riverdale] normally … Playing that character who was so put together; she always looks perfect. The pressure of playing a character like that made me perceive myself differently.”

After this weekend, we’ve become serious stans for this Riverdale brunette (TBH, we already were), who is such an eloquent and confident advocate for loving yourself!

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