On feeling insecure at the beginning of her career:
‘Trying to find my value in an industry that judges you on everything that you’re not versus everything that you are. Not thin enough, not pretty enough, not ethnic enough, while also being too thin, too ethnic, too pretty the very next day.’
Growing up in L.A., both my sister and I had sort of touch-and-go body issues, some mildly recurring body dysmorphia.
But these days, she feels better than ever:
I’ve just never given less f-cks. It’s a nice feeling because you live your life more and care less about what other people think. Your career will fluctuate; you’ll have highs and lows. But I can always go to the gym and work out. I’m in control of myself and my body.
On changing her body through strength training:
I feel like strength is beautiful, rather than that stick-skinny beauty standard. I was transitioning fat into muscle without losing weight or gaining weight. But I say that loosely because I don’t own a scale. I haven’t weighed myself in years.
Pretty Little Liars had put up this poster and it was from our first season and it was completely crazy. Nobody looked like themselves. Even for magazine covers, they’ll Photoshop out a mole, make your boobs bigger or your waist four sizes smaller, and you’re like, ‘That’s not even me’. You never know how it’s going to turn out because you have no control and you’re not editing the photos, but it sucks when you’re like, ‘Wow. That’s a completely different person.’
I always make sure to tell people, with any s**t that I do or anyone else does, that unless it’s announced that it’s not Photoshopped, it’s Photoshopped. And don’t get down on yourself for not looking a certain way because it takes a lot of hair and makeup, a ton of good lighting, and after the shoot, it’s all this editing.
I’m glad I’m not doing it now. I’d probably be dead. Everybody’s so skinny. Size 0 is like the walking dead. Not sexy at all.” She went on to add “When I modeled, I would normally be a model size 6, 8, though my shoulders are wide, it’s hard to make them fit into things. Now I can’t get into model sizes, because they’re really small.
On the fact that France has banned underweight models from the runways:
I do not want to BODY SHAME Naturally thin women nor do I want to dictate whether or not they should work based on weight or whether or not they have a mental illness (ED) HOWEVER the thing I love about this is we in America Should have MANDITORY WARNINGS on images in ADvertisements & PRESS that have been doctored. Because the real issue (in my opinion) is that we are selling products (clothes, perfume, music, film) on unrealistic and doctored images of people. And I for one would want to know, I would want my friends to know and strangers and especially young men and women to know if they were looking at something real or something fake. Because then we can see clearly that we are being sold products on the basis of first making ourselves feel less than (not pretty enough not skinny enough not healthy enough whatever) so we “need to buy this product to be like the person in the ad. And feel better about ourselves” Well guess what. The person in the ad doesn’t even look like that. What an amazing world it would be if we could just acknowledge that. And then celebrate that we all look different, have different bodies and different backgrounds and histories, and then find all of those differences beautiful.