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How The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan Overcoming Body-Shaming and Cruel Taunts from Her Classmates

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James White

Her beauty now shines through even when she’s covered in zombie blood, but Lauren Cohan was once cruelly mocked for her looks.

The Walking Dead star reveals in Health‘s December issue (on newsstands Friday) that she endured harsh bulling back in school because of her naturally thin frame.

“I was very skinny,” she shares. “You know when your knees don’t even look like they’re attached to your body? Kids at school called me ‘Snap,’ like my legs were about to snap because they were so thin.”

“I was so gangly, even sneakers looked awkward. Everybody kind of goes through some phase, and it’s hard if you’re singled out for anything,” Cohan continues. “But there was this one boy in particular who made fun of me and, it’s funny, then later, when we were 18 or 19, he wanted to go out with me.”

Cohan also admits that she sometimes feels the pressures of always having to look good in Hollywood, but the 34-year-old tries to remain focused on herself.

“I’ve definitely learned to let go of some of that,” she says. “One thing I always think about is, at the end of the day, nobody really cares about you as much as they do about themselves. It’s a very reassuring thing, in a good way. Pay attention to yourself, and use that energy and put it towards yourself.”

Gene Page/AMC
Gene Page/AMC

 

“Somebody said to me the other day, ‘If this moment isn’t the best moment of your life, you’re doing something wrong,’ ” Cohan adds. “And I think about that all the time. Because me not liking where I’m at is such a waste of energy. And being able to be there for others is only coming from self-acceptance.”

She continues, “You have to do what makes you feel good, but for me it has to come from that spiritual side first.”

The Walking Dead airs Sundays (9 p.m. ET) on AMC.