"I can’t preach body positivity if I don’t practice it," Lili Reinhart says of the scene from Riverdale

By Jodi Guglielmi
August 25, 2020 11:42 AM

Lili Reinhart is learning to embrace her body — but it's not always easy.

In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, the Riverdale star opened up about the challenges of overcoming her insecurities, admitting she's struggled with filming scenes that expose her body.

"I don’t have the CW girl body — tiny waist, nice-shaped legs, skinny, small, tiny,” she said. "I had to do a bra and underwear scene in this last season and I felt really insecure about it. I really, really didn’t want to do it. I didn’t tell anyone this. I wasn’t pressured into doing it. I did it because it was my job. But I felt bad about myself doing it. I really did."

Reinhart, 23, said she felt a sense of responsibility to show her fans that the way someone looks shouldn't determine their self-worth.

"And this is where it gets complicated. I can’t preach body positivity if I don’t practice it," she said. "So even if I’m not feeling amazing about my body, I felt it was important for me to do the scene anyway in my bra and underwear so people could see my body as it was. I did it for the people who feel like they need to look a certain way.”

And while Reinhart  — whose new movie, Chemical Hearts, is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video — said living in the spotlight can add pressure to look perfect, she reminds herself that what is shown on the internet isn't always "real life."

“You go on Instagram, and I’m like, ‘Oh, look, all these people with these beautifully toned bodies’ and then go to the beach — does anyone on the beach in the real world look like that?" she said. "I don’t see anyone looking like this. Instagram and Victoria’s Secret runways are not a portrayal of how people look in real life."

The actress has previously said that she suffers from body dysmorphia, and the problem is exacerbated by critics who get mad at her for talking about her body image struggles.

“Feeling really disheartened by the fact that so many people are saying ‘you’re skinny so shut up about embrscing [sic] your body.’ As if my body dysmorphia is irrelevant because of how I look to some people. I’m either not curvy enough or not skinny enough to feel insecure,” she wrote on Twitter.

“Mental illness gets worse when people say that you don’t have a right to feel the way you do,” she continued in a separate tweet. “Do not encourage this behavior. It is destructive. More destructive than you’ll ever realize. You may not understand someone’s insecurity – but respect it."