Lili Reinhart Opens Up About Her Struggle With Depression and Body Dysmorphia
By Antoinette Bueno
Lily Reinhart knows her depression is a lifelong struggle, but is sharing ways that have helped her cope.
The 23-year-old Riverdale actress graces the cover of Glamour UK's November digital issue and gets candid about dealing with mental health issues.
"Depression has affected me in so many ways," she says. "It's something that never goes away."
"I have spells of time where I feel completely unmotivated, I don't want to do anything and I question myself," she says about what she still experiences at times today. "I don't know how to handle stress very well. I find that talking about it and sharing my experience with other people, and reminding myself that I’m not alone has been incredibly therapeutic."
Reinhart also credits writing poetry and going to a therapist as helping her with her "crippling anxiety," which she's had since she was 14 years old.
"Seeing the therapist allowed me to be understood," she shares. "The goal for me has been to always leave therapy feeling a couple of inches taller. Feeling like I've alleviated myself of a problem by learning how to solve it. Not everything has a straight answer -- it's not just going to take one session -- but I start to think, 'I've grown, I've done this, I've figured this out, now I can go off into the world and try to put what I’ve learned into action.' That's how I look at therapy. I am not crazy, and I am not problematic. I am just a human who's feeling something in a different way than some other people would."
One issue the actress feels especially passionate about is the unrealistic beauty standards in Hollywood. Reinhart has been open about having body dysmorphia and says social media definitely contributes to negative feelings when it comes to body image.
"Even today, I see myself in the mirror and think, this doesn't look the way the world tells me it should," she shares. "I don't have a cinched, minuscule waist. I do have curves, I have cellulite, my arms aren't stick thin. This is my body and we’re told that it should fit certain proportions. There's such a disgusting problem right now with people photoshopping their bodies. Obviously, there's a reason why people do it, they're insecure, they feel like they're not good enough, and that's incredibly sad."
Reinhart says that specifically, the negative connotations associated with cellulite "really pisses" her off.
"It's this weird thing where people think that it's unnatural or a symbol of being fat," she explains. "It’s so f**ked up because cellulite is just a part of the human body. It's just genetic, it's like having freckles on your face. It’s something that is there, you're born with it, and it's become this disgusting thing. We're told: 'We need to laser this away, no one wants to see that.' There's nothing more beautiful than when I see stretch marks, or cellulite, and people's real skin."
These days, Reinhart is proud of overcoming self-confidence issues and her incredible accomplishments. Just three years ago, she was sleeping on a mattress on the floor of her friend’s apartment while auditioning for roles.
"I was from a small town in Ohio, from a middle-class family, I knew no one in the acting business," she says. "I didn't have a baton passed down to me from an actor in my family. I did it on my own from sheer passion and knowing that this is what I was good at, and this is what I wanted to do. There truly is a lot of power in struggle and survival, and that's what makes you a strong person."