Troian Bellisario: 'There was a positive side to my struggle with anorexia'
Actress Troian Bellisario spoke out her eating disorder struggles when she was young because she wanted her fans to see the positive experience that came from the health crisis.
The Pretty Little Liars star first revealed she had anorexia as a teenager in a candid 2014 Seventeen magazine interview, in which she also spoke out about her self-harming obsession.
Two years later, the actress insists she was not ashamed to open up about her health battles, because she wanted her fans to know she was a recovery success story.
"I had spoken out to Seventeen magazine because they asked me, 'What was your life like when you were 17...?'" she tells People magazine. "It was really important for me to tell the truth because there are so many young women and men who watch Pretty Little Liars.
"I didn't want to exclude them from my story, which I think is a really positive story because I sought treatment, because I was supported by my friends and family, and I was able to get back to a healthy place."
The 31-year-old now feels the need to be more honest about her image and struggles because she knows there are too many "perfect" images that her fans see. She insists she wants young girls and women to know that many photos on social media are altered.
"My message would be - especially with social media - don't believe what you see at all," she says. "There are lots of apps you can get on your phone that can change the way your face looks and the way your body looks. We're setting the bar at a very different place for what people think is a regular photo."
"It's sort of curated in a way that could create a false ideal for a woman's body or a man's body," she adds. "I think it's really dangerous territory."
And she is urging her fans not to trust images they see on social media.
"Treat them as you would if you looked at a magazine stand," she adds. "You don't know which one of these has been Photoshopped, you don't know which one of these has been altered. It's important to look at them as beautiful images, but as not necessarily entirely accurate all the time."
- Cover Media