Actress Lili Reinhart praised by fans for 'inspirational' speech on body image

Fans have praised actress Lili Reinhart for speaking openly about body dysmorphia and the pressures of social media [Photo: Getty]

Actress Lili Reinhart has been praised by fans for a candid speech on body dysmorphia, mental health and the pressures of social media.

Last night, the ‘Riverdale’ star took to the stage at Glamour magazine’s 2018 Women of the Year summit to open up about her own personal experiences with fame and image.

To kick-start the speech, the 22-year-old addressed the growing pressures men and women face to “alter themselves in order to be beautiful.”

She told the audience: “We live in a world today where everything can be faked or fixed. Noses can be changed, stomachs can be tightened and cellulite can be lasered away because that’s what we’re told to do.”

The actress then went on to discuss her own personal experience with body dysmorphia and the backlash she faced after opening up about her ordeal to the public.

“People told me I didn’t have the right to talk about being self-conscious about my body because I was skinny,” she said. “My point is, I didn’t think anything was wrong with my body until I was in an industry that rewards and praises people for having a smaller waist than I will ever have.”

“It felt unfair to think that I would never have an industry perfect body, just because I wasn’t genetically built a certain way.”

To conclude the powerful speech, Reinhart asked the audience to forget the industry’s unattainable beauty ideals and instead try to celebrate one and other’s individuality.

“Remind yourself that this perfect world you see online or in magazines… in movies and television… are presented to you through many different filters,” she continued. “Do not set impossible goals of meeting those fake standards. It’s unrealistic to think that your body or my body will ever look like anyone else’s. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. We are all imperfectly beautiful.”

“You can be naturally beautiful with acne or scars, cellulite or curves. So let’s celebrate each other, and ourselves, as we are, as we will be, and as we were meant to be.”

The now-viral speech proved a hit on social media, as fans took to Twitter to praise the actress for her ‘powerful’ words.

One wrote: “Say it louder, Lily! Beautifully said. Never apologise for the way you look, ladies, but celebrate it. We all have insecurities, but they do not define who we are and what we’re capable of.”

Another tweeted, “It’s about damn time someone speaks up about this! @lilireinhart you rock, keep up the awesome work! The world needs women like you in the industry to help others feel good about their looks and accept themselves as they are and not be insecure and hate their looks.”

But it wasn’t merely women who praised the actress, as one father thanked Reinhart for speaking out on the topic.

He took to the social media platform to comment: “As a father of a 7-year-old girl – I found it this so refreshing to hear. It’s reassuring to know that there are still great role models like yourself out there in the public eye for her and other young girls growing up in this (at times bizarre) world we live in!”

But this isn’t the first time Reinhart has spoken out about the pressures of Hollywood and body image.

Back in July, the actress was heavily criticised by fans online after counting Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly as her curvy muses growing up. In response, social media users deemed the actress “too skinny” to be body conscious.

In a bid to raise awareness of the realities of body dysmorphia and to debunk common myths, she took to Twitter to write: “Feeling really disheartened by the fact that so many people are saying ‘you’re skinny so shut up about embracing 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.”

In the Twitter thread, Reinhart also warned how body-shaming can have a negative impact on a person’s mental health, as she continued: “Mental illness gets worse when people say that you don’t have a right to feel the way you do. That’s where we are failing. Do not encourage this behaviour. It is destructive. More destructive than you’ll ever realise. You may not understand someone’s insecurity – but respect it.”

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