Troian Bellisario is a star of a show called Pretty Little Liars, but she's keeping it really real off-screen about her struggle with anorexia. The 31-year-old actress spoke to People this week about her decision to talk honestly about her eating disorder, first in a 2014 interview with Seventeen, and then earlier this month in a pre-election PSA for Hillary Clinton.
“It was really important for me to tell the truth because there are so many young women and men who watch Pretty Little Liars,” Bellisario told People. “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 actress said she thinks honesty on this subject is especially important in the age of social media, when young people are bombarded with images of "ideal" bodies. She described social media as “dangerous territory” because it can "create a false ideal for a woman’s body or a man’s body."
She also pointed out how these images are often altered (for example, this ad for Pretty Little Liars, whoops!), so what you're seeing might not even be a real body. “My message would be — especially with social media — don’t believe what you see at all,” she continued. “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.”
Earlier this month, Bellisario appeared in a voting PSA for ATTN where she urged people to vote for Hillary Clinton because of her work to improve mental health care. She also spoke about battling anorexia as a kid. You can watch part of it here:
It might be too late to vote for Hillary but it's not too late to get honest about your mental health struggles. I'm with Troian!