'The film industry rewards skinny': Riverdale actor Lili Reinhart delivers 'powerful' body image speech

'Let’s celebrate each other, and ourselves, as we are, as we will be, and as we were meant to be'

Sarah Young
Monday 12 November 2018 14:59
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Riverdale star Lili Reinhart delivers powerful body image speech at Glamour’s 2018 Women of the Year Summit

Lili Reinhart has been praised online for delivering a ‘powerful’ speech about body image, social media and mental health.

The Riverdale actor took to the stage at Glamour’s 2018 Women of the Year Summit, where she discussed her personal experiences with body dysmorphia and condemned the entertainment industry for pressuring women to be thin.

In her speech on Sunday, Reinhart began by addressing some of the criticism she’s faced for discussing her insecurities because of her body type.

“People told me I didn't have the right to talk about being self-conscious about my body, because I was skinny,” she explained.

“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.”

The actor went on to describe her experiences with body dysmorphia, revealing that she found herself examining her body constantly in the mirror and finding different images in the reflection each time.

“How can my body look so different over the course of one day and why do I feel like I need to apologise to the world for my ever-changing self?” she said. “I didn’t want the world to think I was catfishing them with my appearance, or making myself out to be a certain size and shape when clearly my body was changing.”

Reinhart also criticised the entertainment industry and social media for making people feel bad about their bodies.

“We aren’t born with these insecurities,” she said.

“We are told to be insecure about certain things. We are conditioned to feel ashamed or embarrassed about certain parts of ourselves.”

Instead, the Riverdale star encouraged the audience to “find a healthy balance between expressing the natural, vulnerable side of yourself with the glamorous, contoured side”.

“There is no fine print,” she concluded.

“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.

“Unique. Imperfect. Beautiful. And so incredibly powerful.”

The actor has won praise on social media for her speech which fans have described as “inspirational” and “empowering”.

“Wow, this brought me to tears. It’s comforting to know she understands how we feel. Her courage and authenticity is empowering,” one person wrote.

Another commented: “Every single girl in this world should watch this beautiful and strong woman's speech.”

A third added: “She makes me feel like I am not alone and that we all have good and bad days, and just keep pushing through them because they will get better Thank you so much for helping me learn to accept myself.”

This isn’t the first time that Reinhart has spoken out about body image.

Earlier this year, she posted a photo on Instagram, alongside a caption that challenged the concept of the “ideal body”.

“Some days are harder than others to accept your body for how it is,” she wrote.

“The ‘ideal body’ is often presented to us as looking one particular way... but that’s a concept I hope to help change.

“There is not one shape that’s more beautiful than another. We should be exposed to all body types in advertising and media."

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