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Lili Reinhart is starting the new year with an important reflection on beauty standards and self-love. After sharing a poem titled “a love note to my body” by writer Cleo Wade on her Instagram Stories, the Riverdale star took a moment to share her personal struggles with body acceptance and the self-criticism many are forced to endure thanks to longstanding, unrealistic beauty standards, a topic the she’s been vocal about for years.

“I’ve been struggling with obsessive thoughts about my body/weight the last few months and its gotten pretty severe in the last week,” she wrote. “So I want to take a moment to be vulnerable and share this in the hope that any of you who are also struggling don’t feel alone. I’m here with you.”

“To not feel at home in my own skin is a devastating feeling.”

Reinhart, who’s been in the acting business since she was 18, continued, “It’s challenging to look at your body with love instead of criticism. It’s a practice I’m still learning. I didn’t think being in this industry, that is so obsessed with women’s bodies and weights, could ever mess with my own body acceptance and positivity . . . but it has. I wish I hadn’t grown up in a time where the media worshipped only one size of women.”

Acknowledging the physical and emotional trials her body has endured, Reinhart expressed a longing shared by millions to feel more at home in our skin and be less critical of herself.

“My body has carried me through 25 years of life. All my scars, tears, trauma . . . I wish I could love it more, even when it doesn’t look like it did when I was 20. But I’m trying. I know my body deserves equal love and admiration at any size. To not feel at home in my own skin is a devastating feeling. As if my body has betrayed me by changing. I’ve looked in the mirror and pulled my skin back tight to see what I *should* look like. What I’m expected to look like in an industry where you’re -inconvenient- when not a sample size.”

In a Twitter thread in February 2020, Reinhart shared her thoughts about the lack of authentic body representation in popular media. “I’ve felt very insecure due to the expectations that people have for women on TV, what they should look like,” she wrote. “But I have come to terms with my body and that I’m not the kind of person you would see walking on a runway during fashion week . . . I want other young women to see my body on TV and feel comfort in the fact that I’m not a size 0. And I’m not a perfect hourglass shape.”

After sharing an image of a Greek statue of Aphrodite as an example of more realistic depictions of women in media, Reinhart closed out her message by reminding fans that they are not alone and encouraging more vulnerable conversations about body image. “It’s painful to think hundreds of millions of us are so concerned with what our bodies look like,” she said. “That’s an incredibly broken system. Somewhere along the line, humanity really f*cked this one up. I know I’m not alone in this toxic way of thinking about my body. And it’s heartbreaking that this feeling is understood by so many of us. Let’s continue to talk about it. Normalize it. Empathize with others. Show compassion and kindness.”

Read Reinhart’s full message and Wade’s poem here.

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