With this week being National Eating Disorder Awareness week, we wanted to shed light on some of the issues the stars of “Pretty Little Liars” have faced when it comes to healthy eating and body image issues.
While one character on the show, Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson), has struggled with an eating disorder, it’s worth noting that two of the “Liars” have dealt with eating disorders off screen. On the cover of Cosmopolitan, Lucy Hale opened up about the issue for the first time.
“I’ve never really talked about this, but I would go days without eating,” says Hale. “Or maybe I’d have some fruit and then go to the gym for three hours.” Thankfully, Hale realized she had a problem. She adds, “It was a gradual process but I changed myself.”
When Seventeen caught up with her co-star, Troian Bellisario, after Hale’s cover hit newsstands, Bellisario explained she knew what her friend was dealing with: “We both had been through very similar things. We are a good form of support for each other when we see each other slipping backward or in need of support.”
Bellisario told Teen Vogue recently that fans don’t understand that they don’t always look like their perfectly-made-up on-screen counterparts: “On my Instagram, my boyfriend will take pictures of me or someone else will take a picture of me and they're like, 'What is wrong with her? She looks sick.' And I'm like, 'No I just don't have two hours of hair and makeup, you guys.'"
While Hollywood is known for being weight-conscious, it’s a relief to see two, real girls who have dealt with and support each other in recovery from their issues with food and body image.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, know that recovery is possible. You can find resources online at National Eating Disorder Association, or call the organization’s hotline at (800) 931-2237.