‘Riverdale’s’ Lili Reinhart Talks About Struggling With Anxiety in High School: ‘I Felt Very Alone’

Actress Lili Reinhart is one of today’s hottest celebrities. With her hit CW series Riverdale in its fourth season and appearing in the film Hustlers alongside superstar Jennifer Lopez, Reinhart’s star is on a perpetual rise with no sign of slowing down.

Recently commenting on her struggle with body image, the actress has also shared her battle with anxiety over the years and revealed the loneliness she experienced during her school years.

“Riverdale’s” Lili Reinhart | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Getting real on Twitter

Reinhart is not one to shy away from speaking her truth. She recently clapped back at a social media post that accused Reinhart and her Riverdale costars for being “25+ year old[s] portraying teenagers with perfectly chiseled bodies,” saying the show may be “contributing to unrealistic body expectations [and] body image issues” for teenagers, according to People.

“Actually, not everyone on this show is perfectly chiseled. And even I feel intimidated by the physique of my surrounding cast mates sometimes when I have to do bra/underwear scenes,” Reinhart responded on Twitter. “I’ve felt very insecure due to the expectation that people have for women on tv, what they should look like. 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 have bigger boobs, I have cellulite on my thighs/butt, and my stomach sticks out rather than curves in.”

In multiple tweets, the actress went on to share her own battle with body image which is very much still a work in progress. “This is still something I struggle with on a daily basis. And it doesn’t help when I’m being compared to other women,” she wrote. “I have gained weight due to depression the last two months and I’ve felt very insecure about it.”

The Riverdale star is hoping she can be an example to other women who do not have the ‘ideal’ body type as dictated by society. “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,” Reinhart posted. “This industry struggles with accurate representation of female and male bodies. So I commend the women who have helped our industry take a step in the right ~and authentic~ direction.”

Un-‘Betty’ high school years

Though she portrays the popular Betty on Riverdale who is always surrounded by a gaggle of attractive friends while balancing her many extra curricular activities, Reinhart’s high school years were quite different in real life. Struggling with severe anxiety, her main goal would be to get through the day.

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I am stealing her one of these days @camimendes

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“I felt very alone. But I was not being bullied, which made it really hard for my parents to understand,” Reinhart told Allure in a recent interview. “I went through a semester when I didn’t have any friends in my lunch period, and I didn’t want to sit in a huge cafeteria by myself, so I would find classrooms to go sit in alone, or spend time in the bathroom, just chilling.”

The Hustlers star feels that schools need to incorporate awareness on issues of mental health. “Now more than ever, we need to be bringing the idea of mental health into schools and teaching it,” Reinhart said. “It’s about communicating clearly.”

More confident today

Though Reinhart still has her struggles, she is now more equipped to take them on. “Three and a half years ago, I had no money. I didn’t have a love in my life like I do now,” she commented, referring to boyfriend Cole Sprouse. “I didn’t have any sort of confidence that I was on the right track, and now I have those things.”

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The sequel.

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The actress shared that she now realizes what she brings to the table, both personally and professionally. “Going into projects in the future, I’m much more aware of it. So is my lawyer,” Reinhart noted. “I do know the value that I bring as someone who attracts an audience. And I’m not going to accept less than what I think I’m worth. And it’s okay to fight for what I’m worth.” 

Watch Riverdale on The CW on Wednesday nights!