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Camila Mendes Admits She Struggles to Love Her Belly (and She's Basically Speaking for Everyone)

camila-mendes-shape-body-shop.jpgPhoto: Presley Ann/Getty Images

Camila Mendes has declared that she's #DoneWithDieting and called out Photoshopped pics of herself, but she's not ashamed to admit that she still has obstacles when it comes to body acceptance. At Shape's Body Shop event last week, Mendes explained that while it might seem like she's an extremely confident person, she has an insecurity that she keeps well-hidden, especially when it comes to her stomach. 

"I'm extremely insecure about my belly: the belly fat, the little roll that sits over your jeans," she said during a panel. "I'm so insecure about it and in a fitting, I'm always trying to avoid anything that exposes my belly, and I'm trying to overcome that, but baby steps, you know?"

So far, Mendes' attempts to let go of the insecurity haven't worked, but some things have helped, she told the audience. "Talking about it helps," said Mendes. "If I can tell people [about my insecurity], then there's less expectation. But no, I want to get to a place where I can post a picture of myself holding my belly fat, but we'll get there." 

She'd love for everyone to be able put the fixation on having a flat midsection to rest. "It’s not about being thin...I want to make belly sexy. The more you hide it, the more you admit that it’s something you need to work with." (Here's how Ashley Graham has inspired Mendes to stop obsessing over being skinny.)

Mendes also discussed her work with Project Heal, a non-profit that helps to fund treatment for people with eating disorders, and also opened up about her own history with an eating disorder. She says it began during high school, then resurfaced after college, and again during Riverdale filming. But finally seeing a therapist and nutritionist has made a huge improvement in her relationship with food, she said. (Related: This Woman Realized She Needed to Put Mental Health Before Weight Loss)

She may share one of the most common insecurities among women, but Mendes' confession is a helpful reminder that no one's feelin' themselves 24/7. And yes, it's okay not to love your body sometimes, even if you support body positivity! Even confident, body-positive advocates like Mendes have their day-to-day setbacks, so you haven't failed the movement if you have hang-ups about your own body, too. As long as we keep having open conversations, we're headed in the right direction. 

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