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Content warning: The following story discusses details about eating disorders and related behaviors and experiences.
Singer and actor Reneé Rapp took the stage at Teen Vogue Summit 2023 for a panel and performance to close out the event. In a question and answer session, Rapp touched on her growing stardom, recent projects and more.
Over the past year, Rapp has reached major milestones in her career, from dropping her debut album Snow Angel to being introduced to the world as the newest Regina George in the movie musical adaptation of Mean Girls.
Rapp has also been open about difficulties she faced throughout her career, including hearing comments about her body while managing an eating disorder during her time performing on the Mean Girls Broadway musical.
Discussing the topic of Rapp's experience on the Mean Girls Broadway musical, Teen Vogue asked, “You’ve talked about some weird slash bad things you experienced on set and you’ve been open about having an eating disorder. How do you think about your body now?”
“I think my relationship with my body and eating disorders at large is very complicated,” Rapp said.
Rapp went on to compare eating disorders to alcoholism, citing her first-hand experience dealing with both in her family. “It’s an addiction. It’s something that is ingrained in your psyche and subconscious,” she explained.
Addressing the complexity of eating disorders, she acknowledged that eating is essential, “But, it’s not something you can avoid, right? You must eat to survive and also just be a full person and to enjoy life and eat to — oh, I don’t know — want to f*cking eat.”
Personally speaking, Rapp shared, “Right now, I’m not going to say, ‘I’m doing amazing and it’s all better.’ It’s incredibly not. And I think it’s just going to be like that for a while.”
She concluded, “But that’s fine for me. If I’m safe and not putting myself in danger, then I consider that a win. Because I’ve been not in that place before, so this feels good.”
Teen Vogue went on to ask, “From a public perception [and] media standpoint, how do you reckon with what you can control and what you can’t?” In response, Rapp addressed the public discourse about her body.
“The conversation around my body is f*cking stupid,” Rapp said. "I’m like, ‘just shut the f*ck up.’ I mean, you’re so obsessed. You are clinically so obsessed. And I get it. I know I look good. You don’t need to talk about it.”
“I mean it’s ridiculous," Rapp continued. "It definitely hurts my feelings on a certain level. I won’t say, ‘it doesn’t bother me and I’m doing great with it.’ I think it’s harmful. I think it’s stupid. And I think it’s ignorant. But also again, you’re obsessed. Like, shut up.”
You can watch Reneé Rapp's full segment below, and check out other moments from Teen Vogue Summit 2023 on teenvogue.com.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, the NEDA helpline is here to help at 1-800-931-2237. NEDA's helpline volunteers offer support and basic information, locate treatment options in your area, and can help you find answers to any questions you may have.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue
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