“[I remember] an initial pressure to change myself a lot,” the told ELLE UK. “If you were different then you’d be sat down and told that you weren’t going to do shows. I didn’t really believe, ‘This is the truth, I need to look like this to work.’
“I didn’t believe I had to be half my body weight to succeed.”
Waterhouse, who is set to receive the Performer award at the ELLE Style Awards 2023 on Tuesday evening, said things became worse once she got a taste of fame.
She went from being a little known model to being thrust into the spotlight literally overnight when at age 21 she was pictured leaving the 2013 Elle Style Awards in London with Hollywood star Bradley Cooper, now 48.
The pair, who had a tumultuous relationship, went on to date until 2015.
Waterhouse, who appears on one of the many covers for ELLE UK’s October issue, said of navigating fame at that age: “When I was younger it was so deeply shocking; horrifying.
“You don’t need to be in the super public eye to have had some kind of experience like that,” the Daisy Jones & The Six actress who has been in a five-year relationship with actor Robert Pattinson, added to ELLE.
“I understand the levels of projection that go on. We’re all in this system that is so difficult to navigate as a woman, and I think we’re all just doing our best.
“I also inherently believe in the goodness of people, that we’re all struggling. We’re fighting this ridiculous battle of trying to be a woman.”