TikTok star Charli D’Amelio has opened up about her own personal struggles with body image, explaining that it all started with a dance teacher’s comments.
During October 12’s episode of The D’Amelio Show, the 18-year-old influencer and entrepreneur opened up about her past experience with dance environments, stating they are not always the safe space that they should be.
Charli made it big on TikTok with her lip-synced dance videos and now boasts almost 150 million followers on the platform.
On top of that, she’s also a 2022 contestant on Dancing With The Stars, which brings even more viewers and scrutiny – something she admits can make you feel vulnerable, particularly on social media.
Charli D’Amelio opens up on body image struggles
She said: “Even towards the beginning of social media, like 99% of the times that you saw me upset it was like, not about what you thought it was at all. There was a lot going on under the surface that no one really knew about.
“It’s extremely hard to go from having a very unhealthy mindset with food to a healthy one.”
Searching for the origins of her unhealthy mindset about food, Charli recalled a story about a dance teacher who would comment regularly on her body.
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With a backdrop of young photographs of herself, she added: “I had a dance teacher that was really sh**ty, and that messed me up for a while.
“I mean, words have so much power, especially when it comes to young dancers. All they want is to have that validation from the people that are teaching them. I struggled for a long time and I did it as quietly as I could, and that was really hard.”
Noting that her daughter had not developed yet at that stage, Charli’s mother – Heidi D’Amelio – detailed the impact of those body image comments.
“It really messed with [her] head to have an adult teacher commenting negatively about your body because she was muscular and lean. She was tiny, she [had not] developed yet. She was a pre-teen.”
D’Amelio is surrounded by a better support network these days and has stressed the importance of safe spaces for dancers. Charli and her dance partner Mark Ballas have been making headlines together on DWTS, most recently by pulling off an incredible Simpsons cosplay for Disney+ night.