Ashley Benson is only a size two, but admits that she has been told on multiple occasions that she is “too fat” for certain roles.
Benson, who stars on Freeform’s (formerly ABC Family) Pretty Little Liars, is covering the latest edition of Health Magazine and opened up about how she has had to overcome the pressures to be super thin in the entertainment industry.
Benson admits she is not a supermodel and has no desire to be, but the pressure is always there for her to lose weight if she wants to land a particular role.
“It’s come up a few times in the last few years, like, ‘You’re too fat for this.’ And I’m just sitting here like, ‘Wait, what? Do you want a skeleton?'” Benson told the magazine. “But I feel good. I don’t want to lose 20 pounds, because I don’t need to.”
— Ashley Benson (@AshBenzo) February 9, 2016
At a size two, Benson acknowledges that she is very skinny and says a size four is more of a healthy weight. She said she doesn’t think you have to be “skin and bones” to be healthy.
“Absolutely. I get told all the time to lose weight,” Ashley said of the pressures to be skinny. “I got that a month ago. It’s just weird. With my stuff recently, it’s been, ‘You have to be skin and bones or you’re not getting it.’ There was a point where it was getting to where a size 2 was great. I’m a size 2, but I think that a size 4 is healthy. I think that all of these sizes are healthy.”
To feel better about herself and her body, Benson has come up with some strategies that include working out and meditation. She also confessed that she is still working on her body confidence and will wear spanx if she is just not feeling it.
“I usually do Pilates three days a week for an hour, and I try to box or do SoulCycle two or three times a week,” Ashley revealed. “There are times I just want to do nothing! But then I don’t feel good about myself.”
— People Magazine (@people) February 9, 2016
This isn’t the first time Ashley Benson has opened up about body-shaming in the entertainment industry. Last month, Benson spoke to Ocean Drive Magazine about being told she was “too fat” for a role, and she said she has learned to let the comments roll off her back and not affect her.
“I was just told I was too fat for a part,” Benson said. “I’m a size 2! I cried for 30 minutes, but then you have to let it roll off your shoulders or it could cause a serious eating disorder.”
‘Pretty Little Liars’ Star Ashley Benson Talks Body Confidence, Reveals She Gets Told To Lose Weight All The Time … https://t.co/CvHF8tXdOE
— Liars Watch (@liars_watch) February 11, 2016
“A lot of people in this industry hear they need to lose weight more times than they should,” Ashley continued. “It does make you stronger, though. Because if you let that affect you, you can’t be in this industry — you’d go crazy.”
So, who is Benson’s healthy-living idol? The Pretty Little Liars star said she admires Gwyneth Paltrow and even has her cookbooks for inspiration.
“I have one of her cookbooks, and I think she looks beautiful. I’m not the best cook, but I made fish, this stew and some soups and salads. When I look at all the pictures in her cookbook, I’m like, ‘Wow, I already feel better,’ you know?”
Ashley Benson, 26, who started modeling at age eight, rose to fame with her tole as Abigail Deveraux on Days of Our Lives. She currently plays Hannah Marin on Pretty Little Liars, alongside Troian Bellisario, Lucy Hale and Shay Mitchell.
[Photo by Jordan Strauss/ Invision/ Associated Press]