Ashley Benson is all too familiar with the pressure to be thin in the Hollywood scene.
In fact, as the Pretty Little Liars star reveals in Ocean Drive’s January issue, she was recently deemed “too fat” for a role. “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. A lot of people in this industry hear they need to lose weight more times than they should. It does make you stronger, though,” she says. “Because if you let that affect you, you can’t be in this industry—you’d go crazy.”
Many viewers aspire to look like Benson and her Pretty Little Liars character, Hanna Marin, but she wants fans to know that the photos they see in magazines and in advertisements are often airbrushed. “I saw photos from a shoot of myself just the other day and thought, ‘What the hell? That doesn’t even look like me!’ I was so disappointed,” the 26-year-old actress confesses. “I hate to think that girls are like, ‘She’s so skinny! Her skin is so perfect!’ I have pimples just like they do.” To prove her realness, she once posted a selfie with zit cream on her face. Why do such a thing? “Because I wanted to show people I’m not perfect,” she says. “No one is.”
In some ways, it’s a miracle that Benson has remained so levelheaded in Hollywood. The former child star acknowledges that being young, rich and famous has derailed some people’s careers. “I definitely see why some people can go a little nuts. Being successful at such a young age, and I feel I never got to that level, but I’ve seen friends who have and it is very difficult because you’re being told ‘yes’ a thousand times more than you’re being told ‘no,'” she says. “You’re making a lot of money, there are a lot of temptations, and there are no consequences no matter what you’re doing.”
While some of her peers may be into the party scene, Benson would rather keep a low profile and focus on work. “It’s fun to have drinks with friends, but I would never want to do anything that would sabotage my career,” the single Spring Breakersactress tells Ocean Drive. “I’d rather have dinner and drinks at someone’s house than go bats–t crazy in public. It’s not my scene.”