Rumer Willis Struggled After Getting Body Shamed and Being Called ‘Potato Head’ as a Teen
As a teenager growing up in the public eye, Rumer Willis struggled with the constant criticism of her appearance.
After spending her childhood years in Idaho, Willis moved to Hollywood at age 15 with her sisters and superstar parents Demi Moore and Bruce Willis. It happened to coincide with the rise of celebrity blogging, and Willis found herself under attack.
“They said I had a huge jaw. They said I had a ′potato head,’ ” the actress, now 30, told HuffPost. “When you’re 14 or 15, I didn’t really understand having value in myself yet. My mind went to, ‘Okay, so if I get skinny or if I dress the right way or present myself very hyper-sexually and dress this way, then I’ll be valued.’ ”
Willis said that her understanding of self-worth was that she would have value “if I’m desired by a man.”
“So much for me became wrapped up in that my value set is based on what other people think of me, and had nothing to do with what I thought about myself,” she said.
To cope, Willis said she turned to her parents.
“I definitely talked to my mom, and her thing was always, you can’t read the comments,” she said. “You could post the most beautiful picture about how you’ve gone and you’re helping kids or you’re giving your time and someone will still find a way to rag on you.”
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The Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood actress said these days she still turns to her mom for support, and also looks back at old family photos to feel better. She also tries to encourage positivity on her Instagram account.
“I think the most important thing for me is doing my best to lead by example,” she said, adding that she focuses on honesty with her followers. “I still deal with insecurity and trying to figure out my own path in all of it.”
And she’s taken a stand on Instagram many times, including calling out a photographer in 2016 for allegedly photoshopping her face to make her jaw look smaller.
“I find it really offensive for anyone to try and change the way you look so drastically,” she wrote. “I love the way I look and I won’t support anyone who would feel a need to change the way I look to make me beautiful. Whether or not they realize it, it is a form of bullying, which I won’t stand for.”