Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse, Riverdale‘s most intriguing couple—on the show and in real life—only made their debut as a pair earlier this month at the Met Gala. But their relationship has been the subject of speculation for much longer than that. So when a photo circulated of Reinhart (with Sprouse) in New Orleans in a fitted dress, some fans (and body shamers) jumped to the conclusion that the actress may be pregnant. It didn’t take long for Reinhart to speak out, clarifying that she isn’t pregnant and her body doesn’t exist for others to comment on.
In a series of Instagram stories, Reinhart acknowledged the photo, saying, “It’s unfortunate that one unflattering photo of my stomach circulating the internet causes hundred of people to think that i’m pregnant.” “Nope, not pregnant,” she wrote. “This is just my body. And sometimes I’m bloated. Sometimes an unflattering photo is taken of me. Sometimes I go through periods of time where I gain weight.”
Of course, the only time it’s appropriate to talk about someone’s body is when it’s your own, which Reinhart hinted at in her statement. “My body is something that I will NEVER apologize for,” she wrote. “My body will constantly go through change. And so will yours. And that’s fine. So let’s not put so much time and effort into caring about a stranger’s figure.”
Almost immediately after she posted, her costar Camila Mendes voiced her support for Reinhart, echoing her sentiments. “Inspired by you @lilireinhart,” Mendes shared in her Instagram stories. “I feel bloated 24/7, my weight fluctuates constantly — it comes with being a woman and should be celebrated, not criticized.”
Mendes also called out body-shaming culture while detailing her own experiences with public scrutiny. “I used to fear that day that people start publicly criticizing my body and commenting on my weight,” she wrote. “I’ve suffered too much from my own self criticism and wasn’t sure that I could handle it from others. But seeing somebody as beautiful as Lili respond to public scrutiny by preaching and practicing self love is all it takes for me to overcome that fear. Proud to call her my friend. Let’s continue inspiring women to love their bodies.”