Charli D’Amelio wants you to know that words matter. The 18-year-old opened up on a recent episode of her and her family’s Hulu reality series, The D’Amelio Show, about a former dance teacher who negatively spoke about her body, which contributed to her poor image of herself. “I had a dance teacher that was really s—ty and that messed me up for a while,” she shared in a confessional. “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.”
Having grown up in the spotlight since going viral on TikTok in 2019, the younger D’Amelio sister, who is currently competing on Dancing with the Stars, had to also navigate people constantly dissecting her appearance and commenting on vulnerable moments on a much larger scale than one bad teacher. In September 2020, she got extremely candid with her followers about her ongoing battle with an eating disorder. “It’s so uncomfortable to admit to even your closest friend and family, let alone the world,” she wrote on her Instagram stories. “I’ve been afraid to share that I have an eating disorder, but ultimately I hope that by sharing this I can help someone else.”
The Connecticut native, who has spent most of her life dancing, has admitted to having body dysmorphia and bad eating habits, which she is continually working on. “It’s extremely hard to go from having a very unhealthy mindset with food to a healthy one,” she continued on the show. She also recently spoke about this and her panic attacks in an interview with People in September. “It’s something that follows you,” Charli told the magazine. "And your job and responsibility for your own mental health is to learn how to best handle that for yourself. Obviously, everybody's different and it can be a less consistent pattern, but it's still things that you have to deal with and it'll go up and down... Just day by day, you never know."
For now, she has a great support system of a therapist, friends and family. “I think I’m only as good as they are,” her mom Heidi said to People. “So when they’re struggling, as a parent, you feel a little helpless, and you want them to feel better. You want to take away the hurt or the pain that they’re feeling. But the only thing we could do is be there for them and let them know that we’re here for whatever it is that they need.”