Dove Cameron has shared a post describing her struggles with her “identity”, as well as “sexuality and performative gender norms”.
Sharing a series of teary-eyed mirror selfies to Instagram on Wednesday (18 May), the former Disney Channel said that she was “struggling more than half of the time” with reconciling her public image with her true self.
“I’ve been covering mirrors lately,” she wrote to her 47 million followers. “I’ve been feeling wrong in clothes that used to make me feel beautiful lately. I’ve been crying a lot lately, sometimes terrorised by my identity and image, sometimes in absolute joy.”
“Sexuality and performative gender norms, societal rewards and identity are really throwing me for a loop,” Cameron said.
“Social media and mirrors and branding and the constant broadcasting of self and visibility of ourselves and everyone everywhere is not optimal for mental health… for any of us. This is a modern problem not designed with human health in mind.”
In the post’s caption, the 26-year-old described her experiences with “depression and dysphoria”, adding: “I am beginning to have a hope that the public platform that has been difficult for me to learn to take up space as myself in, can actually be the conduit for change/mutual support/exploration/safety.
“Maybe the spaces that are the least human can become the most human, if we want that, and we can all let each other take up a little more space.”
Cameron found fame on the Disney Channel series Liv and Maddie in 2012, before breaking out in the film Descendants.
A musical theatre performer, she has since appeared in Schmigadoon! and will play Bubbles in the live-action Powerpuff Girls series.
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.