Rachael Leigh Cook admits to having an eating disorder as a teenager after she gained weight on the set of her first movie.

The actress (who made her film debut at 15 years old in the 1995 movie “The Babysitter’s Club”) admits that she over-indulged in the free food on the set, which caused her weight to go up, and her self esteem to go down. Way down. So far down that it caused her to have what she calls “food issues” (aka an eating disorder).

She tells Fox News:

“I remember gaining quite a bit of weight on the first movie that I worked on because, ‘Hey, free food!’. You’re at that stage where your body is just changing so actively, so it was a natural change, but I remember finishing that film and realising that I had gained probably 10 pounds over the course of filming which is a lot when you’re only 5ft 2in.

“I knew then that I needed to go and really try and get healthy. I went too far in the other direction and I worried my parents for a while, I think it’s fair to say. I think that it’s something that many, many teenage girls go through, especially ones that are achievers and ambitious. You’re looking for a sense of control, and when you’re in a really transitional phase in your teenage years, I think it’s a pretty normal reaction to develop food issues.”

Now, the “She’s All That Star” has joined forces with Oscar winner Geena Davis, the Girl Scouts of the USA and the Creative Coalition to attend a summit in Washington, D.C. addressing body image issues for young girls in an effort to rally against the perfect portrayal of female stars in the media. The women insist that they are outraged over the “manipulated images” of celebrities, which are fed to vulnerable young girls.

Rachael Leigh Cook continued:

“I did not grow up getting told about how manipulated the images we see of women and girls out there are, and I think it’s an absolute travesty that young women are seeing what the media is feeding them. It breaks my heart to be part of an industry and part of a machine that really pushes out these images and propagates these really terrible standards that are false.

“Nothing that you see is real, even if you look at what looks like a candid photo of someone, anything can be done. It is false advertising and false advertising is a crime so why isn’t this a crime? I’m just up in arms about it.”

“People need to know that there are actual lenses that are put on cameras that make people stretched out. If you saw these actors in person, you wouldn’t even recognize them as the people you see on TV. It’s just all a complete illusion and maybe it should be viewed as art, the way that art isn’t real. The way that a picture of a rose can be beautiful, but it’s not a real rose.”

Sounds like a good idea to us! Not everyone knows that Hollywood is a bunch of smoke and mirrors. People need to know that most of what you see on TV, in movies and in print ads (and now on websites) is usually re-touched in some form or fashion. Nothing is what it seems these days…. And these young girls who are trying to mimick what they see in the media need to know that it’s NOT REAL.