By Adam S Levy for Dailymail.com
06:44 Apr 14, 2023 Updated at 08:13 Apr 14, 2023
- The actress, who is Demi Lovato’s half-sister, spoke on the Heart of the Matter podcast
- She said she was reading hurtful comments on YouTube comparing her to her TV mom, Eva Longoria
- The 21-year-old actress said she was trying to “starve” herself after reading bad comments about herself online.
Madison de la Garza said the disparaging comments she received online led her to an eating disorder at the age of seven.
The 21-year-old actress, who appeared on Tuesday’s Crux The podcast said she was “trying to starve” herself at a young age after reading bad comments about herself online.
“It was shocking,” de la Garza, who played Juanita Solis on Desperate Housewives, said of the reaction to her character on the ABC series, which also stars Eva Longoria, Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, and Felicity Huffman.
De la Garza, who is Demi Lovato’s half-sister, pointed out the way many of her critics tried to frame their hurtful remarks.
“A lot of people came to her in a way that they were ‘worried about my health,'” she said. “And I personally think that’s not true, it was a cover so they could judge a six-year-old.”
De La Garza said he was “never allowed to be on a computer unsupervised in this lifetime,” but he would look at comments left on YouTube clips and TMZ stories for “hours and hours.”
The actress, who appeared in 72 episodes of the comedy-drama from 2008 to 2012, added, “I was going to have a crazy time reading these comments, and most of them were terrible.
They said things as if they wanted me to die for the way I looked. It was just awful. And this was when I was seven or eight years old.
De la Garza opened up about the impact of these observations on her upbringing.
“Reading comments like this definitely affected my mental health and eventually led to me developing an eating disorder at a very young age,” she said.
De la Garza’s character Juanita was the adopted daughter of Longoria’s character Gabriel Solis, which she said led many commentators to compare the two.
“The whole joke in my character was that Eva was a skinny, beautiful model and her daughter turned out to be the complete opposite,” said de la Garza. “And so, I think she was very aware that this was going to affect me.”
De la Garza said Longoria was a comforting presence amidst the turbulent time.
We never talked about it explicitly, however [Longoria] She definitely went out of her way to make me feel beautiful and like I was special, and she made me feel like family,” she said. “And if I ever wanted to go at it with those things, I totally could.”
People with eating disorders can contact National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237.
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