Former ballerina Alicia Vikander has deemed the focus put on dancers' bodies "unhealthy".
The Oscar winner studied ballet before finding fame as an actress, and has spoken about her experiences in a new chat with Elle U.K. magazine.
"Being in a leotard looking at your body in a mirror seven hours a day, six days a week and having people talk about your body in front of you and in front of other girls and boys... Growing up with that is not healthy," she said.
"I was very lucky to go through ballet school without having an eating disorder. I don’t know how," Alicia explained, noting that it was her mother who spoke to her every day about the dangers of a negative body image.
However, when the Swedish star stopped dancing, she struggled to accept her changing body.
"But when I stopped ballet, I continued to eat a lot and – it’s stupid because I was really thin when I was dancing – but I gained two or three kilos and I freaked out when I saw a photo (of myself) because my body had changed," the 31-year-old shared.
"Like so many other girls I was like, I shouldn’t eat carbs. That was the first thing I heard about, so I stopped eating bread.”
It was only after landing the role of Lara Croft in 2018’s Tomb Raider, where she was required to train from 4am daily and gained around 5kg of muscle, that The Danish Girl actress realised the importance of diet and exercise.
"I’ve often thought to myself, if I were to have a kid, would I put them in ballet school? I do really treasure a lot of my work ethic and things that I got from that education, but it either makes you or breaks you," she mused. "And it could have as easily have gone the other way (for me)."
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