Madison Beer discusses how body-shaming comments on social media have affected her life, emphasising that no one should have to “tolerate abuse.”
The “Dangerous” singer-songwriter recently spoke with Today about her “public scrutiny, bullying, and harassment” since her meteoric rise to fame.
The 24-year-old admitted that she’s been “struggling” with body dysmorphia in recent months because “so many people impacted me so negatively about my body when I was younger.”
“I grew up pretty happy,” she said to the publication. “I used to think I had a nice body. But hearing constant comments about how I don’t was extremely upsetting to me when I was so young.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, body dysmorphia is a mental health disorder in which a person can’t stop thinking about a perceived defect or flaw in their appearance. Anxiety and depression can result from the disorder, making it difficult to function in social situations and daily life.
Beer admitted that she had been “restricting herself a lot” when it came to food in recent weeks.
“I wasn’t eating as much as I should be,” she admitted, adding that as she struggled with restrictive eating, she read a comment on social media that said, “Someone needs to tell her to stop eating and put the fork down.”
“I’m getting to a point where I’m more confident, but it stinks and it’s really hurtful when people have no idea what you’re going through behind closed doors,” Beer continued.
While dealing with social media backlash, the singer advised her younger fans to limit their screen time because “life is very short.”
“I don’t think we’ll ever get to a better place as a society if we’re all so quick to yell and scream and cancel each other and pull each other down,” she told the outlet.
In her new memoir The Half of It, Beer goes into greater detail about the effects of social media on her life and mental health.
Before the memoir’s April 25 release, the “Selfish” singer spoke to PEOPLE about its contents, including the moment a private nude video of herself at 15 — one sent in confidence to a romantic partner — was leaked online and widely circulated on social media.
She claimed she felt victimised at the time because many people publicly shamed her for sending the video in the first place.
“I wasn’t really protected at all,” she admitted to PEOPLE. “No one bothered to intervene and say, ‘This is a child, and we shouldn’t be sharing this video.'”
Beer’s management and record label dropped her about a year after the incident. She admitted to feeling overwhelmed and even contemplating suicide after being forced to forge her own career path.
“There were many times — just like the night my nudes were leaked — when I felt so backed into a corner that I thought the only way out was to end my life,” she writes in her book.
“I definitely feel like a lot of the book is about reclaiming the narrative,” Beer told PEOPLE. “I’ve put on myself a bit of a responsibility to advocate and speak on these things and make people aware that their words do hurt, linger and impact you.”