NEW YORK (CBS) Rachel Leigh Cook recently spoke at the Healthy Media for Youth Summit in Washington, and had a few things to say about the entertainment industry's effect on young girls - and got particularly passionate about retouched photos.
At the event, she told those gathered, "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."
The actress also opened up about her own body issues.
"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 realizing that I had gained probably 10 pounds over the course of filming which is a lot when you're only 5'2," Cook said.
"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," she continued. "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."
Cook also spoke out against photo retouching, and photography in general.
"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," she said. "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."