It would be easy to assume Zoe Kravitz, the daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, has led a charmed life. But in the new issue of Complex, the actress-musician opened up about how her celebrity upbringing played into her long battle with eating disorders that began when she was only a teenager.
"I had a really hard time when I was 16, 17, 18. I started with the eating disorder in high school...." She confessed. "Just [a hard time] loving myself."
Kravitz struggled with anorexia and bulimia in high school, battles she would continue to actively fight until only a few years ago. "I think it was part of being a woman, and being surrounded by [fame]," she said. "I don't think it was about the fame, but I think it was definitely about being around that world, seeing that world. I felt pressured."
"My mother's a... beautiful woman, and I think, in some way, I felt intimated by that sometimes," Kravitz said. "My dad dated a lot of supermodels," she added with a laugh.
The Divergent star also says that the systemic way society conditions women to be insecure about their appearance played a role in her struggles with body image. "It's either you're conceited or insecure, as opposed to just loving yourself," she explained.
In 2013, when Kravitz signed on to play an anorexic in The Road Within, she worried about taking on the sensitive subject matter. "My parents got really scared for me to go back down that road," Kravitz recalled.
The actress shrunk down to a frightening 90 pounds by drinking clay and a Mason jar of pureed vegetables a day. However, Kravitz still wasn't content and wanted to lose more weight. "It was f---ed up, man," Kravitz said. "You could see my ribcage. I was just trying to lose more weight for the film, but I couldn't see: You're there. Stop. It was scary."
After the film wrapped, Kravitz became very ill due to the weight loss and malnutrition, and she struggled to regain the weight. "I was like, 'I don't want to gain weight,' as opposed to being like, 'Good, I'm a normal human being,'" Kravitz said.
On New Year's Eve 2013, Kravitz had an epiphany and embraced a healthier lifestyle. "I just felt it was different," she said. "I don't know... if a f--ing spirit came over me and said: 'You have to stop.'"
And though The Road Within took a drastic toll on Kravitz's health, she said she doesn't regret the experience. "It made me not only confront my demons, but also realize and accept an insecurity that's still there, and [that it's] easy to fall back into that pattern," she said.