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Sadie Robertson revealed she felt "crushed" after a modelling executive told her she needed to lose weight.
In a new episode of the Facebook Watch series, "At Home With The Robertsons," the "Duck Dynasty" star told "Bachelorette" alum, Hannah Brown, how her self-esteem suffered when she tried her hand at becoming a professional model when she was a teenager. The expectant 23-year-old said that while she initially felt she was thin enough, an industry insider told her she would have to trim down if she wanted a chance at a career.
“I did modelling for a little bit and it was so hard," Robertson said. "And I remember the guy came and grabbed my side and said, ‘if you would just 10 pounds, you would look like a real model.'"
Despite her bad experience, Robertson explained that although she "hates that part" of the modelling world she believes the real issue is "how we treat" the industry.
"I was really tiny. It really hurt me,” she recalled. “And I was like, ‘Oh man, that really messed with me.’ … I hate that part of it. I don’t think it’s the pageant’s fault or modelling (industry’s) fault but I think that’s how we do it …. and how we treat it.”
In addition to facing criticism for her weight, Robertson told Brown another painful incident that left her bewildered while on set of a photoshoot that was supposed to be makeup-free.
“I remember I was doing a no-makeup photoshoot and I was so excited because I was like, ‘I get to show girls that this is what I really look like,'” she remembered. “I got there, and the photographer said, ‘she doesn’t really have a face for no makeup.’ And they called in the makeup team and I was just crushed."
Robertson would eventually go on to suffer from an eating disorder, which she said was triggered by her time on "Dancing With the Stars."
In a September 2020 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Robertson said losing and gaining weight while she appeared on the reality-competition show prompted comments from family, friends and viewers that caused her to become hyper-focused on her weight.
"During 'Dancing With the Stars' ... I had this body that I never thought I'd have. I had a six-pack for two weeks, but then Thanksgiving hit and it went away. People started to comment," Robertson told ET.
Although Robertson said the comments were "innocent at first" she eventually let the "negative influences" in her life get the best of her.
"You can't stop thinking about your body, how you look, how you should eat. You're counting the calories, you're sizing up your legs and all those different things," Robertson said of the complexities of her eating disorder. "You're just kind of completely gripped by it and that's kind of where I was. I would look at myself in the mirror and I would think, 'I'm fat,' and I was not at all."
Robertson said religion played a role in helping her overcome her struggles and said she relied on her faith to help her through the hard times.
""I started praising God and thanking him for the way that I looked, instead of looking in the mirror and saying, 'Ugh, I wish my arms were thinner, I wish my legs were more toned, I wish I had her eyebrows' ... whatever it was that I would tell myself," she said. "Instead I would tell myself, 'I am so thankful that I have this. I'm so thankful that my legs actually serve the purpose that they should and that they're able to run, that my arms are able to carry things. That my stomach one day, hopefully, will be able to carry a baby.' Just what we're actually designed and created for."