Bella Thorne Opens Up About Pressures of 'Perfect' Disney Image: 'Kids Need to See Real'

Bella Thorne
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Bella Thorne photographed at the 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival on Aug. 31, 2019.

Bella Thorne is 23 years old, and reflecting on her teenage years as a Disney Channel darling.

The actress and singer, who starred as CeCe in Shake It Up from 2010 to 2013, discussed the stress of upholding the clean Disney image with Fox News on Tuesday (Feb. 23). "There are definitely a lot of pressures in the Disney eye to be so perfect and I think that's where Disney in a sense goes wrong because they make their kids seem perfect," she told the publication.

"That image is very difficult. It's also never been me," Thorne she continued, before adding, "Little kids growing up don't need to see perfect people. Kids need to see real. They need to see diversity, they need to see intriguing."

In fact, Thorne said showing more of her true self, including her poetry, sexuality, past struggles with abuse and more, has allowed her to form a deeper connection with her fans. "My life has changed in a lot of really amazing ways. Now when fans come up to me, they don't always say, 'I love you from this movie, that movie.' They say, 'Oh my God, I read your book and I connected to it so much because of this terrible time.'"

"They tell me these stories and we connect. We usually both cry a little bit, and we hug. The book has curated me these beautiful moments in time that I get to fully be in," she continued.

Nowadays, Thorne has mastered the art of brushing off haters. "You just can't react," she explained. "If someone says you're an ugly piece of s--t and you look bad, you're thinking, 'Am I really an ugly piece of s--t? Is that who I am?' By doing that you are giving those words weight. Those are really just words."

She also shared that in 2021, she hopes to continue working on music and focusing on "how to be better and how to do better." The star recently released a new single, "Shake It."