Her wholesome character Rachel Berry rises at dawn to run on her treadmill in pursuit of perfection, and Glee star Lea Michele is believed to be equally determined in real life.
In the 18 months since she found fame on Glee, 5th 2in Lea has dropped to a slender size 6- shedding more than a stone- and the 24-year-old actress insists it’s all down to her new healthy vegan diet.
However, friends fear that the star’s long-running battle with her body demons and the pressure she feels to conform to the Hollywood stereotype could be behind the dramatic weight loss she has undergone since the show launched in September 2009.
“Lea is always comparing herself to other actresses and she feels that she is under huge pressure to diet all the time,” said a source who, like many of Lea’s friends, fears the star is overdoing it.
Now Lea, who is dating actor Theo Stockman, has cut all meat and dairy of her diet. She also practises Bikram yoga every day- which she finds “calming”- as well trail running, hiking and rock climbing.
But Lea admits that she often feels like the odd one out:
“Sometimes I can’t help but feel insecure here (in Hollywood), it really plays with your head,” said the actress, who has now confessed to being unhappy with her looks for years, especially as she struggled to make it on screen.
“I was told by agents and casting directors that I wasn’t right for TV. I was always told I wasn’t right for TV. I was always told I was too ethic or not pretty enough or too much this or not enough of that,” she said.
Lea grew up New Jersey as an only child to her mum, Edith, an Italian American, and dad, Marc, who’s Spanish/Sephardic Jewish. She struggled to fit in at school.
“I grew up in a community where what I looked like wasn’t considered beautiful,” she said.
Pals say Lea is also haunted by memories of being bullied over the size of her nose as a child, and being rejected at auditions because of the way she looked. And friends are also concerned she will be tempted to take her transformation too far and go under the knife.
“Everyone’s worried she may well to surgery, which would be a huge shame because she’s such a beautiful girl”, revealed a source close to the star. “She looks amazing but complains there are parts of her body she doesn’t like, particularly the size of her nose and her boobs.
“She could well get a couple of things done-that would be awful because she’s stunning just the way she is.”
Lea once joked she was the only girl in her school year not to have a nose job and she has also hit back at the running joke on Glee about the size of her breasts. The actress confessed: “I mean, they’re not that big but they always talk about how small they are.”
Insider also says that she worries about her outer thigh area and could be tempted to use Cynosure-Triplex laser to contour her already amazing figure.
We think Lea looks incredible on the red carpet. Let’s just hope she can finally put her demons to be and embrace her beauty.
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