Lily Collins rocks this season’s sporty-sexy swimwear with the right dose of body love.
LILY HAS KNOWN SOME ROCKY TIMES, BOTH EMOTIONALLY AND SPIRITUALLY. BUT SHE’S COME OUT STRONGER AND MORE DETERMINED TO DIVE BACK INTO LIFE—ONE FULL OF EXCITING PROJECTS, SOUL-NOURISHING FOOD, AND A FIERCE SENSE OF BODY PRIDE.
Ha movie w wardrobe cue the sn’t happen To celebrate she went hool friends after the shoot and reminisced about how awkward they all felt about their bodies as teens. “We wore boys’ board shorts over our swimsuits!” she says. The irony that Collins, 28, was unwaveringly confident and at ease on set all day in one revealing swimsuit after another was not lost on her. “I never dreamed I’d be posing in a bikini on the cover of Shape. It’s a complete 180 for me. It’s a magazine about what it means to be healthy,” she says. You see, for Collins, the struggle to get healthy was, and still is, real. And she’s refreshingly candid about it. Although she’s fit and radiant now, for more than half a decade she suffered in silence from an eating disorder that had her restricting her intake of food, bingeing and purging, abusing laxatives and diet pills, and perhaps more significantly, hiding it all from her friends and family.
But after years of destructive behaviour, Collins, who is extremely close to her mom (her dad is musician Phil Collins), realized that she needed to be held accountable. So she came out about her disorder. “My perspective on other people’s view of me was based on this disorder being a secret. But the more open I became about it, the more I was able to be myself,” she says.
Speaking her truth to her inner circle eventually set Collins free to share her story with the world—and because of her journalism background, she had the chops to do it. At 15, she became a correspondent for Elle Girl U.K. (she spent a lot of her childhood in England), and in 2008 she reported on the U.S. presidential election for Nickelodeon. She was later a contributing editor for CosmoGirl and the Los Angeles Times Magazine.
Her recently published book, Unfiltered, details her experience with her disease and ended up being “even more honest than I was intending,” she says. “I didn’t realize I’d cover so much.” But she was ready to talk. And that’s a good thing, because she has a lot to say. Here are the chapters on her recovery.
Body image reboot
“I used to see healthy as this image of what I thought perfect looked like—the perfect muscle definition, etc. But healthy now is how strong I feel. It’s a beautiful change, because if you’re strong and confident, it doesn’t matter what muscles are showing. Today I love my shape. My body is the shape it is because it holds my heart.”
There’s such a thing as career karma
“In October 2015, when I got the book deal, I wasn’t filming anything. Then
I got flooded with work [including getting a leading role in an Amazon TV show called The Last Tycoon, which began streaming recently, and the movie Okja with Jake Gyllenhaal, which opened in June]. People told me to put the book on hold, but I knew it would be worth it to keep going. And as luck would have it, To the Bone came up [playing a woman sent to a rehab center for her eating disorder]. Although I was in recovery for several years before the movie, preparing for the film allowed me to gather facts about eating disorders from professionals. It was a new form of recovery for me. I got to experience it as my character, Ellen, but also as Lily. I was terrified that doing the movie would take me backward, but I had to remind myself that they hired me to tell a story, not to be a certain weight. In the end, it was a gift to be able to step back into shoes I had once worn but from a more mature place.”
Nurture and nature
“I’m a clean eater.
I love chicken, fish, and vegetables and grains like quinoa, but I don’t eat red meat. I steer clear of processed foods. I’m very farm-to-table; growing up in the English countryside, it was a way of life, not a trend. I also treat myself to the occasional dessert when I’m out with friends. But on the daily, I want to give my body what it needs to be the best version of myself. When I splurge, it’s usually on things that I’ve baked, because it’s satisfying physically and emotionally. I’m not gluten-free or vegan, but
I love baking things because of the sense of accomplishment I get from creating something that’s yummy and healthy. I make everything from doughnuts to birthday cakes and banana-walnut bread. There was a time when I wouldn’t let myself taste those kinds of foods, let alone make them. I bake from the heart. I put love out there, and it goes right back in.”
FIT FASHION Lisa Marie Fernandez Farrah Army Bonded Maillot wet suit
Tory Burch Clouded Leopard string bikini top (toryburch.com).
Smith + Mara Open Pavé Diamond Thin Cuff (smithandmara.com).
Chan Luu Gunmetal Mix Bracelet Set
(chanluu.com). Sydney Evan YellowGold and Black Onyx Roll Bangle
Zoe Chicco Toggle Chain Wire Bracelet
FI T FA S H ION Missoni bikini top and bottom
(missoni.com). Vince CropTank
(vince.com). Ariel Gordon Horizon Earrings (arielgordonjewelry.com). Hearts on Fire Triplicity Triangle Lariat necklaces
(heartsonfire.com). Jennifer Meyer Gold Bar Link Bracelet
(barneys.com). Sydney Evan Gold and Pavé and White Gold and Pavé Diamond Rectangle Bangles
(sydneyevan.com). Chan Luu Gunmetal Mix Bracelet Set
(chanluu.com). Zoe Chicco Single Diamond Ring (zoechicco.com). Jennifer Meyer Yellow Gold Trillion Diamond Ring (ylang23.com).
FIT FASHION Zeus + Dione Patmos One-Piece swimsuit (zeusndione.com). Jennifer Meyer Yellow Gold Diamond Crescent Hoops (ylang23 .com). Shay Jumbo Nameplate Bangle , Shay Essential Nameplate Bangle, and Shay Baguette Orbit Ring (shayfinejewelry.com).