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Hayden Panettiere Struggles with Body Dysmorphia: Star Speaks Out in Women's Health Magazine

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Hayden Panettiere began her acting career when she was a little girl and fans have watched her grow-up, on-screen, into a beautiful woman. The stunning blonde 23-year-old is usually admired for her dazzling smile and hot bikini body, however Panettiere does see her own beauty due to her painful struggle with body dysmorphia.

"Body dysmorphic disorder is a type of chronic mental illness in which you can't stop thinking about a flaw with your appearance. Treatment of body dysmorphic disorder may include medication and cognitive behavioral therapy," according to the Mayo Clinic.

The condition often leads to major depression and is reported to affect 1 to 2 percent of the U.S. population.

The young actress has now spoken out about her disorder and her body image in the October issue of Women's Health magazine.

When Panettiere was just 16 years old, a tabloid magazine published a photo of the star's bum with the word "cellulite" plastered across the image.

"I was mortified," the "Nashville" actress tells the magazine. "It gave me such body dysmorphia for so long. But I remember reminding myself that beauty is an opinion, not a fact. And it has always made me feel better."

The embarrassing moment also made the actress more aware of how her 5-foot-1 petite frame looks on camera. To stay in shape, Panettiere regularly takes the stairs and takes Birkam yoga classes.  She doesn't follow a strict diet, however she does enjoy eating healthy foods like egg whites and strawberries. "Eating healthy is a constant battle. I love chips," Panettiere confesses. "I find when I'm overly concerned about what I eat, I stress out my body and put on weight."

Panettiere says she looks her best when she feels her best. "People can tell when you're happy with being you and when you're not. It's only cheesy because it's true," she tells the magazine. "As I've gotten older and grown into my body, I've started realizing that the way you carry yourself and that light coming out of your eyes are the most attractive things about you."

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