Saturday 10 December 2016

Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson is told she's 'too fat' for roles - even though she's a size 2

Published 10/02/2016 | 12:10

Ashley Benson
Ashley Benson
US actress Ashley Benson poses during the photocall of the movie Spring Breakers
Ashley Benson as Hanna Marin in Pretty Little Liars
Ashley Benson attends the Ocean Drive Magazine Hosts 23rd Anniversary with Ashley Benson on January 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
(L-R) Actresses Lucy Hale, Sasha Pieterse, Troian Bellisario and Ashley Benson attend PaleyFest New York 2015 for "Pretty Little Liars" at The Paley Center for Media on October 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
Actress Ashley Benson attends the GQ 20th Anniversary Men Of The Year Party at Chateau Marmont on December 3, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for GQ Magazine)

Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson said she's regularly told to lose weight for roles - despite the fact she's already a size two (US).

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The 26-year-old actress stars as Hanna on the hit show and said she's regularly told she's "too fat" for certain parts, but said she refuses to shed the pounds to fit into Hollywood's unrealistic standards for women.

"It's come up a few times in the last few years, like 'You're too fat for this', and I'm just sitting here like, 'Wait! What? Do you want a skeleton?'" she told Health magazine.

"But I feel good. I don't want to lose 20 pounds, because I don't need to... I get told all the time to lose weight... There was a point where it was getting to where a size two was great. I'm a size two, but I think that size four is healthy. I think that all of these sizes are healthy."

Ashley Benson attends the Ocean Drive Magazine Hosts 23rd Anniversary with Ashley Benson on January 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
Ashley Benson attends the Ocean Drive Magazine Hosts 23rd Anniversary with Ashley Benson on January 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

Ashley said her journey to body confidence is still ongoing, but works out regularly in order to stay fit.

"I usually do Pilates three days a week for an hour, and I try to box or do SoulCycle two or three times a week," she explained. "There are times I just want to do nothing! But then I don't feel good about myself."

Read more: Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson posts naked shower birthday snap on Instagram

"Not for my b**t but for my legs," she said. "We usually do circuit training, so I'll do 25 squats, then I'll run back and forth, and then I'll do lunges to the other side of the gym both ways, run, then squats. I can't move for days!"

(L-R) Actresses Lucy Hale, Sasha Pieterse, Troian Bellisario and Ashley Benson attend PaleyFest New York 2015 for
(L-R) Actresses Lucy Hale, Sasha Pieterse, Troian Bellisario and Ashley Benson attend PaleyFest New York 2015 for "Pretty Little Liars" at The Paley Center for Media on October 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)

And it's not just for her physical health that she loves hitting the gym, but she also the mental benefits exercise can provide after a long-suffering battle with panic attacks.

"I started getting panic attacks for two years straight," she reveals. "I could barely go to work. It would get so bad that I would have to leave set," she added.

"I do still get them a little bit," she says. "That's part of why I work out, too, because it has cancelled out the anxiety."

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