Camila Mendes Opened Up About Getting Her “To Build a Home” Tattoo After She Was Sexually Assaulted

Camila Mendes is on the cover of Women’s Health this month and, boy, did she just make me want to wipe all the crumbs off my couch and go flex these so-called muscles. While talking to the magazine, the Riverdale star opened up about being a body-positive role model, her new Netflix thriller, Windfall, moving 12 times before she was 18 years old, and the meaning behind her only tattoo.

Since Camila moved so much when she was growing up, she always tries to feel at home— no matter where she’s at—by getting into a routine that makes her feel comfortable. Yoga, Pilates, and going to the same cafés and hotels give her a sense of stability that she never had before. Moving—plus a “very, very bad” experience in college—was the inspiration behind her “to build a home” tattoo on her ribcage.

She said, “I got the tattoo after my freshman year. I had a very, very bad experience; I was roofied by someone who sexually assaulted me.”

After that, Camila was committed to making everything around her feel safe and comfortable, something she’s always wanted in a home. {If you don’t have that literal box, you have to create it in your habits,” she explained.

One thing that’s really helped her is being active. “Whenever I feel like I’m going through something difficult, I think about what I can do physically for myself,” she said. And as a woman after our own hearts, she isn’t a total gym rat and loves to sleep just as much as she likes to work out. “People sometimes put working out first and don’t give their bodies rest. I’ll always choose sleep first. I think it’s just so underrated.” Truer words!

If you or someone needs help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673).

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