While there could potentially be a Bughead baby one day on Riverdale, actor Lili Reinhart confirmed she's not pregnant in an Instagram Story. As Reinhart mentioned in her Monday post, "hundreds of people" have speculated that she's pregnant because of an "unflattering photo" of her stomach that's on the internet. Even though they haven't confirmed it publicly, fans are convinced that Reinhart and Cole Sprouse are dating in real life. Since these Riverdale stars have an on-again, off-again relationship on the show as Betty and Jughead, there might be a certain level of fascination for fans if Reinhart and Sprouse were actually expecting. But Reinhart's Instagram Story is an excellent lesson in body acceptance and serves as an all-too-important reminder that people shouldn't be so concerned about other people's bodies.
When it comes to her private life, Reinhart is pretty secretive. But her choice to come forward to put an end to the pregnancy rumors seems less about her private life being intruded on and more about unfair assumptions about people's bodies. "Nope. Not pregnant. This is just my body. And sometimes I'm bloated. Sometimes an unflattering photo is taken of me. Sometimes I go through periods of time where I gain weight," Reinhart wrote. "My body is something that I will NEVER apologize for."
Reinhart doesn't mention Sprouse in her Instagram Story. But as Cosmopolitan pointed out, fans were questioning on Twitter if the couple was pregnant. The picture that Reinhart is referring to also isn't clear, but it's also not the point. Because, as Reinhart continued, "My body will constantly go through change. And so will yours. And that's fine. So let's not put so much time and effort into caring about a stranger's figure."
Fellow Riverdale star Camila Mendes showed her support for Reinhart in her own Instagram Story. She screenshotted Reinhart's message and added the clapping hands and heart emojis.
The actor who plays Veronica on Riverdale also opened up about body image in an Instagram Story that she said was inspired by Reinhart. "i feel bloated 24/7, my weight fluctuates constantly, it comes with being and should be celebrated, not criticized," Mendes wrote. She continued,
"i used to fear the day that people start publicly criticizing my body and commenting on my weight. i've suffered too much from my own self criticism, and wasn't sure that I could handle it from others. but seeing somebody as beautiful as lili respond to public scrutiny by preaching and practicing self love is all it takes for me to overcome that fear. proud to call her my friend. let's continue inspiring women to love their bodies."
This isn' the first time that these female Riverdale stars have stood together about body image. In March, Reinhart and Mendes wrote on Instagram that Cosmopolitan Philippines had photoshopped their bodies for the cover of the magazine. W magazine reported that Reinhart addressed the situation in an Instagram Story and wrote, "We aren't going to hide behind photoshop to conform to your beauty standards." And Mendes wrote that the actors felt "disrespected and disturbed" by the magazine apparently editing the images to make their waists look thinner. (At the time, Bustle reached out to Cosmopolitan Philippines for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.)
Mendes has also helped to inspire women to love their bodies through her involvement with Project HEAL, an organization that helps people with eating disorders. Mendes has posted on Instagram that she's #donewithdieting because, as she wrote, "When did being thin become more important than being healthy?" In another post, Mendes also wrote that she chose to get involved with Project HEAL since her sister suffered from an eating disorder and she's "experienced periods of my life when I've suffered symptoms as well."
So while you may have fun speculating what's next in Betty and Jughead's relationship on Riverdale, the posts from Reinhart and Mendes remind viewers that there are real people behind these characters. And just because these actors are in the public eye doesn't mean their bodies should be critiqued or held to unrealistic standards. Instead, they embrace their bodies as they are — and encourage other people to do the same.