Debby Ryan once put on twelve pounds (five and a half kilos), while recovering from emotional trauma, and had to endure social media backlash because of it. 

Not just that, Hollywood apparently shunned her out for a while.

In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, the Disney actress reflected on the devastation she felt six years prior to this writing. 


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An Unhealthy Approach to Grief

"I'd gone through heartbreak and my close friend was going through cancer," she confided in the outlet. Admittedly, she took a rather unhealthy approach when dealing with her emotional distress. 

She disclosed that she was emotionally eating, which in time developed into a "full-blown eating disorder" in and of itself. She added, 

I put on 12 pounds [5½ kilos], which isn't much on the Hollywood scale, but everyone online was calling me fat and speculating that I was on drugs.

She also admitted that the internet's outrage made her angry for a while and went on to recall some instances that especially stood out for her. 


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The Industry's Reaction to Weight Gain

Ryan could readily recall a few casting directors who'd look her in the eye a few months later, after her weight loss, and asked how she was doing while complimenting her appearance. 

However, she knew all too well that she was rejected from reading for the same directors because of the extra weight she had put on. 

She had also noticed that there were a few fashion designers who later commented on her Instagram photos saying, "Love you babe."

However, their affection was conditional, in that she knew they had not allowed her stylist to borrow a dress when she had packed a few pounds. 

During the interview, Ryan also drew somewhat of a parallel between herself and the character she played for Netflix's Insatiable, Patty.

She even admitted in a featurette during promotions that the show's plot made her feel "seen and heard."

Patty was a high schooler who was bullied as "Fatty Patty" for a long time. Eventually, Patty lost weight for various reasons and was labeled "hot."

Following her transformation, she embraced beauty pageants and revenge. Ryan understood Patty on a very personal level. 

The Parallel Was Broken

Still, despite the way she was treated while she had gained weight, she could not bring herself to extend the parallel down to revenge.

While the Patty in her saw her face on billboards and looked down at the people who said and did horrible things to her, she couldn't find even a tiny part of herself succumbing to the same desire. 

She confessed that the only thing that she could think about was marking and celebrating the days she went without surrendering to bad habits.

She found redemption in the fact that her struggles could find expression outside of herself and on the show, which was there for the world to see. 

The publication rightfully reported that for Ryan, that was the only accomplishment that really mattered.