Evanna Lynch, receiving a signed copy of Harry Potter while battling anorexia in the hospital.
Brave Enough to be Me: Evanna Lynch
As a young girl, some of my greatest role models came from books: Jo March from Little Women, Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, and Kristy Thomas from The Babysitters Club. These characters helped me meet the challenges of growing up.
The same could be said for Evanna Lynch, who is best known as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter movie series. Evanna's inspiration, however, wasn't just about personality. It was about strength and self-love.
Evanna Lynch recently admitted to having been diagnosed with anorexia, a severe eating disorder, by the age of 11. In an interview with BANG Showbiz, Evanna stated:
I was very tormented and, eventually I was just like, 'I hate this, I don't want to be this person any more.' My 'Harry Potter' character Luna really inspired me, I thought, 'I really wanna be someone like that.'
It shaped me. I had to learn how to channel it. Those eating disorders are so much about you wanting to be perfect and be the perfect size, but I also had to learn it was a very cowardly thing to strive to be a certain shape.
Because of her love for the Harry Potter books, Evanna wrote to J. K. Rowling asking for advice on her disorder. Rowling wrote back, telling Evanna that anorexia was a destructive, not creative, thing. Rowling also told Evanna that if she got healthy, she could audition to play Luna in the movies.
Taking that advice to heart, Evanna set out to be as much of a role model as Luna. She beat anorexia. She auditioned for and was given the part of Luna Lovegood. She learned that anorexia is about fear and certainties, knowing that you can always lose weight, always remain in control. But that isn't bravery. Bravery is about having the guts to do something that isn't certain.
In my book, Evanna's journey is just as inspirational as the ones undertaken by Luna, Jo, Elizabeth, and Kristy–only Evanna's a real person. She continues acting, is involved in several non-profits, and is training to be a yoga teacher. Today, Evanna's a lot like Luna: brave enough to be herself, no matter what others think of her.
Girl Museum Inc.