Photo Credit: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage
Sarah Michelle Gellar was a model of kick-butt confidence for seven years on Buffy the Vampire Slayer -- but behind the scenes, she's much more self-conscious. In a new interview with Health magazine, the star of the new CW show Ringer confesses that she suffers from deep insecurity about her body.
"I totally have body dysmorphic disorder," says Gellar, 34. "I think most women do."
Body dysmorphic disorder, for those of you who don't know, is when the body you see in the mirror is drastically different from the body everyone else sees. Gellar even admits that she reflexively avoids mirrors.
"I'm surrounded by them all the time -- you sit in hair and makeup -- so I guess I just have this mechanism where I tune it out," she says. "So every once in a while, I'll look and I'll be like, 'Wait, that's what I look like?'"
Still, she says, she's learning to be easier on herself. Gellar, who has 2-year-old daughter Charlotte with husband Freddie Prinze Jr., says that being a mom has helped her to obsess less over her looks ("your priorities are different"). She even believes that she was too thin for a while on Buffy.
"I'm not as critical as I used to be about my body," says the actress. "And it's also funny, too, how women perceive women, and how men perceive women. Because a woman will look at the skinniest person and think that's the most attractive, and a man will not think that's attractive at all!"
The athletic actress says she's grateful that more women these days want to look strong and lean instead of emaciated -- and she uses sisters Pippa and Kate Middleton to make the distinction. "It seems like people are worried that (Catherine's) stressed. I feel like 10 years ago, it would have been like, 'Oh, she looks incredible.' Whereas you look at her sister, who has such a fabulously athletic body -- I mean, a real athlete's body -- and I think there's this movement now, where more women, finally, want to look like that."
But even if she doesn't have her ideal body, Gellar is not about to make herself crazy -- especially for the paparazzi. When asked if she worries about what she wears around town, she exclaims, "If you've seen some of my paparazzi pictures recently, you would knoooooow I don't!" The business of being a star, she says, is no longer her first priority.
"I have to remember that I like my job, but it's work, and it's not my life," she notes. "My life is my family. And I think that's the best thing. You know, take a minute. It's not the end of the world."