"I've never been perfect," Bruce Willis and Demi Moore's youngest daughter told Teen Vogue. "I've never been a squeaky clean, projected image of what I should be. I was a big tornado of doubt and self-hate, uncomfortable in my own skin."
Tallulah said she "hadn't processed" just how famous her mom and dad were until she moved to Los Angeles when she was in the third grade. After she did, she started becoming overly critical of herself – particularly the way she looked.
"I was in a New York hotel room when I was 13 (before social media was such a huge thing), looking at a photo of myself online," she recalled. "I broke down in tears as I started to read the comments. I thought, I am a hideous, disgusting-looking person. I might be nice and I might be kind, but I'm a really unattractive human being. In that moment, a switch flipped. It wasn't about the anonymous cyberbullies-I became my own worst critic."
As she went to high school, things got worse. "I continually searched for something that would make me feel OK. I felt like I had to dress really skanky and be the loud, stupid drunk girl at the party. I figured people would like that, and I was beating them to the punch."
Then, as her body developed, her eating disorder "sparked" and she started starving herself. She also smoked "a lot of weed" and abused other substances. Whether it was dyeing her hair or getting a tattoo or piercing, Tallulah said, "there was always something that I believed would fix things, some way I could avoid being myself."
When she went to college, her depression "became overwhelming," adding, "I didn't sleep or want to talk to anyone, nothing seemed to have a point, the world lost its color, and food lost its taste. I was so removed from my body and from my mind that it was like I was living in a cardboard replica of what life should be."
After her sister Scout convinced her to take better care of herself, she went to treatment for 45 days. "I'm now 20 years old, and I can say that I'm getting to that place where I'm starting to feel OK with myself, bit by bit," she continued. "It's not night and day-it's not like now I completely love myself and I have no problems. That isn't how it works. But there are the starting points of that, and that's really exciting. I'm growing every day and breaking old patterns."
Speaking of growing every day, Tallulah hit Instagram Wednesday to share some special news with fans, captioning a selfie, "its pretty cool to be 6⃣ months sober today. jus sayin'..."
Pretty cool indeed. The full issue of Teen Vogue hits newsstands January 13.