Honesty hour. Boy Meets World star Danielle Fishel admitted the popular sitcom “lacked” body positivity years after revealing she went on a diet of lettuce and laxatives during her role as Topanga Lawrence.
Danielle, 41, said she didn’t think the show, which ran from 1993 to 2000, handled body image in a “positive” way while speaking with Insider. However, she plans to elaborate on her thoughts further during her rewatch podcast “Pod Meets World” with former costars Will Friedle (Eric Matthews) and Rider Strong (Shawn Hunter).
“We’ve had enough time away from the show that we can actually honestly look back at it and have adult eyes and 2022 eyes, and see how Boy Meets World affected what ended up being the rest of our lives,” Danielle explained.
The Girl Meets World alum’s thoughts come nearly 10 years after she revealed the disturbing measures she took to keep her weight down during filming. At one point, when she was 16, the actress weighed 89 pounds.
“I was terrified to eat,” the Arizona native said at the time, noting that she had a diet of only iceberg lettuce and laxatives to try and lose weight. After collapsing one day on set, Danielle said she “realized this was not a game.”
She eventually healed and found acceptance within herself, assuring, “I’ve learned to be comfortable in my own skin.”
“Pod Meets World” will cover other popular — and controversial — storylines from the show. Danielle responded to the criticism Topanga and Cory Matthews’ (Ben Savage) storyline received when she chose to follow her boyfriend to Pennbrook instead of attending Yale for college.
“It wasn’t our vision,” she told Insider, adding that writer Michael Jacobs wanted to tell an idealistic story of high school sweethearts. “You can meet someone when you are young and know without a shadow of a doubt that as long as you’re willing to work through highs and lows and really fight for someone that you can make a relationship work forever.”
Danielle continued, “Whether or not Cory and Topanga — or Topanga — made the right decision about choosing him over Yale, I’ll never know, but I think it worked out for her life.”
The Boiling Pot actress noted that Topanga “wanted” a “family and relationship with Cory” in addition to a career. “At the end of the day, it did not stop her from pursuing her career and becoming a lawyer and becoming a judge,” she reasoned. “Regardless of whether or not she got the degree from a more prestigious university.”
If you or someone you know struggles with an eating disorder, visit the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders (ANAD) website or call their hotline at (888)-375-7767 to get help.