Bella Thorne Gets Candid About 'Difficult' Time Breaking Away From Disney Image

Bella Thorne has broken out of the Disney mold after entering the spotlight when she was just a teenager on Shake It Up, but it wasn't always easy for the former child star. Now 23, Thorne reflected on her early years in Hollywood to Fox News Monday, sharing that growing up and living her truth has made her feel far more fulfilled in her career than ever before.

"There are definitely a lot of pressures in the Disney eye to be so perfect and I think that's where Disney in a sense goes wrong because they make their kids seem perfect," the "Shake It" artist shared. "That image is very difficult. It's also never been me. I always just like to do whatever no one else is doing." Growing up, Thorne thinks it's more important for children to see a diverse group of "real" and "intriguing" people instead of perfection.

Coming out in 2018 to speak about experiencing sexual and physical abuse until she was 14 and releasing her poetry book The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray about her inner struggles, Thorne said she has found more value in being real with her fans than sticking with the persona she initially had crafted. "People that are real talk about real things. I think that was much more important than my image," she said. "The Disney image was much less important."

The Famous in Love actress added that when fans approach her now, they don't always just compliment her work on screen, they also tell her how much connection they have to her writing or to her life experiences. "They tell me these stories and we connect. We usually both cry a little bit, and we hug," she shared. "The book has curated me these beautiful moments in time that I get to fully be in."

Moving forward in her career, Thorne promises two new singles and music videos after Friday's "Shake It" premiere as well as a focus on "how to be better and how to do better" in 2021. Meanwhile, she's been "constantly hot gluing things and attaching things that shouldn't be attached" to stay positive during this difficult year and has plans to keep giving fans some fun content to keep them smiling as well. "With all the terribleness we're going through, we need it. Yeah, we need to relax a little bit and have some type of release," she said.