AceShowbiz - Dove Cameron has been "incredibly suicidal" at times in her life. The 27-year-old actress, whose father Philip Hosterman took his own life in 2011 when she was 15 years old, she has called for people to speak more openly about the topic in order to remove the "shame and stigma" in the hope of encouraging those who hit rock bottom to reach out for help.
She told Byrdie magazine, "I think it's important just to say this: I've had times in my life when I was incredibly suicidal. And I think that needs to be destigmatised. My father [died by] suicide. I've spoken about that a lot. And I always think about how much shame and stigma there is around suicide. And if we could be more open about suicide and mental health, I think there would be so many people [who would say], 'Hey, I feel like there’s no other option. Can you show me that there are?'"
The "Descendants" star - who previously came out as bisexual and now identifies as queer - insisted her old Disney image wasn't a "political statement" but she likes to change her look in order to "reclaim" herself.
She said, "It wasn't like I was sitting there covering up this tattooed, queer, villainy thing. I had no idea who I was going to develop into. And so it really wasn't much of a political statement to wear pink dresses and have blonde hair…it's like if I asked you for your middle school or high school photos and said, 'That's you forever. That's it. The end.' Every time [I’ve made a physical change], it's been like, ‘Okay, I've reached some kind of emotional impasse. I need to do something new to reclaim myself. What’s that going to be today?' People can perceive there was a big shift because I released ‘Boyfriend,’ dyed my hair brown, got a bunch of tattoos, and came out all in one eight-month period. But none of those things were related in the sense that I hadn’t planned them. It was a result of me being like, ‘Okay, I need to do this differently,’ and finding a million different ways that felt more true to me."
But Dove insisted there isn't always anything "serious" behind her changes of image. She said, "It's fun to not really know what the next style evolution is going to be. Me coming out as queer has been something people have definitely focused on, and obviously I wrote a big song about it, so I understand that. But sometimes how you present is a huge statement, a declaration, and a reclamation of who you are. And sometimes, it's just like, 'This style is what I'm doing right now.' I might be blonde again in six months. It's just not always that serious… [I realised] I can exist in the world and be something that is less universally palatable. And it’s not to be controversial—in fact, I think who I am as a person has not really changed at all. It’s very funny how a little hair dye, a couple of tattoos, and wearing [fewer] pastels is like this 'revolution.'"