"When I was growing up, my mother [actress Lindsay Crouse] was always on some sort of diet, and everything I was fed was nonfat or sugar free," the Girls star writes in the March issue of Glamour. "When I was hungry, her first response was, 'Are you sure?' I dreaded shopping. My mother would say to me, 'Zosia, let's look in the husky section.'"
Mamet, 28, says she was always jealous of her Crouse's lithe, dancer's body.
"She had been a dancer growing up and had the body to match – flat stomach, small chest," Mamet writes. "I remember as a girl taking baths with her; I would stare down at my pudgy stomach and feel deep pangs of envy. I prayed I would grow up to have her body."
But Mamet knows while Crouse's own body image issues clearly influenced Mamet's own, she says her mom wasn't the direct cause of the eating disorder that started when she was eight.
"As kids we are molded by our parents, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not," Mamet writes. "I want to be clear: I AM NOT BLAMING MY MOTHER FOR MY EATING DISORDER. More so, I empathize."
"I know that my mother's treatment of me stemmed from her own issues with her body. She struggled, so I struggled. But I did struggle."
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Her hope is that other girls will avoid the body-shaming pitfalls she developed at a young age.
"We have to work to forgive our mothers, hope they have forgiven their mothers, and start mothering ourselves, start mothering the broken 12-year-olds inside of us," she says. "Here's what that would look like: We can feed ourselves when we're hungry and feel good when we're full. We can thank our bodies for everything they give us rather than criticizing them for everything they don't."
"And when we look in the mirror, we can think of what we would say to ourselves at 12. I would tell my younger self she's beautiful just the way she is. I hope my mom is telling herself the same thing."