Going through puberty is awkward in the best of situations; doing it on camera is borderline mortifying.
In her Body Scan video for Women’s Health, Cobra Kai star Peyton List said she was just 12 years old when she was cast on Disney’s Jessie. “I was going through puberty and that awkwardness of not wearing a bra and then watching an episode and going, ‘Oh my gosh. How did wardrobe not tell me? Like, I need a bra.’” Peyton says she was “so critical” of herself already, and it didn’t help when fans started weighing in with the critiques, too. “I definitely got very judgmental of myself and I noticed a lot of anxiety and insecurity.”
Peyton also went through orthodontics on Jessie. “I had behind-the-teeth braces because I was filming and they would just cut up the sides of my tongue to where I didn’t want to talk,” she says. “I had a lisp because I was trying to learn to talk around the braces.” Eventually, she segued into Invisalign, which her Jessie co-starKaran Brar also had. “We’d be taking it out and putting it on the script supervisor’s podium between scenes,” she says.
Despite the awkward teenage moments, Peyton says she eventually realized that, if she felt good emotionally, she felt positive about her body. “I was like, ‘Alright. That’s fine. That’s all I need,’” she says.
Now, Peyton has a highly physical job playing Tory Nichols on Cobra Kai—and she works hard at it. “I have to do, probably an hour every day…just on legs and on kicks,” she says. (One of her favorite workouts: STRONG Nation! She loves their virtual classes involving martial arts.)
Peyton says she had to learn to use her hips when she kicks, and it’s not easy. “I just have to get low and twist for a sh*t-ton of time,” she says. “At first, I was in such pain and burning, but that has really helped. It’s really just drilling it over and over.”
To learn more about Peyton’s journey to body acceptance, watch her Body Scan video above.
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