Zooey Deschanel was "horrified" when she accidentally entered a beauty pageant as a teenager.
The quirky actress prided herself on being different to her contemporaries when she was at school. She once decided to take part in a talent competition only to realise she'd misunderstood what it entailed.
"At 14 I accidentally entered a beauty pageant. It was basically all the trappings of a beauty pageant, without the swimsuit round! You had to do a big musical opening number and answer the sort of questions they ask in beauty pageants, about charity. I was horrified when I realised what it was," she laughed to the March edition of Company magazine.
"I thought I was entering a talent contest - a pageant was not cool! But I'm not a quitter, so I stuck it out, and my mom and sister laughed at me the entire time. I didn't win. A girl who played the viola did."
Zooey, 32, still sees herself as different from many people. She has never felt compelled to lose weight or drastically alter her appearance, as many actresses have.
The star warns people shouldn't buy in to the Hollywood ideal.
"Don't believe the LA lies. I grew up here, and it's funny to me when people talk about the pressure to be skinny in LA, because I've never once had anybody tell me to lose weight, and I don't think you have to be anorexic to be successful," she said.
"I think it's important to be a healthy person because, if you're on TV, there will be people looking up to you. As an actress, I'm playing real people, and real people don't look like Beverly Hills housewives!"
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