13 December 2008

Shailene Woodley: A TV Star's Secret Scoliosis

After two long years, the Secret Life of the American Teenager actress finally removes her brace, a report from Us Weekly notes this week. Shailene Woodley, 17, received her Christmas gift on December 3. According to the report that's the day the star of the ABC Family series - who at 15, was diagnosed with scoliosis (a severe curvature of the spine) - stopped wearing her back brace.

Shailene Woodley: A TV Star's Secret Scoliosis

Woodley, whose show returns January 5, spoke to Us Weekly and the weekly celebrity and entertainment magazine has a question and answer session with the young star. She tells the magazine she feels "Amazing and "can't wait to get back into Pilates. But the doctors still need to observe my progress, so I'm hopeful and positive."


Q: Describe what it felt like to wear the brace.

It's like wearing a tacky, disgusting, plastic corset for 18 hours a day. In the beginning, it was hard to eat or breathe. And I had to give up cross-country running. But I needed to have it on to realign my spine.

Q: Why didn't American Teenager viewers ever see it on screen?

I took it off for filming. My character, Amy, is pregnant, and I couldn't fit a prosthetic belly over the brace. But usually it wasn't for more than five or six hours at a stretch - more than doable.


Q: How did costars treat you?

A little differently at first. But once they saw I wasn't going to break, they relaxed.

Q: What's next?

I've lost most of my muscle mass, so I'm in the process of rebuilding it. An who knows, maybe someday I'll get to play a character who has scoliosis.

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