Danielle Fishel Says She Was 'Terrified To Eat' During 'Boy Meets World'

Jordan Claes
Danielle Fishel inside a grocery cart.
instagram | @daniellefishel

Of all the iconic coming-of-age sitcoms the '90s gifted us, perhaps none is more relevant today than Boy Meets World. It taught us the value of friendship, the strength of family, and that true love often finds you in the most unsuspecting of ways.

Believe it or not, it's been more than 20 years since we said farewell to Cory, Shawn, and Topanga. Now, in a recent interview with Insider, actress Danielle Fishel is addressing the show's lack of body positivity and her own struggles to lose weight.

Sitcoms of the '90s are often viewed with a certain reverence and looked at through rose-colored glasses.

Will Smith wearing a neon green t-shirt and a blue cap in 'The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air'.

With shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Full House, and Saved by the Bell — it's easy only to remember the good times.

Among the many stellar shows, the one that stands out most is 'Boy Meets World'.

Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence about to kiss in 'Boy Meets World'.

Boy Meets World told the story of Cory Matthews, his best friend Shawn Hunter, and his destined-to-be girlfriend and later eventual wife, Topanga Lawrence.

Topanga Lawrence (Danielle Fishel) was first introduced as a bit of an oddball.

Topnaga putting lipstick all over her face in 'Boy Meets World'.

Topanga was a free spirit, to put it mildly, and the daughter of two ex-hippies. In the beginning, Cory attempted to keep her at arm's length but it didn't take long for romance to begin to blossom.

As Topanga got older and 'Boy Meets World' began to hit its stride, her image began to change.

Topanga being hit on by her professor in 'Boy Meets World'.

Topanga went from being the girl who was picked last in gym class to the young woman who wears the crown on prom night.

Similarly, Danielle Fishel began to receive recognition for her vivacious personality and undeniable good looks.

Topanga and Cory in the halls at school in 'Boy Meets World'.

It didn't take long for Danielle's face to start appearing on the covers of teen magazines like J-14 and Tiger Beat. Almost overnight, she became the stuff of dreams for teenage boys all across America.

In fact, to this day Danielle is known as "America's first television crush."

Cory and Shawn pointing at Topanga in disbelief in 'Boy Meets World'.

It's a title she takes in stride now that she's an adult. But when you're a 12-19-year-old kid, being a teenage dream comes with unique pressures.

Danielle has since spoken out about how 'Boy Meets World' mishandled issues surrounding body positivity.

Danielle Fishel holding up a "Baby Meets World' onesie.
instagram | @daniellefishel

"We’ve had enough time away from the show that we can actually honestly look back at it and have adult eyes and 2022 eyes," Danielle told Insider, "and see how Boy Meets World affected what ended up being the rest of our lives."

While Danielle was starring in the show, she subsisted on a diet of lettuce and laxatives.

Danielle Fishel kneeling down, wearing a 'Boy Meets World' hat.
instagram | @daniellefishel

"I was terrified to eat," Danielle admitted to People magazine back in 2010. She was desperate to be thin and at one point got her weight down to 89 lbs.

Things became so severe that Danielle actually collapsed on set during filming.

The cast of 'Boy Meets World' in the classroom.
Giphy | Halloween

Danielle quickly realized that her weight and personal health weren't a game and that she needed to make immediate drastic changes to avoid a severe eating disorder.

"I've learned to be comfortable in my own skin," Danielle proudly proclaimed.

Danielle Fishel taking a selfie with her husband.
instagram | @daniellefishel

As far as when Danielle's fainting incident took place, that remains unclear. But there's no debating the fact that Boy Meets World was promoting unhealthy body choices as late as their final season.

In Season 7's "She's Having My Baby Back Ribs" episode, Topanga and Eric (Friedle) decide to go on a secret diet.

Cory happens to overhear one of their conversations and presumes that Topanga is pregnant. This miscommunication quickly snowballs into a damaging rumor that's spread among their friend group.

The intent was well-meaning but the execution missed the mark by a longshot.

Topanga holding Cory's face, telling him that she'll always love him on "Boy Meets World."

Fishel, Friedle, and Strong all agreed and confirmed that they would be sure to talk about this specific episode on their newly-minted rewatch podcast, Pod Meets World.

The 'Pod Meets World' co-stars also confirmed that they plan on doing more than addressing troublesome storylines.

Danielle has said that they will be welcoming former castmates onto the podcast, like Trina McGee, who has since spoken out about the racism she was subjected to while filming.

Danielle said that many of these conversations have already been had privately and that she looks forward to having an open discussion.

Topanga and Angela in 'Boy Meets World'.

"The tears that have been shed, the hugs that we've had, the closeness it has brought us, has[sic] been some of my favorite moments of the last several years," Danielle told Insider.

New episodes of 'Pod Meets World' are set to premiere every Monday.

You can catch up on all 11 episodes (so far) on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. You can also read more about Danielle's individual experiences on Boy Meets World in her tell-all memoir, "Normally, This Would be Cause for Concern: Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness."