Lili Reinhart has a tattoo of an arrow on her forearm which “represents fighting through depression and anxiety.” She has struggled with mental health problems since she was 12 years old and has used both therapy and medications to help mange it. She encourages others to take control of their own mental health and seek out the help they need, advising them not to give up on themselves. She told People Style:
“The arrow represents mental health awareness. I talk a lot about depression and anxiety and my own struggles with it, so I wanted to get it. I saw a quote, it’s kind of like…’an arrow can only go forward by being pulled back, so when you’re going through a hard time, being pulled back, it only means you’re about to experience something greater and bigger.’ So that’s what that represents to me. That was a mantra that I would say to myself when I was going through a hard time, that it it only means it’s going to get better.”
Lili had her own moment of being pulled back to move forward in landing the iconic role of Betty Cooper on Riverdale. “Riverdale came into my life when I was going through the worst depression I had ever experienced. And in the end it completely saved me,” she tweeted. The aspiring actress had moved to Los Angeles on her own at age 18 to pursue her career, but her anxiety kept getting worse. Eventually things got so bad that she couldn’t stay and had to move back home to focus on her mental health. At home she switched to a new medication and resumed seeing her old therapist to work on rebuilding herself. She actually recorded her first audition tape for Rivderdale while at home but got rejected. When she was healthy enough to move back to Los Angeles it was with a renewed fervor. She went to an in-person audition for Betty Cooper and landed the role.
The worst times in her life had led to her big break, but when she got the arrow tattoo she didn’t actually know yet that everything would turn out alright. It was perhaps more a symbol of faith that she desperately needed at that time. She got the tattoo from artist Dr Woo in June 2015, right before she left Los Angeles. “Thank you, @dr_woo_ssc! I waited for months and finally got my tattoo today (second one to date),” she wrote.
Actress Mädchen Amick, who plays Lili’s mother Alice Cooper on Riverdale, has a matching tattoo from the same artist, but it’s purely coincidental. Mädchen’s arrow is a symbol of her zodiac sign Sagittarius. They noticed the matching tattoos the first time they met during a rehearsal for Riverdale and instantly bonded over it.