We hear about celebrities with eating disorders on a regular basis, it makes for sensational news coverage of celebrities. Mary-Kate Olsen is just one of the recent celebrities admitting to anorexia, just one form of eating disorders. She has now successfully completed a program to help her deal with her eating disorder and has returned to classes at NYU.
Paula Abdul, singer, and celebrity judge on “American Idol,’ is yet another of the celebrities that admits to suffering from eating disorders. In her case, MS. Abdul has publicly stated that she has for years battled with both the anorexic and bulimic forms of eating disorders. She even chairs a national eating disorders clearinghouse for the educating and treating of those suffering from eating disorders.
The list of celebrities who are now battling or who have battled with eating disorders in the past is long and new members are added continually.
Tracey Gold, who as a child actress played, daughter: “Carol” on the series “Growing Pains” suffered from anorexic during her time on the show. Though cast members may have speculated that she was battling from an eating disorder, the truth of it didn’t come out until the actress was an emancipated 65lbs, and very close to losing her life.
Wynona Judd, Country Music Songstress, was recently interviewed by Larry King and shared with him and the listening audience that she suffers from a form of eating disorder that gets ‘little’ attention in the media compared to other eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Wynona shared that she is ‘addicted’ to food the same as an alcoholic is addicted to alcohol. “Compulsive Over-Eating” is an eating disorder that can be just as damaging to one’s health and spirit as any other forms of eating disorders are. To gain a perspective on her disease, MS. Judd, underwent a drastic program of treatment in which she was completely isolated from other people and outside influences. Her treatment included a painful withdrawal from all sugars, which she reported was an extremely difficult and painful experience the first few weeks of the program. Wynona bravely shared her story in the hopes of helping others who suffer alone, and filled with shame because of their eating disorders.
Hollywood is ‘obsessed’ with beauty, and the culture that exists promotes that to be the most beautiful, and thereby, most popular, one must be a size 1 or smaller. This kind of culture pressures many celebrities into starving themselves, or taking dangerous drugs, or other equally dangerous methods of becoming the ‘thinnest’ celebrity to walk the red carpet. The pressure to be so ‘thin’ is how full-blown eating disorders begin for many celebrities.
Of course, most celebrities don’t readily admit to suffering from an eating disorder. Most try to “deny” reports that a recent photograph of them is proof they have an eating disorder. Many have tried to explain-away their apparent super-human, thinness by claims of the ‘flu’ or other illnesses that caused then to lose large amounts of weight. It is understandable that some celebrities are hesitant to talk about the eating disorders they battle, as “shame’ is a common emotion that sufferers of eating disorders report feeling.
But more celebrities need to come forward and begin talking about the eating disorders that plague Hollywood. This is a very crucial step to reversing the message that has been sent to young girls telling them that ‘dying to get thin’ is okay. Telling them that being able to wear a size 1 outfit is more important than having human compassion for others. That “thin” is more important than loving yourself just as you are.