Celebs Suffer from Eating Disorders Too
If you look in the mirror and see flaws, you are not the only one.
Imagine for a moment you are a celebrity who never escapes the mirror. Everywhere you turn cameras are following you. Every time you turn on the television or open a magazine you see yourself and are criticized.
It’s no coincidence Demi Lovato, Kesha, Lindsay Lohan, Kelly Clarkson, and even Lady Gaga have all struggled with an eating disorder.
“Being in the spotlight definitely has disadvantages as celebrities constantly face images of themselves and criticisms from media and magazines. Everything from their weight to what they wear is critiqued under a fine-tooth comb,” says Dr. Lisa Palmer, celebrity psychotherapist and eating disorder specialist at The Renew Center of Florida, “We are seeing a trend of more celebs being less fearful of coming out in the open with their eating disorders and mental health concerns. They want us to see they are real people.”
A few celebs have actually come out about their eating disorder or mental health issues within the past few years. Kristen Bell came out recently talking about her depression and anxiety. Oprah Winfrey Is another celebrity who has struggled with anxiety. She even wrote a book on how to heal from depression. Kelly Clarkson has suffered from eating disorders. Stressed to maintain a good weight, when she was young she was struggling with bulimia. As she grew older her weight started fluctuating, causing her to gain weight.
“Celebs are constantly under pressure to create and conform to the latest trends to try to keep their careers going. Too much focus on the external, and not enough on the internal takes a toll on any person. They are human too,” says Dr. Palmer.
Celebs are on the front lines. Becoming dehumanized for commercial sales, they ultimately become the role models for a distorted, unrealistic image of how we should look, think, and feel about ourselves. Meanwhile, like so many of us they too are victims suffering silently and self-destructing.
Here is a list of some of today’s hottest celebs who have fallen off the wagon of self-esteem and into the throes of an eating disorder crisis!
Demi Lovato was very open about her eating disorder and depression. For many years she suffered from bulimia and it ended up getting worse. However, she did eventually overcome her eating disorder. According to Fitness Magazine “Committing to a healthy lifestyle was key to her recovery. She overhauled her diet, took up exercise, and embraced her curves.” Demi was able to overcome her eating disorder and embrace her natural features rather than trying to harm herself to achieve the body she wanted. Demi Lovato said, “I realized I'd rather be strong and happy than be what society thinks is thin and perfect and be miserable.”
Another celebrity with an eating disorder is Lindsay Lohan. Before her disorder Lindsay Lohan was just a regular celebrity. Starring in movies such as The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, and Mean Girls. Then her career went downhill. Suffering from bulimia and drug use, the singers/actress’ low weight was caused by her bulimia.
Billy Bob Thornton
Men suffer from eating disorders too. Billy Bob Thornton was a victim of anorexia. While shooting his movie U-Turn he started out at weighing 197. However, Wonderslist mentions that he lost 59 pounds for his movie Pushing Tin. Weighing 138 lbs. for a man, is dangerously skinny. Fortunately, Billy Bob was able to overcome his eating disorder and is back on track to being healthier.
Being a part of a band can be a bit intimidating. Especially if you want appear fit for your audience. Caleb Followill of the band Kings of Leon suffered from low self-esteem and said he always felt like he had to try hard in order to feel good about himself. Wonderlist suggests that he forced himself into doing heavy exercising. “Doing numerous push-ups and running, even on extremely hot days, with a heavy tracksuit on.” Eventually, he was able to control his eating habits and exercise at a steadier pace.
Lady Gaga is one of today’s biggest pop stars. She is one of the few stars that is constantly being featured in the media. Especially because of her crazy wardrobe. However, beyond the spotlight, she‘s far from perfect. Lady Gaga has suffered from bulimia, anorexia, and even depression. Wanting to stay skinny, she found harmful ways to achieve this. She has since overcome her eating disorder, and loves her body now. In Health Aim, Lady Gaga said “…loving her body is something that she has learned over the years.” She also states that loving yourself comes from within. Go Lady Gaga!
What can we learn from these celebs? Instead of trying to please society's standard of beauty, we should learn to accept who we truly are. No matter what size we are, we are all beautiful in our own way. An eating disorder can happen to anyone, young, old, rich, or poor, and even the very famous. Dr. Palmer says, “If an eating disorder does happen to you, don’t let it get the best of you. Fight it by first getting healthy from within. Eating disorders on not just about food or weight. It’s about your image of yourself, and you can improve your self-esteem and self-worth by first making a decision to become healthy and happy from within.”