You may not know it, but we’re smack-dab in the middle of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. And I know I write a lot of stuff that’s not meant to be taken seriously, but today’s gonna be a little different.
I poke fun at celebrities all the time, because that’s my job, one thing that’s always off-limits is celebrity bodies. Famous people are already under intense pressure to look a certain way, so aside from pointing out Photoshop disasters, I stay pretty silent on the subject. Someone’s physical appearance is none of my business, so I keep my mouth shut.
But one thing that actually needs more people talking about it and not less is eating disorders. Millions of people, celebrities included, struggle with them in secret, so I want to take advantage of this week to applaud some of the incredibly brave ones who have spoken out. Famous or not, it’s a terrifying thing to admit that you’re struggling with addiction, whether food-based or otherwise, so let’s all start a slow clap for the following celebrities, who have delivered powerful quotes about body image and eating disorders.
1. Mary-Kate Olsen
It should be noted that Mary-Kate has never confirmed or denied that she sought treatment for anorexia nervosa in 2004, but encourages people to reach out for help no matter what they’re struggling with:
“I think the hardest part to get to is that point of asking for help or reaching out to other people and being honest with yourself. I do not want to go through my life with my eyes shut. And I don’t want to go through it with a closed mind. I want to be aware of things. And I’d rather know than not know.”
2. Demi Lovato
(Photo: Brian To / WENN.com)
“If you are going through that dark period, go to your family and closest friends. Don’t put yourself in danger. It’s very crucial that you get your feelings out — but don’t ever inflict harm on your own body because your body is so sacred. I wish I could tell every young girl with an eating disorder, or who has harmed herself in any way, that she’s worthy of life and that her life has meaning. You can overcome and get through anything.”
As always, Demi totally nailed it.
3. Anne Hathaway
(Photo: FayesVision / WENN.com)
“There’s no magic bullet; there’s no pill that you take that makes everything great and makes you happy all the time. I’m letting go of those expectations, and that’s opening me up to moments of transcendent bliss. But I still feel the stress over ‘Am I thin enough? Am I too thin? Is my body the right shape?’”
You gotta make your own happiness.
4. Ariana Grande
“Too many young girls have eating disorders due to low self-esteem and a distorted body image. I think it’s so important for girls to love themselves and to treat their bodies respectfully.”
It really is a matter of respect — for yourself and for your body.
5. Kate Winslet
Kate never developed a full disorder, but said she became addicted to losing weight and briefly experimented with laxatives:
“I resent that there is an image of perfection that is getting thinner and thinner. I hope that in some small way I’m able to say, ‘I’m a normal person; I’m doing all right. I’ve got a lovely husband and children, and I didn’t lose weight to find those things, and those things are what should be important.’”
6. Taylor Swift
“I definitely have body issues, but everybody does. When you come to the realization that everybody does that — even the people that I consider flawless — then you can start to live with the way you are. I’ve read interviews with some of the most beautiful women who have insecurities. And you look at them and you’re like, ‘How do you have? Name one thing wrong with yourself,’ and they could name a handful.”
Sad but true.
7. Lena Dunham
“It’s a very specific body. Even great reviews will be like: chubby, portly, overweight. . . . Sometimes I’m like, ‘Ugh, how did I make myself the guinea pig for this?’ But on the other hand, hating my body has not been my cross to bear in this life. Which I feel very lucky about.”
Even if you aren’t fixated on your body, it’s still an extremely tough industry to be a part of.
8. Jennifer Lawrence
“I’m never going to starve myself for a part. I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner. That’s something I was really conscious of during training, when you’re trying to get your body to look exactly right. I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong, not thin and underfed.”
“You shouldn’t be pressured into trying to be thin by the fashion industry, because they only want models that are like human mannequins. But you have to remember that it’s not practical or possible for an everyday woman to look like that. Being size zero is a career in itself so we shouldn’t try and be like them. It’s not realistic and it’s not healthy.”
Super smart of her to point out.
10. Kristen Bell
“I look good — really fit. Who cares if there are lumps on my thighs? I’m guilty of having human legs made up of fat, muscle, and skin, and sometimes when you sit, they get bumpy!”
We all have our lumps and bumps! Embrace them!
11. Julia Roberts
“Sometimes I, like anybody, wake up in the morning and go, ‘Fuck. Really? This is the starting point?’ Haven’t you ever picked up a picture of yourself from, like, five years ago, and you look at yourself and you just go, ‘And I had no appreciation for how lovely I looked, how fit and healthy I looked.’ So now I say, ‘Now listen. Ten years from now, you’re really going to think you should have appreciated yourself more.’”
12. Portia de Rossi
“I wanted to starve away my sexuality. I wanted to disappear. I didn’t want to be attractive. Once I realized that starving would lead to sickness and possibly even death, I thought I could disappear just as easily being overweight as underweight.”
Really sad stuff, and extremely brave of Portia for sharing. So glad she’s embraced not only health, but also her sexuality with Ellen DeGeneres!
13. Emma Watson
“My weight has fluctuated between a size 6 and a 10. When you’re growing, your body is still figuring itself out and it takes a while to settle down. I keep telling myself that I’m a human being, an imperfect human being who’s not made to look like a doll, and that who I am as a person is more important than whether at that moment I have a nice figure.”
Couldn’t agree more.
14. Alanis Morisette
“As a teen, I was both anorexic and bulimic. I was a young woman in the public eye, on the receiving end of a lot of attention, and I was trying to protect myself from men who were using their power in ways I was too young to know how to handle. Disappointment, sadness, and pain hit me hard, and I tried to numb those feelings through my relationship with food. [...] I hope my effort shows any woman battling an eating disorder or poor body image that she’s not alone—support is out there—and inspires her to discover her inner athlete,” said Morissette. “It doesn’t matter what your fitness-skill level is. It’s all about finding the activity you enjoy most and sticking with it.”
Really inspiring advice!
(Photo: Adriana M. Barraza / WENN.com)
“I’m a crusader for being yourself and loving yourself, but I’ve found it hard to practice. I’ll be unavailable for the next 30 days, seeking treatment for my eating disorder … to learn to love myself again, exactly as I am.”
Don’t forget that asking for help is one of the strongest things you can do for yourself.
16. Lindsay Lohan
(Photo: HRC / WENN.com)
“I was sick. Everyone was scared. And I was scared too. I had people sit me down and say, ‘You’re going to die if you don’t take care of yourself.’”
A scary but important reminder of what’s really on the line here.
If you or a friend are seeking help — or even just information! — on an eating disorder, the National Eating Disorder Awareness (NEDA) website has some great resources.
Please check it out.