Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario has been honest in the past about her struggle with anorexia, and she continues to share her experience in a new interview with Ora.tv’s Larry King NOW, which posts in full tonight at 5 PM. I have a lot of respect for celebrities who are willing to admit their own problems for the sake of helping their fans, especially young people. It helps that Troian has some really powerful and articulate things to say about the issue.
Troian admits she was initially hesitant to talk about her experience in the press:
“Because it’s often sensationalized, and that was my problem with when I spoke about it in Seventeen magazine. I knew I wasn’t going to lie to them. You know, they asked me what I was like when I was 17 and I wasn’t going to say, “I was great,” because I wasn’t. I was suffering from a mental disorder. But what I so often find is that it becomes about the facts: “How much weight did you lose? How were you treated? Were you hospitalized?” And that’s not important to me. What is important is to talk about the feelings, to talk about the help that young girls and young men who have this problem can get if they find that they are suffering.”
Troian also reveals that she faced interventions from her loved ones about her disorder, but as Larry offers, they couldn’t “force-feed” her. She agrees, and offers some smart insight into the issue:
“I was speaking with somebody who was an alcoholic and they said, ‘Alcohol isn’t the problem. It’s the solution to the problem.; And anorexia isn’t the problem. It’s the solution to the problem. So when somebody says, ‘Okay, I’m going to sit down with you and talk about what you’re feeling, what’s causing you to not want to eat,’ you start to begin to address the problem and then you can get back into healthy eating habits.”
It’s wonderful that Troian was able to think of her disorder in those terms and to now spread that wisdom on to younger people. She says she hopes she can be a role model, adding, “I’ve been put in a position of power and I would hope to give positive influence rather than negative influence.” And that’s really the ideal way for a celebrity to approach their fame, so good for her.