Why Aren’t We Satisfied With Our Bodies?
For decades, Hollywood has exerted a lot of influence over fatphobia. Body dysmorphic disorder is an illness more common in the land of glitter than ever.
It is best described as seeing only perceived flaws in appearance, with weight being right at the forefront of the issue.
The problem is more persistent among those who rely on keeping up appearances to the public and to their fans.
It is what drives the wellness industry into maximum overdrive as consumers look at the latest trends in food, diet products, and new workout techniques.
Thankfully, a revolution is brewing among most of the elite, which only means that there will be a silver lining for the future.
Celebrities Who Have Eating Disorders
There are many examples of actors, actresses, and singers who have had long struggles with eating disorders. Some have suffered a lifetime of this complicated and often perplexing condition.
The constant pressure to remain in the spotlight as many of them thinking about body image without recourse.
Karen Carpenter Appeared to Have it All
The person most famous for bringing anorexia to the spotlight was singer Karen Carpenter, who, along with her brother, formed The Carpenters in the 1970s.
Her struggle was so silent that it shocked the world with her sudden passing in 1983. She died of an irregular heartbeat caused by her lifelong battle with the illness.
For several years, Karen Carpenter kept her illness hidden from the general public. But friends and fans began to notice some signs. Starting in 1975, Karen experienced nausea and fatigue.
The real trouble began when she collapsed on stage during a live show in Las Vegas, thus forcing the band to cancel several dates in Europe and Japan.
Not much was known about anorexia nervosa in the late seventies and early eighties. It was sad that it took the tragic and sudden death of one of the world’s most beloved singers before it was finally brought into the light.
Candace Cameroon Bure Needed to Be In Control
The former Full House star had a hidden struggle in her relationship with food. For most of her young life, she didn’t give much thought to body image or body type, that is, until her husband moved to Montreal, Canada so he could pursue his career as a hockey player. Out of boredom, Cameron soon began binge eating.
Guilt and shame are two of the most common emotions among women who have eating disorders. For Candance Cameron Bure, it would be the greatest straw ever.
She confessed in a 2016 interview that she felt that loss of control, and that’s where she realized there was a problem that needed to be addressed. She soon began working to repair her relationship with food.
Not All Lives Are Fairytales
Princess Diana appears to have led a charmed life, and in some ways, she did. She was loved and esteemed by millions of fans worldwide for her beauty and her kindness. But for Princess Diana, things were not as rosy as they appeared to be.
Diana spent most of her royal career locked in a battle with bulimia, which started in 1981. She spent a great deal of the 80s having major conflicts with food until the dawn of the 90s when she used her story as an example for raising awareness on the issue.
She cited her own internal conflict due to low self-esteem and urged others to follow in her footsteps by seeking help.
Jane Fonda Quits Cold Turkey
Jane Fonda was known for her infamous workout videos at the height of 80s culture that extolled the virtues of thinness. She has spent nearly an entire lifetime suffering the painful rigors of bulimia.
She was quoted as saying, “All of the cultures is telling us we’re supposed to be this way or that way.”
Nonetheless, Fonda decided she’d had enough of toxic diet culture and took action. She finally quit binging and purging by age 40 and thus ended her complicated relationship with food for once. And when she did, her nightmare finally came to a smooth end.
Lady Gaga Almost Lost Her Voice
For singers, the battle with toxic diet culture rages on. Many have had significant health issues because of the problem.
Lady Gaga is certainly no stranger to food phobia and excessive dieting, and she has been open about her conflict early on.
Lady Gaga comes from strong Italian roots where food was to be enjoyed rather than reviled. Her father would respond to her vociferous protests on thinness by simply saying, “Eat your spaghetti.” Yet her own war with her body raged on until she discovered that her singing was greatly affected by the constant purging.
It was then that she embarked on her own journey towards raising awareness on the problem by creating the Born This Way Foundation, which promotes total acceptance of one’s own natural body.
It serves as her mission to provide support through resources that focus on natural body image and addiction problems.
Elton John Needed Help
For decades, body type and body image have been centered around women. The sordid idea is that women are supposed to be virtuous when exercising total control over their bodies. But new evidence shows that men can get affected too.
Take the case of Elton John. This worldwide acclaimed singer has had a hidden problem in his fight with thinness.
He spent 16 years of his musical career battling bulimia with a co-morbid diagnosis of Cochise addiction.
Both issues were so difficult for his body to endure that he uttered three simple words: “I need help,” in a 2002 interview with Larry King.
Elton John joined the late Princess Diana in a campaign to raise awareness on this sensitive topic. He understood how the problem could get out of control and urged the public to address it immediately.
Is the Doctor In?
If you’ve ever watched the “Doctor Who” series, then think of Christopher Eccleston, who happens to play the lead role.
He was given the lead part as his “reward” for keeping his physique thin and trim, which was the impetus that began a vicious cycle.
The 56-year-old actor revealed that he wanted to go public about his anorexia for many years but felt he couldn’t.
He weighed in on several key factors, such as gender and culture. His strong need to hide his problem came strictly from Northern pride and the fact that he’s a man.
Certainly, eating disorders aren’t as common among men as they are among women, yet a rising part of the population that’s male is starting to get affected.
Christopher Eccleston decided to take the plunge and get help before going public. He is currently in treatment.
Taylor Swift Shares Her Story
Taylor Swift has had her own experience being vilified by the press over her body type. Like most, she has been relentlessly humiliated by the paparazzi over a failure to live up to a size zero ideal.
Her constant exposure left her in a perpetual state of vulnerability, and it wasn’t too long before she caved in to the pressure.
Soon, Taylor began her hidden struggles with an eating disorder that proved to be extremely painful when performing live before an audience.
After she started feeling lightheaded to the point of passing out, she realized things needed to change.
She started looking at her situation with a practical mind and saw the necessity of a good meal before a show.
After years of intense struggle, Taylor finally learned how to end her suffering. She sought power in learning to be happy with her body type. To this day, she relies on the cumulative wisdom she gained to accept herself as a healthy size six.
Demi Lovato Lived Fast
Demi Lovato once had her own internal issues with eating disorders. Her journey with drug addiction and the need to engage in self-harm only compounded her problem and motivated her to begin to speak out to the public about her struggle with food and mental illness.
After suffering several relapses over the years, Demi finally broke her silence in 2018. She shared her story in a 2020 podcast with Ashley Graham regarding her bulimia.
She went on to summarize her obsession with today’s wellness culture and vowed to inspire other young women to learn to be happy with their bodies as they are.
She continues to work out with her only end goal being to manage bipolar disorder rather than weight loss.
Now, Demi Lovato goes straight into her music where she speaks out fluently through her lyrics about ways to be happy with her body. We can only hope her audience will listen.
Paula Abdul Gets an Early Start
The bulimia battle can begin at an early age for some, and that was the way things were with Paula Abdul.
In fact, her own inner turmoil began as young as age seven. She understood that she had a muscular frame and slowly started to experience personal insecurity as a result.
What makes this story so compelling is Paula Abdul’s heartfelt confession of binging and purging.
She admitted that she spent hours with her head hovering over a toilet heaving in a concerted effort to purge her negative feelings by ridding herself of nourishment. She was quoted as saying, “I was spitting out the food, and the feelings.”
It wasn’t until 1994 that Abdul sought professional help, where she admitted herself into a psychiatric hospital for treatment.
After her release, she worked with professionals and decided that food was to be enjoyed rather than reviled.
Jessica Alba Tried to Lose Curves
Actress and entrepreneur Jessica Alba had spent a lifetime being made to feel ashamed of her body. But for her, it wasn’t being overweight that was the main dilemma.
The roots of her problem lie in getting negative messages regarding her curves.
From an early age, Jessica Alba heard old, repeated tapes from her family about how her curves would attract the wrong attention from men.
She felt embarrassed by them and, as a result, embarked on her own campaign to get rid of them through excessive dieting.
Comments from her family about being “voluptuous” only added more fuel to an already raging fire, and matters worsened.
Alba decided that the attention she received from men was morally unacceptable and started losing too much weight in order to look masculine.
But she understood her struggles and now tries to regain her footing by using humor and not beating upon herself. Although she still suffers, she chooses to simply take it one day at a time.
Shawn Johnson East Gets a New Lease
Perfectionism and a poor self-image were the two main themes that dominated the life and career of Shawn Johnson East.
Back in 2008, she was competing in the Beijing Olympics and faced intense pressure to stay thin. She took measures to crack down on her eating and gave herself a limit of 700 calories per day.
The plan appeared to work until Shawn began to notice severe body cramping. She soon experienced nausea and fainting during practice along with a serious case of fatigue. Her condition interfered with her work as an athlete and she soon retired.
Shawn appeared as a guest on Dancing With the Stars and was forced to adjust to her new role as a non-athlete.
She admitted that it was a challenge at first because her entire identity was intertwined in being an Olympic star. But she then realized that she could have a life outside of the Olympics and chose to make it happen.
Shawn ditched her diet pills and began therapy to address her toxic diet addiction. She started working with a nutritionist to help her get to a healthy weight so she could be effective as a wife and a new mother. To this day, she continues her path to healing.