Maddie is a writer who is certified in massage, aromatherapy, and health education. She has personally struggled with eating disorders.
Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are serious diseases that can be life-threatening. According to ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders), eating disorders affect at least 9 percent of the world's population and directly lead to about 10,200 deaths per year.
Much has been written about how the "thin ideal" has permeated our culture and media. Movie stars, musicians, and other celebrities are put under the microscope, their bodies constantly analyzed and discussed in magazines, on TV, and on social media. Body shaming is rampant, and the notion that being beautiful and worthwhile is tied to bodyweight trickles down from celebrity culture to the world at large. We look to celebrities as a model for how we ourselves should look.
It turns out that many famous people have fallen victim to eating disorders. Some have died as a direct result of this disease while others have struggled for years to overcome it. What follows is a list of celebrities and their personal experiences with these disorders. In some cases, they have become passionate advocates against eating disorders, hoping to educate and spread messages of body positivity. In a few cases, I have included videos of them sharing their personal struggles in the hopes of sparing others the pain they experienced.
Canadian singer Alanis Morissette has admitted that she struggled with anorexia and bulimia between the ages of 14 and 18—but is now recovered.
"[Now] I work out about two times a week instead of nine," she said. "I'm still a part of society, but I'm better able to challenge it than when I was 14."
Ana Carolina Reston
Brazilian fashion model Ana Carolina Reston died at age 21 from complications of anorexia in November of 2006.
"Take care for your children because their loss is irreparable," Reston's mother, Miriam, told the O Globo newspaper. "Nothing can make the pain go away. No money in the world is worth the life of your child."
American singer Ashlee Simpson, the younger sister of highly successful actress and singer Jessica Simpson, admits that she battled an eating disorder in her pre-teen years. Despite being photographed at very low weights in the recent past, Ashlee attests that she has fully recovered.
"I think I have good curves, and they're womanly," she says. "I hate it when girls lose their curves. "I think it's sexy not to be a bone and it's sad when people get too weight-conscious and don't look in the mirror and see themselves as being as beautiful as they are."
Read More From Bellatory
Actress Barbara Niven has come forward about her hidden struggle:
"I did it all: anorexia, bulimia, binging, over-exercise. But no matter how much weight I lost I could never look 'skinny'. It's not my body type! So I always felt disgusting and like a failure. I hated myself and my body, but always tried to hide how I felt behind a smile. It was my secret shame."
The actress made famous as Ally McBeal long denied having an eating disorder, but later came forward to admit that she had.
"I am much more healthy these days," she says, despite no evidence of significant weight gain.
Gymnast Cathy Rigby was the first American person (female or male) to win a gymanstics gold medal at the Olympics, which she did at the 1968 Summer Games. She now reports that most of the USA national team suffered from eating disorders, without the official label. "We didn't know very much about nutrition. Neither did the coaches," she says.
Cathy got help for her eating disorder in the 1980s, and she now travels the country speaking about her experiences in the hopes of helping others.
In 1988, gymnast Christy Henrich was told by a U.S. judge that she had to lose weight in order to make the Olympic team. When she failed the cut, her weight dropped drastically. She died from complications of anorexia at 22 years old. She was just 60 pounds.
Australian rocker Daniel Johns from the band Silverchair has been open about his history of anorexia and depression, which nearly led him to suicide in his teenage years.
The incidence of eating disorders in Australia has been steadily increasing since the late 1990s.
Actress Elisa Donovan engaged in chronic dieting as a teenager, leading to a battle with anorexia nervosa, from which she is now recovered. "At first, I'd eat no fat," Elisa says of her disordered eating. "Then, I'd just eat breakfast—cereal and toast—and not eat again until night."
While filming the movie Clueless, she nearly suffered a heart attack due to her eating disorder. It was after that experience that she finally decided to seek treatment.
Elton John, the legendary British musician and composer, entered rehabilitation for bulimia and substance abuse problems in 1990. Post-recovery, he came out as gay, and today he enjoys as much success as ever.
In 1997, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
Actress Felicity Huffman fought anorexia and bulimia throughout her teens and into her early twenties. She sought help with the support of her family at age 22.
Her most famous role has probably been as Lynette Scavo in the wildly popular ABC hit Desperate Housewives, which ran from 2004 to 2012.
Singer-songwriter Fiona Apple developed anorexia in her young teens. She attributes her disorder not to a desire to be thin, but to the emotional trauma she sustained from her rape at age 12.
Renowned ballerina Gelsey Kirkland published a co-authored autobiography in 1986 called Dancing on My Grave, which chronicled her double-life as an acclaimed dancer and self-hating anorexic. She attributed her eating disorder to the punishing world of ballet; she wrote that George Balanchine, the world-renowned ballet choreograher, told her that he must be able to "see the bones" in her body.
Geri Halliwell, best known as "Ginger" from the pop sensation the Spice Girls, publicly admits struggling with anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating for many years. Her weight has yo-yoed throughout her career, but she champions honesty as the path to recovery.
"I can honestly tell you from personal experience, that worrying about an eating disorder really can get you down. There's nothing to be ashamed about. You'll be amazed at the difference it'll make to your whole life if you tell someone you trust. There are lots of people who want to help and you really CAN'T fight this one on your own. It might be a hard decision to make, to tell people and to seek help but, trust me it's nowhere as hard as trying to deal with it on your own," she says.
Ballerina Heidi Guenther was told at 5'5" and 96 lbs that she was too "chunky" by a theater company. In 1997, at the age of 22, she died of complications of anorexia. She was less than 93 pounds.
Multi-talented celebrity Jane Fonda was one of the first famous women to openly discuss her eating disorder. In the late 1970s, she went public with her struggles with bulimia.
Over a career spanning more than six decades, she has enjoyed success as a fitness guru, fashion model, actress, and activist.
In one of the most widely publicized deaths due to anorexia, singer Karen Carpenter suffered cardiac arrest at age 32 as a direct result of self-starvation.
British actress Kate Beckinsdale has been open from the start about her struggle with anorexia before pursuing film. She prefers not to make the story of her eating disorder the main point of focus in her career.
"People keep asking me about it but I don't want to be famous for being a former anorexic," she says.
Kate Dillon starved herself to maintain the body she needed as a high-fashion model. Today, post-recovery, she is more successful than ever in her career as a plus-size model.
American Idol Season 5 runner-up Katherine McPhee has been outspoken about her recovery from bulimia. She spent time between the initial auditions and the live show in a rehabilitation program, and she credits the show as the motivation she needed to seek help for her five-year battle.
British-born actress Kate Winslet admits to eating disorder problems in her youth, though she has, over the years, put on a healthy amount of weight.
"I'm happy with the way I am," she says now. "I'm not like American film stars. I'm naturally curvy. This is me, like it or lump it."
Actress Mary-Kate Olsen is the poster child for the pro-anorexia online movement, and is commonly used as "thinspiration" on these sites. Following a long period of denial, Mary-Kate eventually entered rehab, but has been unsuccessful at gaining and maintaining a significant amount of weight.
Pop singer Paula Abdul admits to struggling with bulimia and issues with compulsive over-exercise in the past.
Today, she is one of three judges on the Fox show American Idol, amidst scandal surrounding alleged drug use.
England's beloved Princess Diana, activist and ex-wife of Prince of Wales Charles, confessed self-harm and bulimia to the British media.
Diana died tragically in a car accident involving a paparazzi chase in August 1997.
Actress Sally Field fought a three-year bout with eating disorders, beginning at age 20, believing that "everyone was Twiggy, except me."
Actress and cultural icon Sandra Dee says: "I was anorexic for many, many years—even before people knew what it was. They didn't even have a name for it back then."
Sandra died in 2005 as a result of complications from kidney disease, an outgrowth of her lifelong battle with anorexia.
Actress Tracey Gold, who became famous on the show Growing Pains, was diagnosed with an eating disorder in 1990. After years of struggle she recovered with the help of her family, friends, and husband. In 2003 she wrote a book called Room to Grow: An Appetite for Life, in which she tries help others overcome what she suffered through.
Victoria Beckham, aka "Posh Spice," and wife of the famous soccer player, denied allegations of anorexia for a long time, before admitting to her problem in an excerpt from her book, Learning to Fly.
Country singer Wynonna Judd has admitted to struggling with compulsive over-eating. She has been through rehabilitation, but continues to have problems with her weight.
Eating Disorder Help Resources
- ANAD | Free Eating Disorder Support Groups & Services
ANAD provides free, peer support services to anyone struggling with an eating disorder. Learn more about our Helpline, support groups & more!
- National Eating Disorders Association
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders.
Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on February 09, 2015:
Wow, what an extensive list of people who one would think would "have it made" with the money to access the best of nutrition and health coach support! However, I DO know that the press of fame often adds to the problems that people have , eating disorders only being one of many.
I seem to be on a "Judd Women" path of late, and even though I am not a fan of theirs (not really a fan of any musicians) I do find myself drawn to knowing more about this celebrity family. Several years ago I read Naomi's memoirs "Love Can Build A Bridge," when I picked up a much-read copy in a laundramat or some-such public place. Recently I read Ashley's memoirs, "All That is Bitter and Sweet" which could be a seen as a sort of 'Mommy Dearest' for her generation. Since then I have been watching a glut of youtubes about them, feeling a little guilty for being pulled onto the "celeb bandwagon" when I have so many more really more useful things I could be doing! Bottom Line: I have no problem seeing how the wonderfully talented Wynonna might show up with an eating disorder.
Voted you up+, pinned and tweeted. All the best, Cynthia
vibesites from United States on October 07, 2013:
Rather than the physical condition, eating disorders are mainly psychological problems. No matter how much weight you lose, you still see yourself as fat, and you're afraid to be ridiculed that's why you strive to become thinner until you go into the danger zone and still not heed the fact that you're dying of starvation. If only the society and the media were much kinder enough then we shouldn't go into this just to please them.
I believe in balancing your life and enjoying it. Even though I'm into fitness and I enjoy being engaged into exercise and sports, I also indulge myself in things like cakes and chocolates. Just do them in moderation. If critics call me I'm getting fat than usual, then it's ok. You can't please everyone. :)
jimmy groh on January 26, 2013:
my name is jimmy groh and im reaching out for help.i lost my job for putting a stop to my old boss and townboard members from dumping raw sewer into the white river,the townboard fired me because it was an embarresment to them when i got this brought into the publics eye,my old boss was for years just dumping raw sewer into the river and when i stood up to them and said i was not going to allow this to happen anymore well they just fired me,now im about to lose everything i have and it is not fair to me and it sure is not fair to my family and my kids should not have to suffer because their daddy tried to do the right thing,i have tried everywhere to get help and no luck, but i know one thing is that i have tried everywhere and im to the end of my rope.if i don't get some help im gonna lose it all and that wont be good......im asking you because i know you truly care about people. here is the story as seen in the newspaper and on the wthr 13 news. 13 Investigates uncovers a gruesome find: high levels of E.Coli bacteria released directly into a major Indiana waterway.
Even more disturbing is what appears to be a cover-up, including falsified records in the town where it happened.
Indiana's top environmentalists are now calling for a criminal investigation.
The pictures and what's in them are enough to make you sick, and what happened in the Owen County town of Spencer is enough to make you mad.
"It's everywhere, everywhere you go down there where it discharges. You can't clean that up," said Jimmy Groh, a former Spencer Wastewater treatment facility worker, as he pointed out an overflow of sludge.
Groh then clicked on another image.
"This is actually, raw, raw sewage coming from the town, and this is the final water going out, and you can't hardly tell the difference," he Groh said showing two water samples.
But containers of murky water contain raw sewage even though one sample reportedly went through the cleaning process at the Spencer waste water treatment plant.
13 Investigates has learned that for years, polluted water just like the murky sample flowed into White River, and right along with it, E.Coli, a nasty bacteria.
What's worse, the wastewater is coming directly from the water treatment plant that's supposed to stop it.
How could this happen?
For years the water treatment plant sent bogus pollution records to the state.
"The documents were falsified," revealed Groh, who blew the whistle on the improper discharge.
"Wow! I was just...I couldn't believe that," said Groh, who's collected dozens of disturbing examples of potential water pollution from the plant.
He says he was fired from his maintenance job at the Spencer Water Treatment facility after he took the pictures of the sludge flowing into the river, and showed them separately to both the Spencer Town Board President and an inspector with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
"This is the discharge, where it comes from at the sewer plant. It comes down underground across the field to right here and this is where it discharges out to the river," explained Groh.
The edges of the canal where the water flows are now lined with black slimy sludge. Groh's pictures were the state's first clue that something was terribly wrong. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management went to the site to investigate and pulled hundreds of records.
"It raised concerns. Anytime you see pictures that were showing environmental damage or potential environmental damage, we take it seriously," said Bruno Pigott, the Assistant Commissioner at the Department of Environmental Management.
Pigott confirms something sinister had been taking place at the Spencer Water Treatment facility for at least three years.
He showed 13 Investigates a stack of test results that reveal a history of falsified records. The records were sent to the state by the Spencer water treatment plant to fudge the levels of E.Coli released into the river by the plant.
"We have found enormous discrepancies," added Pigott.
Samples of processed wastewater from Spencer were sent to the Dillman laboratories in Bloomington. The certified test results were sent back to Spencer. But before those results were sent to state offices in Indianapolis, they were altered, most of the time drastically reduced.
The real numbers show E.Coli levels routinely ten times higher than what was reported from Spencer.
During the time in question, lab results show Spencer's E.Coli levels were often over the limits and in some cases, off the charts.
"A lot of the time I would see the paper come back from Dillman and it would say "TNC." What the heck is "TNC?" "TNC" means too numerous to count," Groh told 13 Investigates.
So who was responsible for falsifying the numbers sent to the state, to cover up conditions like this?
IDEM blames Shelley Edwards.
Edwards won awards for years of working as a "weather spotter" while working as Spencer's wastewater treatment plant Superintendent for 25 years.
"He may tell you that he did not falsify the data, but we have three years of data...and his signature. It's easy to say someone was falsifying data. He's the one that signed off on it being accurate," said Pigott.
That data now has ramifications that go well beyond the town of Spencer.
"The water program throughout the nation depends on the information submitted...to determine if water quality is being protected or not. If we can't rely on it, how can the citizens of the State of Indiana rely on the fact that this water that's being discharged from this facility is clean and safe?" added Pigott as he talked about the seriousness of the situation.
13 Investigates went in search of Shelley Edwards, to his home and his job, before finally reaching him by phone. After identifying himself as Edwards, he told 13 Investigates:
"Actually I didn't falsify any records. There was some altered records that nobody was able to prove who did what and that's all I can tell you at this time," he said, denying he had done anything wrong.
A town newspaper article says Edwards resigned from his post and mentions nothing of falsified records.
"I am the one who signs off on it, I am the responsible charge," Edwards acknowledged, but said, "The numbers that we seen, it wasn't hurting anything. Otherwise IDEM would have punished me for it and they didn't," he said.
Edwards says he quit to protect his health amid the scrutiny. But IDEM says he was stripped of his credentials for failing to consider the health of the environment by reporting false results.
"Decertification of his license means that man can never be a wastewater treatment plant operator. He cannot sign information that is submitted to us," Pigott said emphatically.
"Why weren't there environmental charges filed against this person?" questioned 13 Investigates.
That's when Pigott revealed charges are under consideration.
"We also referred this matter up to our criminal division for investigation," he said.
IDEM says the criminal investigation is pending.
Jimmy Groh wants a full prosecution for what he sees as a crime against his family, community and environment.
"I'm ticked I lost my job, and I'm not going to lie about that," Groh admitted, "But I'm really disgusted about this," he said pointing to pictures of contamination. "The river's going to be worthless if everybody does this," he said.
Over the last three years, the state has taken action against six other wastewater superintendents for falsifying data. Some of them prosecuted by the EPA for violating the clean water act.
Neither the town president nor the town attorney would go on camera. i can also give you a link to the news video if you want to watch the news report, here it is."http://www.wthr.com/story/19113049/investigation-s... so please let me know what you think, im a Marine corps vet and father of 3 and i am a 100% american and a believer in the truth and in honesty.All i done was tried to protect our rivers and the people of my community and the wildlife,i should not have to suffer so bad and have my family suffer so
tina felton on December 13, 2012:
hello ellen i love you and watch your show all the time iam just wrting to say iam very proud of your show and what you do for people and what you stand for. iam a disabled mother of 3 kids my son is 26, two daughters 22,23 and we have a hard time making it husband is disabled with diabetes, and i have to much to say what i have i would take up the whole page lol but my grandbabies keep me going our daughters live with us but my youngest daughter is going threw a devorce right now and she is living with us now we do get some help with food stamps but its not enough sometimes i just like to make sure we have enough to eat and i try to take care of everyone and not myself which i need to but what's a mother if we don't always take care of ours.iam very depressed at this time of year due to not having money to buy stuff for grandbabies for christmas .... i cry all the time about that but i know GOD will bless me one day and i'll get my reward with him. well i will tell you some things that are wrong with me i have b-polar,artheritis,depression,anxitey you name it i have it but just wanted to say i love you......
Kelly mcanally on April 28, 2012:
It is so sad the struggles that DANIEL JOHNS went threw he is far to sexy to even think they he had to do that to myself... i can only imagine the pain he went threw it makes me cry justto watch videos if him talking about his problems and how he felt and how ppl at school would beat him up and he felt if he could make himself look sicker and more fragile they would pick on him... but i love Daniel johns I'm happy to know that he has some what pulled himself out of the dark hills he was struck in... Daniel your sexy just the way tookyou are glad that your getting better...
MissC on April 16, 2012:
MissC on April 16, 2012:
Even now on here I am trying to hide my insecurity and make myself look confident... I wouldn't say that having no confidence is short term at all. My friend has severe insecurities and is anorexic, she is receiving help but i can't see any change... She uses Demi locate as thinspiration, she should be on here :) she's my thinspiration too and is a role model to other teens. I just don't know how to handle myself anymore because the way i feel about myself is literally taking over my liffeee... looking at society today the amount of people with eating disorders is depressingly incredible.
To all those who are suffering, life is too short to worry. Be yourself, nobody is perfect therefore nobody can judge you. Stay strong.
alice on March 29, 2012:
im glad im not the only one with an eating prob
Susan on March 11, 2012:
Our society, not the celebrities, is partially the cause of these disorders. They are essentially emotional problems, not of looks. I am older now, had it, recovered, but seeing that so many people suffer at young ages, I think that our society has major problems of women with such low self-esteem that they would get a disorder over these celebrities. Our children are crying out for help. They need to build their confidence up-- To vomit (bulimia) to look like a celebrity signals some major, major insecurities and issues. I had it and in no way was it caused by looks and celebrities. Our society is focused on being thin, aside from the celebrities. I wish that we can eradicate these eating disorders and put all the the eating disorder therapists out of business. If they blame the media images, they don't know what they are talking about and don't understand these disorders.
Sue on March 10, 2012:
It has nothing to do with the media. I suffered with it and had good self-esteem. It is our society's focus on weight loss and bodies and fat that can contribute to it. Here is the irony--we as a society are focused on fat. Anorexia is an emotional disorder, it has nothing to do with how you look. Anyone who would starve to look like a celebrity has deeper issues going on. People-don't blame the media.
Anon on February 06, 2012:
Really interesting to read the variety of perspectives on eating disorders. I agree with windmillw re anorexia needing to be classified as a physical illness as well as other mental disorders. I remember when Calista Flockhart was splashed all over the magazines and put under the microscope in 1998-1999. The poor girl, I felt sorry for her that she was under the microscope so intensely, but I suppose that's the price of fame. It seems surreal that it was so long ago. I have had an eating disorder for many years (nearly two decades- I am in my late 20s) tied in w/ other serious mental illnesses.
People who have had eating disorders for 10, 15, 20 + years are really not all that uncommon in today's society, which is sad. I think the reason people aren't getting the right help and find it difficult to recover is because eating disorders aren't very well understood- despite all of the money spent on establishing treatment clinics, training therapists and nutritionists, educating people etc. there are still giant gaps in our knowledge. I think there is more to the media sending out negative messages about body image and I don't blame them for that entirely, but I DO blame the media for promoting ignorance in regards to eating disorders. As a result of this widespread ignorance, fewer sufferers seek help and confide in friends/family because they don't fit the stereotype. The reality is, a very small percentage of anorexics have a BMI of under 15. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard people with ED's say "I'm not thin enough to deserve help", and it breaks my heart every time because these are people with serious health problems. ED-NOS has the highest mortality rate, you can die from an ED at any weight, and after 20 yrs of an ED (irrespective of which one), the mortality rate is around 25%.
(We) feel invalidated. I know a girl who struggles with bulimia, anorexia and a raging drug addiction. She was emaciated and gained 10 pounds- but her bingeing and drug use shot through the roof and she was flirting with a heart attack and organ collapse- and yet, her family and friends complimented her and told her she "looked" "so much healthier!". What is the cause? It's really hard to say. I do believe I personally am disadvantaged from a physiological perspective which makes recovery all the more difficult. I think the best I can hope for at this stage is to be able to manage my disorder. I can't guarantee that I won't relapse in the event of emotional loss/life triggers because I never learnt how to cope with things differently (in a way that was also sustainable). From my perspective, having an eating disorder is like being on a permanent drug trip. I've been a drug addict before so I know what it's like. The perceptual abnormalities accompanying brain changes in restrictive eating disorders/AN/ED-NOS in themselves keep you entrenched in the behaviours and make it near impossible to believe there is anything wrong w/ you. The deeper you get into an ED, the harder it is to reality-test.
Food restriction has an emotional "blunting" affect and the pay offs are also like being on drugs- emotions are less intense. But after a while, you stop feeling very much at all. I have no sex drive and no interest in relationships, my periods are disappearing, I have fur growing on my face, arms, back and upper thighs (lanugo).. Once articulate, it's not uncommon for me to pause mid-sentence because there are gaps in my concentration and my thoughts escape me. This is also the legacy of poor nutrition, as is accelerated ageing, auto-immune disorders like lupus, multiple organ failure, bone fractures.. If people took the time to educate themselves, they would be more aware of the consequences of eating disorders from the outset- which are not at all as "frivolous" as most people think- and perhaps more likely to think twice in a rational state of mind before it grips them completely.
jsmile on January 27, 2012:
You are young, but the smallest most innocent comment can focus one on their weight, even if you really aren't heavy, overweight, or unhealthy... I was 10. I remember being called a locomotive by some mean girls at school. I took it very personal. I never got over that. I look at my self at that age and I was perfectly awkwardly normal. Boys go through an awkward stage too, but girls seem to have much more social pressure to be thin and be put together. All I can say is to not forget to find passions in your life that drive you and fulfill your soul. Trying to always impress and be liked does nothing for you long term. Only finding you and your passions in life no matter what people and FAMILY thinks, I believe, can give you girls true fulfillment and happiness and if you are true to yourself, then who give a whoot. I learned the hard way. Be true to you.
missC on January 18, 2012:
It's no way peer pressure or anything like that...You literally can't help it, no matter what people tell you or anything, you can't help but feel 'fat'... There are days where I actually won't eat anything because when I go into the kitchen I just look at myself and I'm immediately turned off by any food... its horrible... just because I think I'm overweight... It started ages ago when I had a really bad friend who used to say things that weren't true, and be really nasty to people. She always used to call me fat and ever since then I've found it so difficult to believe otherwise. It's not for attention...some people think I'm saying I'm overweight to get attention sometimes because apparently I'm not overweight at all. and I rarely say it?! I actually disagree though. I'm in my early teens and my weight is on my mind 24/7 ... I don't know if that's normal? Nobody actually knows that's how I feel about myself though... I'm a popular girl who's loud a lot and always seems so confident...so no one notices how insecure I actual am... I don't think I have an eating disorder though? But to all the people out there who do...just know your not alone...
jsmile on January 13, 2012:
Sorry folks. In my first sentence I did not proofread my comment very well...I meant to say that struggling from an eating disorder is NOT ALL ABOUT vanity and being thin... I hope you all know what I mean to say. I am really impressed with this site and all the comments. I have said many times that I would not wish this disorder upon even my worst enemy.
jsmile on January 13, 2012:
Struggling from an eating disorder is all about vanity, much the opposite. It, 9 out of 10 times, is an attempt to find a way to like something about themselves. Too overcome a trauma, abuse, neglect, loneliness, unacceptance, loss, whatever. Even if once somehow 'overcomes' their eating disorder, the effects come back to haunt that person's life for the rest of it. For me, my teeth has gone downhill fast in the last 2years. I am 42 and the anxiety and depression that I feel due to trying to keep my teeth from completely going south has been a constant struggle. Our system does not help. Celebrities can at least do what is necessary to mask and quell the lasting effects of this disease. Unfortunately, most people can not. I hope to help change that. Please, check out this link: www.crowdrise.com/asmilforlife/fundraiser/jfoster#top
caroline on January 12, 2012:
mary kate went to rehab for cocaine. not anorexia. that was a front. FACT
Katharine on December 03, 2011:
I was diagnosed with anorexia at the age of 42. I am now 44. My doctor said that age does not matter with anorexia, however it is more common in younger women.
Georgia on November 23, 2011:
Hello guys, wow. posts go back a long way on here. but i came across it having just watched a film with Kiera Knightly and realised that she has a definite change in her body to that of bend it like beckham... So, her denial from an ED may still be fake..
I must admit, i had/have an eating disorder now, i am at a healthy weight now, although dropped to below 100 pounds and at 5"8 its not a pretty sight.. i lost friends, i would snap and say look stop forcing me to eat, i don't want alcohol tonight, i'll drive ( saving calories) ... etc.. THIS ALL CHANGED when i got on a plane and went to austrlia travelling, this really helped me, cos i was rationed with money so could only really afford pasta and beans/eggs... these all being (not eggs) scary foods for me.. PASTA ! AHH but had to eaat it, to actually cope, especially with my change dview to alcohol.. goon of which was conaumed every night.. desapite my new diet i didn't really gain weight although, on a guess, was consuming about 2200-3000 clroies a day and partaking in walking to the beach, lying down all day and wandering back.. so NO EXERCISE! haah this gave me lots of conifdence cos i tohught.. hey i'm actually living a normal life, like all the other cool ppl here.. and im not gettin fat! GREAT.. i had a fab time, but still looking back at pictures, its quite scary how different i looked to other ppl.. in fact, was just not nice. when i got back my parents noticed a huge change to my relatioonship to food and ewre very happy. it was heartbreaking when my dad, nearly in tears, said to me, " where is my little girl, she is dissapearing, being taken from me and he didn't know how to help and of course felt incredibly guilty.." my mother who suffered from an ED at my age blamed herself also... I find i still suffer, i don't think it will ever leave.. i don't eat 3 meals a day very often, i tend to graze, CONTSTANTLY throughout the day, its weird.. this is obviously why ive gained weight.. subconsciously i think.. cos seeing a huge plate full of food still scares me.. though i get through 2 chocolate bars 3/4 apples, and a WHOLE yes WHOLE box of cereal a day.. so consuming a hell of lot of calories but i just don't stop! this isn't healthy, so i need to overcome this.. But just thought id give my story.. oh and also, my hair has never been the same.. my ED where i was properly restrictive lasted around 4 months.. i lost 3 stone in this time, a HUGE amount of wieght. literally, no food intake atall.. couldn't do it now, in fact i'm complete opposite.the post above helps me alot and i hope to live anormal life in the future.. good luck to everyone, you can do it .. just recognise that pretty is never thin... people pitty u , its embaressing, u lose respect ppl avoid u, shopkeepers look at u funny when u buy fruit at the till.. just because ur thin... they hve these views for a reason.. because they are worried about your tiny frame. everyone worries... some could be jealous. but anoxerixa is cruella, it develops through having control over something.. and becomes an addiction.. without DOUBT! feeling good about hiding food that u don't eat.. skipping a meal giving u a buzz.. SICK thoughts leading to suicide from YOURSELF - don't make others around u suffer..its dreadful.
Flower on November 02, 2011:
Yes you definitely can! I had severe bulimia from about 14 to 21, hated it so bad and thought i'd never get over it. It ruled and destroyed my life. But then I went on a 1 week island holiday with my partner, we were together 24/7 so I ate normally with him and couldn't binge/purge, then house sat for a week or two after, same situation! I didn't have the opportunity to succumb to the binge/purge cycle and after three weeks the cycle was broken!! It made me so blissfully happy to have my life back, actually have time to do things and not be ashamed and angry at myself all the time. I think I actually lost a bit of weight when I started eating properly, but even now if I gain a little it doesn't bother me and I know that healthy eating and a bit of exercise will fix it up in no time! So so much happier now, I eat well and exercise a bit and look and feel way better than ever! You can do it Monica! You just need a distraction for a few weeks so you can break the cycle, then trust me, it's easy from there! Once I realized I had broken it, I didn't want to ruin my good spell so made it to four weeks, then 2 months, half a year, a year, three years and counting! And it gets easier every day. After a year of being better I relapsed for a bit but knew I could get better again so a relapse has never lasted longer than a day. You can definitely get over it, just break the cycle and you're free! After you do a few weeks it's easy, you don't even think about it much and definitely don't want to go back to it! Sorry for the excessively long post, good luck! :)
Monica on October 25, 2011:
I went from anorexic (107pounds) to over exercising (lost my period of over 2 years and had really bad acne) and now I binge (160pounds). What can I do? Do you always have an eating disorder? Do you ever get over it? I look at old pictures when I was skinny and it makes me truly depressed.
kate on October 08, 2011:
mary kate went to rehab for a cocaine problem, NOT anorexia . that was a cover up
Brittany Rowland from Woodstock, GA on October 03, 2011:
It's sad that the media promotes the anorexic look. Girls look at the actresses on TV and the supermodels in magazines and feel awful about their usually normal bodies. There's already so much pressure on young women to have the perfect figure--some of the pressure comes from the media, some from our peers, but most of it comes from ourselves.
isabella on September 24, 2011:
You forgot Demi lovato. She suffer/suffered from anorexia, binge purge type.
yalon on September 21, 2011:
Mia on August 03, 2011:
Rose...I am so glad that you took the first step in realizing there was something serious going on and that you want to do and be better!!! You stated that you want to change for your boyfriend, friends and those you love, but you have to do it for the most important person; the person that you should love more than anyone else...YOU! I think it is truly fantastic that you realized this dilemma before it was too late...It's going to be a struggle, but you can do it!! I'm rooting for you!! God Bless!!
rose on July 31, 2011:
In elementary school it all started when everyone in my grade all seemed to be short, boxy, and 60 lbs. EVERYONE WAS. And i was average. soo naturally, i didn't have many friends and was picked on, didn't talk much, low self esteem. I was anorexic for 6 months at 13 and then started eating again. but i gained about 20 lbs n started hating how i looked so now ive been anorexic and bulimic for a yr and i am 15. i throw up at least once a day, and nobody knows about it. but now i want to change, for my boyfriend and my friends, those are the only people that i truly love. :)
Jackie on June 20, 2011:
2 summers ago I wanted to lose weight and eat less in order to become healthier. I wasn't as knowledgeable about calories and vitamins back then so I started eating only 500 calories a day and exercising 3 times a day an hour each time. Over timeI got used to the 500 calories to the point where it actually felt healthy to me. Then, when I reached 96 pounds I realized that I was anorexic. The sad thing is that my parents (I never told them how little I ate) told me all the time that I looked my best back then. Even to this day they tell me that at 118 pounds and 5 foot 5 inches i'm overweight.
Izzy on June 10, 2011:
I suffer from Anorexia to and im a boy!
Elena@LessIsHealthy on May 16, 2011:
I like it, I hit the useful button.
stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on April 05, 2011:
Interesting, and fascinating hub. God Bless You.
Amy DeMarco from Chicago on March 27, 2011:
Alanis morrisette and Elton John? Interesting! I never knew that. I'm glad to see male celebs coming clean with their eating disorders. This is not a disease that affects only women. Great hub & thanks for sharing!
thedutchman on March 23, 2011:
This hub is cool and informative. Thanks for sharing it. Good job.
Rachel M on March 05, 2011:
im 25 and have had bulimia and anorexia for the last 11 years so i too know what these woman and men have gone through. Not much seems to shock me or bother me about eating disorders any more EXCEPT to hear that someone has died from their eating disorder. It really brings me back to reality and i think that those who have passed away from this needs to be talked about more to really underline just how serious it is, that you really can die from it.
Lin Poa from at the beach on March 02, 2011:
Perfect summary of celebrities with this serious problem, thumbs up!
skinneyB on January 12, 2011:
I've been struggling with dietary issues since I was 14, and I am now 22 years old. Currently I am a 5'7 Female and 118.5 pounds. I know my exact weight because I own a scale, and will rarely eat over 1500 calories a day. Clearly the major issue with today's society is our obsession with weight. Too much is disgusting, and too little is scary. 'All in moderation' right? So either the obese satisfy their primitive needs for survival/excessive pleasure from food (an overdose of substance is what I call it). Or the abnormally skinny deprive themselves of energy, and only intake enough to get them through a day on their quest to be in control, perfect or anything BUT fat. It seems that our society(western) likes to compare everyone against each other. It is how we know what is normal, thus we label. Unfortunately it is not that simple. Everything is a continuum. For example: IQ (Einstein is idealized. Please name one famous mentally retarded individual here ___________); The Electromagnetic spectrum (Tiny X-Rays to Large Radio-waves), Fashion's price (Louis Vuitton to Walmart), Height (NBA player to a midget). I think you get my wavelength. When it comes to personal traits and characteristics, something is always idealized over the other. This varies from culture to culture and from person to person; but one is always dominating in the 'mind's eye'.
SO where am I going with this you ask? You choose. You choose to be 500pounds and on your deathbed. You choose to eat that triple quarter pounder with cheese, and hellll yes you will have those fries super-sized. You choose to be 81pounds and on your deathbed. You choose to refuse food from others even when the only thing in your fridge is one a moldy crusty piece of bread(90 calories of energy) and obviously no peanut butter in the house, because two table spoons contain 190 calories of energy. And yes believe me sometimes it runs in your pedigree, and you can't fight genetics. Fact: NO eating disorder is 100% inherited. There is NO 'eating disorder gene'. It is a learned behavior. (In most cases.. Remember the continuum.)
NOW, It is your choice to live whatever kind of life you want to live, become whomever you want to become, and it is never too late to make a change. If you don't believe me, look at the A-W alphabetically listed individuals above.
Gary on January 09, 2011:
Sandra Dee is no longer under a doctor's supervision. She's dead.
anon on January 07, 2011:
i also vomit blood and have blood sugar issues and electrolyt imbalances, many missing teeth and other dental issues, GERD, esophogus scarring and ulcers, stomach ulcers, etc from my past bulimia. It will kill you if you don't stop.
anon on January 07, 2011:
apparently, you arent officially bulimic unless you purge 2 or more times a week... what? either way, I was severely bulimic in my teens and still struggle with problems with food in my 20's. bulimics generally suffer the trifecta: anorexia, binge eating, purging, not to mention unrealistic perceptions of your body. it's very hard to beat all of those things, but it has to be done or it will be your end.
gwendle on January 03, 2011:
It is So horrible seeing these gorgeous women go through what they have. I realize that it can be so hard to stay above the cracks and maintain a healthy weight. To all previous commenters, Before asking yourself do i have an eating disorder, weigh and measure yourself then look up the average weight for your height. If you are still not happy with your body, Take it slow. You can look great and still be healthy. And i know what your thinking, Who is this girl and who does she think she is giving people advice, well i recently went through a similar situation. I dropped 23 lbs in three weeks and my family noticed something going terribly wrong. It wasn't because i just wanted to be skinny but it was because i was getting bullied and the crazy thing was that i am 5'4 and 14 and weighed 130 pounds. 1 month ago i weighed 107 lbs. Now i weigh 115 lbs and look fine. I am happy with the way i look now and i know this is the last thing you want to hear but take it slow and excersize. Not everything has to be done in 2 weeks.
Sorry if i offended anyone but i just wanted to share my story. Good luck to everyone out there and don't be afraid to talk about. The worst that could happen is getting healthier and p.s DON'T WISH THIS APON YOURSELF. Also you can call a support line. Just look on the internet for one. xx
annoymous on January 01, 2011:
I forgot to add that my best friend also has bulima which makes things 3 times harder for me, i have told her to seek help and provide her with so much adive and support but i just cant get through to her, i feel so horrible to see her dwindle away.
Annonymous on January 01, 2011:
Im 15 and i've had bulima for 3 years, and was recently in the hospital because i had the lowest pottassium they have ever seen in a person. 3.5 and above is what i should have had, i had a 2.1. I almost died, i couldn't breath, walk,and horrible body pains(Back, neck, etc). They didn't even know if i was going to make it, i stayed for a week and they made me eat certain amount of calories and lunch breakfast dinner snacks, teaching me how to eat. i felt so sick every time i ate, like i was going to explode. its been 3 months since then and im doing way better actually eating my meals. but i still pinge and burge once a day, even though i almost died. its such a hard thing to get over, i hope i do. Like other girls have said its hard in school seeing so many thin beautiful girls, you wish you were them, it almost eats you alive. But i have transferred to online schooling to ease that pain, because if i stayed i wouldn't be able to handle it.
Saffron on November 22, 2010:
eat or die its up to you!!!!!!!!!!!!
Confound on November 20, 2010:
It is a shame that these icons deny their illnesses, since girls may look to them as role models and think that, for instance, "posh"s physique is natural as opposed to the product of starvation and plastic surgery.
I am also frustrated by stars who stand up and say "love me the way I am, curvy is beautiful" and then two months later appear on People talking about how they lost 20 lbs fast. Some message that sends.
Invisbell on November 20, 2010:
its me im still not using my reall name but i want tolook like these girls i want the person i love to like me back and he seems to like everyone but me i want to fell the pain of thhis death sentence u see i have ceiloc and this is never going to work out for me is it really i will never have kids and im more likely to die young and i want the pian i want the pe sick every time i eat and i walk alot i cant live like this but i want to be so much more skinny and now its all just shit
sophia on November 16, 2010:
its me agen i hope ther is someone there that can help me yet agen to no one is home and im alone
Sophia ( not my reall name ) on November 16, 2010:
iim only 14 i commneted a while ago i want ot be like this osi can stand out i no i am skiiny now but poele dnt realise how i feelll i want my mum to realisee this and for her to be worred i am a celoic and i want it to affect my body so maybe it will go but i dnt want ot dmage my body im only a size 8 but dnt want to have a size clothes i miss being a child i know what has made me want ot be like this it was my best friend and my boyfirend i loved him and kaybeethought she did and she broke usup justot see now i am being used by him all i want is to waste away and feel pian but i dnt want to hurt my um PLEASE SOMEONE HElP ME i don't want anyone else to know so its not like i can tell anyteachrs pleasee i know tht if i dnt get any help i will seroulsly hirt myself and in a way i want it to happen so i can be put out of my missery i cant even eat with out my hainds shaking i cry myself to slrrrp most nights and i dnt like looking in the mirror i dnt want ot live like this anymore !!!!1
Sophia on November 16, 2010:
i want to be like these girls skiiny i want people to realise that i am here
Dani on November 05, 2010:
It's so awesome that you took the time to put this all together... thank you. And I think Ken's comment should be deleted as he is obviously very ignorant or perhaps just shallow, but I imagine it is just feeding into the problem. No, it is NOT better to be "a little underweight" as opposed to "a little overweight." First of all, I forgive you that you don't have an ED so you can never truly understand it, but a little underweight is so playing w/ fire for one of these girls. And the measures that are taken add numerous health risks that would otherwise not be there, even if you were "a little overweight." Second, society has changed the standards drastically over time. You refer to a size 12 as borderline obese? Well of course I don't know the height or build of the girl, but I can assure you that regardless, she is healthier being a size 12 than a size 00 if she's actually eating proper foods and walking around a bit throughout her day. In fact, Marilyn Monroe, the "ideal" or "perfect" body of her time, was equivalent to a size 12 in today's terms. So although I can't blame you for simply having the mindset taught by today's society, your facts are not correct and only may cause problems for others suffering from ED's or body issues.
As for some other people's comments - they seem shocked that such people as Kate Beckinsale or Katherine McPhee could have an ED. I can assure you that MANY MORE people than you think are suffering from ED's... people you see and interact with on a daily basis!! And it's typically the ones that you'd never guess. For instance, I am skinny, but still an average weight - about 5'8" and 118 lbs. I don't LOOK the part of someone with an ED. I go out with friends and eat full meals (although everyone knows I "eat healthy"). I don't want to come across as cocky, but I've been told enough times to recognize that society would consider me extremely pretty (even if I can't see it most of the time). I have a great GPA in engineering at a good college, and I make it appear that I have a good social life and am very involved. (I say "appear" because reality is that ED sucks so much time and life away from me that I really don't go out very often, but I do enough and let others assume that I do for the other times.) My point is that I have hear at least once a week that I am "the perfect" girl. (Let me again emphasize that I am actually very nice to everyone, have morals, down-to-earth, and don't act cocky which I'm afraid this may come across as!) Yet the truth is that I have suffered with bulimia for about 4 years now (17-21). I have told a few friends, but otherwise no one suspects a thing. Like I said, everyone thinks of me as some perfect, model human who always has a positive attitude and a helping hand to offer if needed. Now, yes, I am in the college setting so there are far more girls suffering from ED here than in the "real world." Regardless, I can assure you that almost every single one of you knows at least one, probably a few more, girls struggling w/ ED's that you would absolutely NEVER GUESS. Perhaps it's your girlfriend? Or maybe the girl you sit next to in class? Maybe it's the fun party girl that everyone loves? Or it could be the shy, quiet boy sitting alone in the corner. You never know who it may be, so maybe you should consider living a life as if everyone you interact with have an ED. Would you make fat jokes to or in front of someone that you knew had an ED? Would you pressure them to eat/drink something in particular? etc. Now if you would, then carry on... but if you may be a bit more careful around them, then perhaps you can try to make that a habit in life to be more respectful and aware of fat/weight/food comments. It could be your best friend that you're joking with who has been hiding his/her ED from you for years. (I managed to do so for two years until I finally told my best friends who were around me all the time.)
Anywho, sorry this is so long, I just admire the work put into this page and the apparent number of people that go through and read it,so I'd love to give some more perspective on a few things from a current girl struggling w/ an ED - and trying SOO hard to get back into recovery!
eat what you like on October 10, 2010:
Health is wealth as they say - if your not healthy you don't have quality of life! You can't enjoy life.....
Little miss manitowoc on October 03, 2010:
I'm currently 15 years old and I've been bulimic for 4 years this next April. I know this eating disorder is terrible to have but it's not easy to get rid of and every time I walk through the halls at school.... All I see is these skinny, pretty girls and then everything I remember about stopping flies out the window along with my pride.....
Rachel on September 28, 2010:
So I decided to comment on this thread. I consider myself recovered after some very hard work. I just started a non profit and I was just poking around on the web to see what was out there that men and women who are struggling would come across. My heart goes out to each and every person that is still struggling or has struggled in the past. I just want to point out that I think you all are trying to be helpful with your comments but it is so extremely trigging to talk about specific eating habits, motivation and especially weight. Sorry if this offended anyone I know numbers talk is not going to go away fast. The activist within me had to say something.
Cristina on September 25, 2010:
I was anorexia 3 years i only weighed 57 poundes and that was when i was 13 now im 16 and i weigh 160 and i fells good but when i was dick i didn't fell good so u girls and u guys don't go with wat i went throw plz
LINDA MORENO on September 09, 2010:
I WAS BULIMIC FOR 27 YEARS UNTIL I SUFFERED A HEART ATTACK. I AM 67 YEARS OLD NOW AND HAVE A MULTITUDE OF
VERY SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS DO TO THIS EATING DISORDER.
Embry96 on September 02, 2010:
We are who we are right? And sometines, we can't help that.
Embry96 on September 02, 2010:
Some people don't realize, that the girls that seem the most normal, with the perfect lives, great friends, and great boyfriends are like this. The ones that are always labeled. Well guess what? That's what most of us pretend to be, because with a label like that, we simply cannot be plastered with another label.
Embry96 on September 02, 2010:
Some of us, like myself don't think of this as a 'medical disease'. I think, that we sometimes want to think we're normal. We want to get it in our heads that we can be normal like any other girl walking down the street. But truth be told, we're not. We know we're not and that's what hurts the most. Seeing how perfectly other women or girls are in their bodies and we aren't. Why? Because we can't.
anonymous2 on August 24, 2010:
I'm 19 and weigh 92 lbs. At 5'1" I'm small for my age and I've always felt like my being short made me ugly. I felt like being skinny was the only way I could be pretty, but I could never get skinny enough. I'm still struggling with it.
iris on August 23, 2010:
at the age of 13 i went in a depressive time leading me to anorexia ....a year in rehab and two years of war......had low selfsteem at 68punds....close to death attach to a bed i recognize i was sik and neede help,,, i recoverd moving to 94 punds three years later,,,,i lived a normal life and try acting i was ok a while,,,went to a military school grew mentally strong,,,then search GoD TO HEAL MY PAIN, HEART, AND SCARS THIS HAD LEFT ME,,,,,,AFTER A GREAT BATTLE,, my parents got bak together ......i got involve,,,and knew i was born for a purpose to help the need the hurt and people over past such struggle same way i have and continue working with my body image,,,i love God ,,and don't judge him but thank him cus all this grew me stronger fearless, and find him,,,,,i wanted to dye,,,,i hated my image,,,and life,,,but he opened doors,,and a journey,,,,he wont let u GO THROUGH ANYTHING U CANT TAKE,,,,,,,PRAY!!! AND ASK FOR WISDOM,,,,HELP,,,,,,STRENGHT,,,,,IS HARD AND PAINFUL BUT HE WILL GIVE U VICTORY!!! AND YOUR LIFE BACK,,,,,HAVE FAITH,,,,HE LOVES U,,,AND MADE U AS HIS IMAGE!!LOVE YOURSELF AS HE HAS MADE U CREATE U AND MOLD U,,,,,,,LOVE A FIGHTER OF E.D.
ladiehelp on August 23, 2010:
girls and even guys listen u are all beautiful in your owns ways... weight is not a big deal the people who love you don't love you because of ur weight they love you for you... if u have a problem the best thing to do besides notice it is to get help... just remember you all are beautiful and can fight this ..
Camila on August 11, 2010:
GO KATE, SHES GREAT AND VERY BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY SHE IS ;)
Catherine on August 01, 2010:
Reading this makes me feel not alone....:( I can go almost two weeks but then I always give into my bulimia again, and i feel like during those two weeks I restrict my calories so much that i just collapse and eat so so much, and then i find myself in the bathroom....I have admitted I have an eating disorder, i just don't know if i can tell anyone....but reading all your comments it seems like that is the next step to help me with this battle, I noticed it developed about 6 months after my dad died when I was 20 now im 22...Thanks ladies for your input
crying for help on July 23, 2010:
i know how these women feel i suffer from bulimia i am actually in the hospital now! cant get help cause i have no insurance it sucks..im 23 female 5'5 and i weigh 94ibs i want help but its not free which makes me fear for my life!
Ziggy on July 23, 2010:
aww you left out Nicole Richie!! She's my Thinspiration .. (:
Laura on July 22, 2010:
Interesting hub. I don't know the facts about most of the people featured here, but I do know that the height/weight facts you've listed about Heidi Gunther are inaccurate. She was 5'4" and weighed 110 pounds when she was told to "lose a few pounds" by the director of the Boston Ballet. She ended up weighing less than 83 pounds when she died. So she weighed significantly more when she was told to lose weight (though she was still at a thin weight for her height!, but I guess not "ballerina" thin), and she weight significantly less when she died than you've listed.
brandyBachmann on July 02, 2010:
the media and the critics played a major role for this to happen. I agree with livelonger, with the media giving ranges of weight in order for a person to join the industy, it has put a lot of pressure to those people who dream & aspire to be in that industry.
lilly_dens on July 02, 2010:
being famous has it's ups and downs and one of it's downs is to keep up with the expectations of others to be thin. This is a sad story for the celebrities but I'm glad to hear that as days go by they started to see the real beauty and to aim a healthy lifestyle.
anonymous on June 30, 2010:
I'm a 14 year old girl who has been struggling with bolimia. It's really hard going to a school where all of my friends are skinny and popular and blonde when myself, I'm a brunett with an average body. It's not easy being compared to all of the popular, super skinny, and super pretty girls by girls and boys. This next year I'm switching to high school and the problem will get even harder. My friends know but act like i never said anything to them. There will be the occasional check up if the topic comes up but what they really don't know is it's still going on.
ally on May 20, 2010:
love the quotes. good job ladies.
corinna on May 18, 2010:
This is crazzzyyyyy
Liz on May 11, 2010:
I really hate that it takes "celebrities" to get the point across especially about the growing problem of eating disorders. So many young girls and women alike look up to these "stars" without regard to what they may be doing to their bodies. I don't care who it is, if someone wants to starve themselves or binge/purge, that is their demon, so to speak. It's really a sad situation and these people need immediate help but the first step is admitting that you have a problem and unfortunately most are in denial and not willing to take that step because the "demon" inside of their heads are so powerful and controlling. I too suffered from bulimia from the age of 13 to 25. At first, I knew that I had it "under control". I could eat what I wanted without regard to weight or calories, it was that simple. Bulimia seemed to be the only thing in my life that I had control over as I went through a horrible divorce and bout with cervical cancer all around the same time frame. Perfection in our home was the standard and nothing less was expected. I began to demand it from myself which also led to OCD, amoung other things. Fact is, I was never fat however, once the "demon" got into my head it was hard to live my life eventually without bulimia. Just because these "celebrities" chose this path doesn't make them glamourous. There is nothing beautiful about skin and bones, organ failure, dehydration, loss of your menstrual period with the possibility of never concieving, brittle nails, horrible skin and loss of hair. Maybe it seems worth it for a little while but eventually you will realize just how big this "demon" really is and you will not have any control. Please think before you self-hate. Self-hate will kill you and that is the ultimate price for beauty.
Alison K on April 22, 2010:
I'm researching eating disorders for a research paper in language class, any famous quotes would be great!
Sarah B on March 25, 2010:
I suffered from ED for 4 years. But you can fight it with will power. Bulimia is a vicious cycle but with enough will power it can be stopped. I decided to change and so helped my self recover. It's all about self control I suppose!
Womens Studies 200 on March 08, 2010:
We did not realize how many hidden people suffer from eating disorders daily. 99% of the individuals on the list above are women. We are sure that there are many other women who suffering from eating disorders but are to scared to come forward.
Sarah on March 07, 2010:
to anonymus 14yr old. I'm 13, and weigh 98 pounds. As long as you do not have the behaviors of anorexia, then you are not anorexic. Your weight will depend on build and body type, and a few other aspects, but if you are still worried, talk to someone.
christina on March 04, 2010:
i'm suffering from bulimia. with my marriage on the rocks i'm starving for love and attention and when i don't get it a lot of triggers go off from the past and my current sitution that i'ms been suffering for 3years. at times i've felt i can't go on and the i find support, my yoga, or running or writing...and now i'm learning to reach out for human support....i pray for the day for this vicous internal war to end.
Anonymous on February 22, 2010:
I need someones opinion is be being 14 years old and weigh 95 lbs is that consider anorexic? Size 0
whatever on February 21, 2010:
i have suffered from an eating disorder only a few months ago and know how chalenging it can be. i had to be in a 6-hours-a-day hospital program and have gained weight since then. but even so, i think about my disorder and think of how i've grown since then. for you out there who have EDs, just tell yourself "I will get better, but i need to take the first step to do it!"
Sound of Me from United States on February 18, 2010:
Wow, I didn't know about a lot of these... Ginger and Posh Spice, Paula Abdul, Kate Winslet, Elton John, and Princess Diana all really surprised me. I knew that Katharine McPhee had one, and I really admire the way she speaks out about it now and encourages people to seek recovery. She is so beautiful too: such an inspiration.
I think that Fiona Apple said it best though, when she mentioned it was emotional baggage left from coping with past trauma as opposed to just wanting to be thin. I think the way thinness is thrown into our faces by the media and oftentimes families and peers is a definite problem, but there are issues behind such an intense desire to be thin that can be addressed as well.
The biggest tragedy comes from the lives that were lost to eating disorders. As someone who struggles with an eating disorder myself, this makes me very very sad.
celeste on February 15, 2010:
why do people do that to themselves? i mean just accept who you are and ask someone if you need to lose weight before you start starving yourself! why would you wanna lose out on the deliciousness of food?
qwerty on February 10, 2010:
I Cant believe Sonny moore has not been mentioned!!!!
Ken on February 04, 2010:
Too bad the whole anti-thin movement has swung us to the opposite end of the spectrum. We've gone from "It's unhealthy to be abnormally thin", which it clearly is, to "It's healthy to be moderately fat", which it's clearly not. The feminist movement has redefined a "normal" weight - mostly for women - up to a place that is unquestionably fat. A woman I know is fishing for beauty compliments because now she's suddenly a size 12. Good on her and I'm glad she lost weight, but the fact of the matter is that size 12 is borderline obese, at least for her. When you lie on your back and your butt spreads out under your arms, you're fat, end of story, and at the end of the day, it's healthier to be a little too thin than to be a little too fat.
jenniferhughs on December 15, 2009:
It's a shame that celebrities and everyday people have to feel compelled to maintain unhealthy weight levels in order to look "good".
Yet so many Americans are obese. Eating healthy should be a lifestyle, not a diet.
gayman62 on December 08, 2009:
hi guys this really helped! =) i was doing an ED project, thanks people.
tonyhubb on October 31, 2009:
Kate Beckinsale is very beautiful :)
plus size corsets on October 19, 2009:
Will we ever see a shift in attitude when it comes to body image? It really is sad to see what women do to themselves in order to fit what is deemed acceptable. Very sad.
katherine on October 16, 2009:
ishonne on October 07, 2009:
i think ppl want to look like celebrities nd tht is not good at all because this ppl go through a long process to impress young ppl who are reaaly not responsible nd understand the comebacks for all this stuff
tannerbug05 on September 15, 2009:
I think this is a great informative piece on Eating Disorders, I tend to believe the media plays the biggest role in these disorders. Our young teens are seeing beautiful in an artificial way, they don't see all the air brushing and touch ups done to make the celebrities look "beautiful". How sad.
woopwoop on September 09, 2009:
its not all about the media - people do it for control and to make them feel like they can change themselves. People stereotype anorexia and bulemia as fad diets and quick fixes to getting skinny, but that isn't true for every person - people with abusive pasts can become a slave to and ED and not do it to get thin. For alot of people its a control method, a way to change themselves because they hate who they are, a saving grace. I'm not sayng people don't do it to get thin either . . .
Virginia Harmon on August 30, 2009:
Sandra Dee is no longer alive.
kelley on May 26, 2009:
I have an eating disorder,bulimia im 15 and had it for 3 years im a runner and i don't want it to affect my running but i cant give it up its so hard wen ur parents know to and i already went to an eating disorder place and im still not eating i just cant
hannabanana101 on May 02, 2009:
im doing a research paper on EDs- this was so helpful!! **thanks**
Emmie on April 21, 2009:
I'm recovering from anorexia and most of this really helped. The stories about celebs that died scared me and the quotes like kate winslet's inspired me
Ann on April 06, 2009:
Please add Vera-Ellen. She was a beautiful actress and amazing dancer from the 40s and 50s who danced with the likes of Gene Kelly. (Ah! Miss Turnstiles!) She's curiously thin with a tiny little waist and long stick thin legs--really unusual at that time. Then it turns out she suffered from anorexia for years. She died rather early. She really was one of the first actresses on screen to have anorexia. I'm starting to think that there are NO naturally thin women. They keep denying it over and over and then one day they come out with a best seller.
dancing queen on March 20, 2009:
I know how these woman (and men) feel/felt. I just got out of a struggle with anorexia. Talking really helps you.
Jesus loves all
shahnawaz sheikh from karachi on March 19, 2009:
ppl follow these stars what type of example are they setting
Andromeda10 from Chicago on March 15, 2009:
Does anyone remember Kate Beckinsale in 90's film version of Shakepeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" ? She was a healthy weight, maybe even a little chunky by Hollywood standards. I didn't see her in anything until "Pearl Harbor". Maybe it was in those years that she struggled with anorexia. I know she was a dancer in her childhood, so maybe she battled way back then.
Another note. It would be great to see folks not use the term "Twins" as a collective group especially when dealing with something like an eating disorder. (by a commenter). It's like if one twin has an eating disorder, the other MUST have one too. This went along with Mary-Kate and Ashley's rumors about eating disorders. They were pegging both when only one had the problem. (I'm a twin and that has always bothered me.)
Nick on February 04, 2009:
I am a guy and I suffer from Bulimia. It seems hard to come clean about it as a guy but I imagine a lot of us suffer through it. It is a very hard a long process and the feelings described in here are spot on. I have caused hemorrahging in my esophagus from my bouts with bulimia. It is hard to convinve my insurance I need immediate help. Good luck everyone
Om Prakash Singh from India, Calcutta on February 01, 2009:
Eating disorders most of the time show the kind of lifestyle that is being followed. It is a big problem but not something that is hard to overcome. It is really surprising that such big names have suffered or are suffering eating disorders. How can they afford it? They are always supposed to look healthy and happy. I had an impression that big names always spend lot of effort in their self grooming and in being healthy. This Hub changed my way of thought. Thanks for the hub
Sexy Health from Portland, OR on January 29, 2009:
Thanks for sharing this! IT is amazing, but they are all people we knew had them all along. It is such a sad thing to have to go through