Celebrities Who Opened Up About Their Eating Disorders
Demi has been an advocate for others struggling with eating disorders, mental illness, and addiction—all of which she's gone through herself and has openly talked about to fans.
She's since been a major supporter of loving her body just how it is, sharing one Snapchat this past summer of herself in a bikini with the caption, "My body isn't perfect, I'm not my fittest but this is me!! And I
In 2014, Kesha checked herself into an undisclosed rehab facility to receive treatment for an eating disorder. She emerged stronger and with an empowering perspective that she shared with her fans in an essay for Elle UK
, revealing, "I felt like a liar, telling people to love themselves as they are, while I was being hateful to myself and really hurting my body. I wanted to control things that weren't in my power, but I was controlling the wrong things. I convinced myself that being sick, being skinny was part of my job."
She went on to declare in an Instagram post, "I have decided to take my life back...and also a big ol' f**k u if u wanna hate on my body. Just remember that makes u look like a dickhead."
Candace Cameron Bure
Even though the Full House (and now Fuller House) star began her career very young and essentially grew up on camera, it really wasn't until after the iconic series ended that Candace says her bulimia developed. She revealed her difficult relationship with food during an #EatingRecoveryDay panel in 2016 saying, "I got into a cycle of binge eating and feeling such guilt and shame for that, that I would start purging. And without even knowing, it soon just took over to a point where you feel such a loss of control."
She has since regained control and has developed a better pattern with her diet and has found a love for fitness that has clearly turned into a passion for exercise.
The Little Mix singer opened up in the group's new book about struggling with anorexia so severely when she was younger that she was even hospitalized. She says in the book, "At 13, you're at that age when you don't really have control over anything, and I felt as if the only thing I could control was what I was eating. I started skipping meals and stuff like that. I would look in the mirror and it wasn't that I'd think I was fat, I just had it in my head that I wanted to be really, really skinny....It took going to hospital to make me realize what I was doing, that it wasn't a game, it was something really serious."
She went on to say that doctors and nurses at the hospital told her, "You're destroying your body and if you keep doing this you will die." "I can't do this to my family. It shocked me into a change," said the singer.
The gymnast and Olympic gold medalist revealed to People
that during the 2008 Games she restricted her carbs so obsessively she wouldn't even eat a noodle in her soup, saying she was eating only 700 calories a day. "I was always the very strong, powerful, muscly, bulky gymnast and I felt like people always wanted me to be thinner and lighter and leaner," she said in the interview. "As a 12-year-old, the only way I really understood how to achieve that was to eat less and restrict myself. Instead of putting in the time and effort to be healthy and do things the right way, you look for a quick fix that might work for a week or two."
Johnson has since recovered and has celebrated her marriage to Andrew East earlier this year. She even dropped by our studio for a little one-on-one chat and fitness trivia.
Hilary Duff may have first risen to fame playing Lizzy McQuire as a child actress, but theYounger star and mom looks to be healthier and happier than ever—dating her personal trainer probably helps.
Last year, the SHAPE
cover girl told us she went easy on herself when it came to getting back into shape after having her baby, saying, "There's so much pressure to always have it together, and I'm not falling for it. You see supermodels who have babies, and the next week they look as if they were never pregnant. That was not the case with me. Some days I feel great, others I feel pretty normal, and that's acceptable."
Kate may be a revered, Oscar-winning actress who flaunts her curves on the red carpet with extreme confidence. But she wasn't always among the 10 most body-positive women in Hollywood, as she admitted to an obsession with losing weight fueled by laxatives when she was a teenager trying to break into Hollywood.
She has said she was rather uncomfortable and self-conscious as a teenager, wanting to lose weight in hopes of breaking into the acting world. She lost 10 pounds, but "then I became addicted to losing weight and went too far. I was never anorexic or bulimic. I went through a three-month experimental laxative time which was absolutely awful. Luckily I was strong enough to be able to say to myself, 'What are you doing? You are just really hungry,'" reports The Daily Mail
The actress and daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet admitted that she struggled with an eating disorder that first manifested in high school. She told Complex
magazine, "I had a really hard time when I was 16, 17, 18. I started with the eating disorder in high school.... Just [a hard time] loving myself ... I felt pressured. My mother's a beautiful woman, and I think, in some way, I felt intimidated by that sometimes."
But, Zoë says her journey to recovery began when she finally said enough is enough. "I feel like something has left my body, like some part of me is gone now, something that was making me so insecure. And it feels amazing," she explained in her interview.
The Girls star got real about her struggles with an eating disorder and body image—issues she's faced since childhood—in a 2014 essay for Glamour
, demanding that society needs to start encouraging women to accept themselves.
Zosia says, "The first step, I think, is for those of us who are suffering to start talking about it: people like me, who have been diagnosed, and people who live in that gray area of 'food control issues.' We all suffer in some small way; we are all a little bit ashamed of that second cupcake. Let's diminish the stigma. Let's remind one another that we're beautiful. Maybe you'll help a friend. Maybe you'll help yourself. And if you're reading this and you're suffering, please know you're not alone. Tell someone: The people who love you will listen, I promise. And you'll feel better." (Here's what to do if you think your friend has an eating disorder.)
The former Pussycat Doll and X Factor judge revealed her battle with bulimia to Cosmopolitan
, saying it's a struggle that she kept a secret for years. "It is such a horrible paralyzing disease and it was such a dark time for me. That's why I can empathize so much with people who have demons and voices in their heads, who aren't nice to themselves. It robs you of living your life."
Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario revealed to Seventeen
that she turned to anorexia as a way to cope with the pressures of high school—pressures that she put on herself. "I started self-harming when I was a junior. I would withhold food or withhold going out with my friends, based on how well I did that day in school... It was about wanting to please my father and mother and wanting to be perfect to everybody. I just thought if I ever expressed any sadness or anger or anything that's going on with me, they would disown me. I kept a lot of it bottled up inside, and it turned into self-destructive behavior," she said candidly in her interview.
Molly Sims opened up to the Huffington Post about her obsession with maintaining unrealistic weight goals while modeling for Sports Illustrated and Victoria's Secret. Today, she's comfortable in her body, explaining, "I think other things have become more important than what I look like. It doesn't have as much weight now that I have a husband and a family and kids ... I'm not consumed with trying to get into a size 2."
Katharine McPhee was a fan favorite (and runner-up) on American Idol in 2006—but she was hiding a secret battle with bulimia the entire time, something she later said she felt held her back.
In an interview with People
she talks about that bittersweet time in her life saying, "I'd been struggling with bulimia since I was 17. Growing up in Los Angeles and spending all those years in dance class, I'd been conscious of body image at a young age, and I went through phases of exercising compulsively and starving myself. Food was my crutch; it was how I dealt with emotions and uncomfortable situations." (Read up on how your brain makes decisions about food and what to eat.)
Christina Ricci first came onto the scene in now iconic movies like Mermaids and Casper when she was a child—at a time when she says she was insecure about her changing body. Those insecurities morphed into a battle with anorexia that she sought treatment for.
The actress explained during a 2012 appearance on The Talk
, "I think it's just really awkward to go through puberty and go through growing up and becoming a woman when everybody is always kind of looking at you. You're doing fittings for a movie, and people are judging how this looks on you and how that looks on you ... I would say that if you feel like you are starting to obsess too much about the way you look, then definitely get some kind of therapy or help very quickly. Because that can just grow into an obsession that you can't control."
The Spy Kids star opened up about recovering from bulimia while competing on Dancing With the Stars. Alexa revealed that her battle with bulimia began in childhood after a movie producer told her she was "too fat." She said of her journey to People
, "You read textbooks and it's just so, well, textbook. 'This is how you get over bulimia.' But it is so much deeper than that."
The Good Morning America meteorologist first got candid about her battle with anorexia while competing on Dancing With the Stars. She revealed to Us Weekly
, "I'm so angry that [anorexia] is the way that I decided to cope. It's going to be with me my entire life. I'm always going to have body-shaming issues. But I think I've now grown into enough of a woman and mature person that I realize life is a lot bigger than that."