Lily Collins Reveals Her Past Struggle with Eating Disorders

The actress' recent portrayal of a young woman with anorexia inspired her to be open about her past

In the upcoming film To The Bone actress Lily Collins plays a girl who battles anorexia, and the star recently revealed a close connection to her character as she actually battled eating disorders when she was a teenager.

Lily first opened up to Variety during the Sundance Film Festival where she was promoting the film, saying, "This is the first time I'm talking about it. This is my moment of talking about it," Lily says. "It's something that a lot of young women go through and there's no shame in it, and this movie is about that-it's about embracing your past and about realizing it's something that doesn't define who you are, but it's about your experiences, surrounding yourself with people that support you, and about surviving and getting through it."

The actress later took to Instagram to talk about the freedom that comes from unburdening herself from the "secret." "Owning my past, being open, and having no shame or regrets about my experiences," she wrote in her post. "Sharing my history with eating disorders and how personal this film has been is one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life."

The truth is that Lily's story is one of many. In the U.S. alone, at least 30 million people suffer from eating disorders. These conditions can often go unnoticed (more on the epidemic of hidden eating disorders, here) by friends and family, as no type of disordered eating or complicated relationship with food looks the same, not to mention discussing these issues can be difficult for everyone involved. (Here's what to do if your friend has an eating disorder.)

The positive news is that recognizable faces like Lily (and all these other celebrities who opened up about their eating disorders) prove that it's OK to talking about your struggles, and it's important to know when it's time to ask for help. Seeking recovery is an admirable thing, and sharing your story when you're ready, on your terms a la Lily, is something to celebrate.

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