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What we can learn from celebrity eating disorders

Actress Demi Lovatto speaks about her eating disorder
Actress Demi Lovatto speaks about her eating disorder

Lately it seems as if celebrity eating disorder press
releases have been coming out by the dozens. Here is a list of just a few who
have confirmed that they have struggled with disordered eating:

·        
Ashley Simpson

·        
Calista Flockhart

·        
Candace Cameron Bure

·        
Demi Lovatto

·        
Diane Keaton

·        
Elton John

·        Jamie-Lynn Sigler 

·        
Jane Fonda

·        
Jessica Alba

·        
Mary Kate Olsen

·        
Nicole Richie

·        
Paula Abdul

·        
Portia De Rossi

·        
Tracey Gold

·        
Victoria Beckham 

Some might assume that the most fatal mental disease has
become the latest Hollywood publicist marketing strategy. Whether or not celebrities
are exposing their struggle for profit or recovery there are some very positive
things we can learn from their courage to come forward and share.

Awareness - One thing I’m really impressed with is how so
many of these starlet’s have stated that they wanted others to know that they
are not alone and to get help themselves. Today, over 1/3 of American women
struggle with disordered eating in the forms of anorexia, bulimia andcompulsive overeating. Talking about this still taboo topic brings awareness to
those currently in an eating disorder, just simply saying the disease “eating
disorder
” can vastly help the public have more awareness and  recognize the disease before it progresses or
turns into death.

Boldness – Personally, I share my recovery story on a very
public format. Through speaking engagements, workshops, press and blogging. I
can confirm that it isn’t always easy to admit on a public forum that I have struggled
with body image, confidence and concerns about my looks. There are times that
it provokes anxiety in me. But, then I am confronted with the fact that “if I
don’t come forward who else will? Who else will help others find recovery?” It’s
this question that helps me be bold and share my story. I believe celebrity’s
are using their platform of fans and media attention to be bold with their
story to help others in recovery. For that, I am completely grateful to them.

Owning It – There is a point in recovery we all come to that
either progresses us ahead or keeps us stagnant and that is the dilemma of
owning it. I have yet to meet a person who struggles with an eating disorder who
is excited to vocalize the pressure they feel to keep in perfect physical appearance
and that this disease took over their lives. However, there is something
powerful in simply admitting on a daily basis that this is our struggle and for
better or for worse we are working on our recovery. It’s in this act of owning
it that our own recovery escalates and we are able to not only grow ourselves,
but help others grown in their recovery as well.

I’m incredibly impressed and thankful for the many celebrity’s
who have come forward to share their recovery story. I hope to see many more in
2012 and in turn see recovery happen for so many others.

 

Happy Recovery!

Irvina