Celebrities Open Up About Their Eating Disorders

It’s no secret that celebrities have a lot of influence in today’s world, inspiring everything from fashion trends to viral political or cultural awareness campaigns. In fact, the trailblazing role of celebrities in society is so common there’s even a name for it, the celebrity effect.

Fortunately, contrary to popular belief, celebrity influences are not always vapid or self-serving. To prove it, we’ve listed three celebrities who have used their fame and audience platform to raise awareness about eating disorders.

1. Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato is one of the most outspoken celebrity advocates for eating disorder awareness. After years of ignoring or hiding her eating disorder, Demi Lovato now openly discusses her struggles with bulimia and unrealistic body image expectations.

In an interview with BuzzFeed, Demi Lovato spoke candidly about her new, more positive relationship with her body. "I have come a long way mentally, emotionally, and physically, and I'm proud of where I am today,” she said. “When I look back, it saddens me to think that I was so hard on myself — when I was younger, I thought I had to look like everyone else, but I learned that beauty comes from how you feel about yourself.”

2. Elton John

Elton John is a famous celebrity and legendary musician. After years of speculation, Elton John finally opened up about his battle with eating disorders in his book Love Is The Cure: On Life, Loss, and the End of AIDS. In this heartbreaking personal account, Elton John revealed that he suffered from bulimia for 16 long years before he broke out of his denial and sought physical and psychological treatment.

"My hair was white, my skin pale. I was bloated and gorged. I looked tired, sick and beaten. I looked horrible. It was almost too much to take,” recounted Elton John. “I had been overcome by addiction; I was completely out of control…As messed up as I've ever been. There was no question: I was going to change, or I was going to die."

3. Kesha

Like Demi Lovato, Kesha is extremely candid about the impact of her eating disorder upon her career and life outlook. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the acclaimed musician detailed how bulimia crept into her life as she became more and more famous. "I was slowly, slowly starving myself,” she admitted. “The worse I got and the sicker I got, the better a lot of people around me were saying that I looked. They would just be like, 'Oh my gosh, keep doing whatever you're doing! You look so beautiful, so stunning.'"

Fortunately, when Kesha’s eating disorder hit a breaking point, her family and friends were on hand to check her into a rehab facility. Since then, Kesha has restored her physical and mental health, telling Rolling Stone she has re-learned the importance of laughing and not being so hard on herself.

Luckily, the three individuals described in this article are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to celebrities speaking about eating disorders. If you want to hear what other celebrities have to say about eating disorders, we recommend reading or listening to the experiences of Melanie Chisolm, Christina Ricci, Zoë Kravitz, Lady Gaga, Kate Winslet, Russell Brand, and Troian Bellisario.

Sources: Shape, Buzz Feed, Elle UK

Photo: Wikimedia/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license