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Celebrities and their Eating Disorders

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We tend to hold celebrities in our highest opinion. They live starry, glamorous, and fun lives. We assume that they don’t have any problems and that they have it all together. Perhaps that’s why we oohh and aahh when we find out that a married actor had an affair or when an actress gets arrested for drunk driving or when the star of our favorite TV show struggles with a disease, such as an eating disorder.


This is precisely what happened with actress Candace Cameron Bure, who played the young D.J. Tanner in the television show, “Full House.” She recently wrote in her book, Balancing It All, that when she moved to Canada with her new husband – professional hockey player Valeri Bure – she unknowingly divorced herself from her life. She had to leave her acting career, her home, friends, and family. Being in a new country and having to start over again, she turned to food for comfort.


Another well-known performer Lady Gaga admitted to her struggle with Bulimia during an interview with Maria Shriver. She said, “I used to throw up all the time in high school.” During her 2012 European tour, Lady Gaga started a website and forum called Body Revolution in order to help herself and others overcome their insecurities and the struggles that that creates.


The website for the Huffington Post online magazine lists 20 or more actresses who struggle with the disorders of Bulimia and Anorexia. It’s not uncommon for women to experience these psychological disorders, particularly those who were raised in Western society. In fact, the roots of disordered eating are hidden within the American culture. Our society is obsessed with losing weight and staying thin. We are afraid of feeling and looking fat and will do whatever it takes to keep a slim figure. Trendy diets, the latest techniques to eat right, and hundreds of infomercials flood the media every day. Our relationship with food is more than unhealthy; it’s dysfunctional.


Females, teens in particular, are at the most risk for developing Eating Disorders. Of course, male adolescents and adults can also develop the disorder. They too are not strangers to social expectations for looking thin. But teen eating disorders are more common among females. A recent survey of 496 adolescent girls reported that more than 12 percent experienced some form of eating disorder by the time they were 20.


For women, there is a strong social emphasis placed on looking good, and that means being thin. Sadly, her sense of self worth and self-acceptance is heavily influenced by the measurements of her chest and hips as well as the amount of body fat she carries. Unfortunately, looking good can have a higher priority for her than her physical and psychological health.  This is often true for actresses and performers whose looks play a large role in their success and in attracting fans.


Sadly, actresses and performers are often models for young women and teens. One of the major constituents of an eating disorder is relying on a sense of self, self-acceptance and self-love from the external, such as from fans and fame. Instead, when female teens have around them women who source their self-acceptance from within, this will be the beginning of healing eating disorders. As long as the underlying issues regarding body image and food in Western culture have yet to be addressed, examined, and healed, female adolescents will continue to be at risk for Bulimia Nervosa and other eating disorders. In fact, the rate of occurrence of Bulimia Nervosa is only increasing. This is partly because the mental health community has become savvier in recognizing signs of eating disorders in young females.


However, educating adolescents on the risk of teen eating disorders, particularly during puberty and throughout adolescence can be one form of prevention. Additionally, assisting them in cultivating healthy levels of self-esteem and self-acceptance can also prevent Bulimia Nervosa from playing a dangerous role in her life.




Candace Cameron Bure Talks Bulimia Struggle After “Full House”. Huffington Post. Retrieved April 28,2014 from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/14/candace-cameron-bure-bulimia_n_4445138.html#slide=2826343




By Robert Hunt
If you are reading this on any blog other than Paradigm Malibu or via my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find me on Twitter via @RecoveryRobert
Come and visit our blog at https://paradigmmalibu.com/blog

Paradigm Malibu is an adolescent mental health and drug treatment center dedicated to identifying, understanding and properly treating the core issues that impact teens and their families.

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