Growing up in the spotlight can take a toll on a person’s body image.
Several celebrities have opened up about their struggles with eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia, with many eventually overcoming their battles and learning to love their bodies.
Here is a list of 12 celebrities who have opened up about struggling with an eating disorder.
TikTok star Charli D’Amelio revealed she struggles with an eating disorder.
“i’ve been afraid to share that I have an eating disorder, but ultimately i hope that by sharing this i can help someone else,” the 16-year-old announced on Instagram in September. “I know eating disorders are something that so many other people are also battling behind closed doors.”
D’Amelio, who has more than 86 million followers on TikTok, urged her fans to seek help if they’re also battling an eating disorder.
“For anyone struggling with this, i know some days can be worse that others, but i really hope you’ll swipe up to this link and get help if you need it,” she said. “I need you to know you are not alone. remember it’s ok to reach out and get help. we all need help sometimes. i love you all and please stay strong.”
Taylor Swift has opened up about previously struggling with an eating disorder.
“It’s only happened a few times, and I’m not in any way proud of it. A picture of me where I feel like I looked like my tummy was too big, or … someone said that I looked pregnant … and that’ll just trigger me to just starve a little bit — just stop eating,” she revealed in her documentary, “Taylor Swift: Miss Americana,” which premiered in January.
The 30-year-old singer has talked about her “unhealthy” relationship with food in the past.
“Riverdale” star Camila Mendes says her time on set inspired her to seek help for her eating disorder.
“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve been in denial about my issues,’” she said during a panel discussion at PopSugar Play/Ground in June 2019.
Mendes, 26, said her fittings for the show made her extremely uncomfortable so she finally began therapy and is in a much healthier place.
“I started to see a therapist and started getting serious about recovery when I couldn’t get through a fitting.”
She first revealed she struggled with bulimia in 2018.
Zoë Kraviz’s unhealthy relationship with food began when she was just a teen.
“I had a really hard time when I was 16, 17, 18. I started with the eating disorder in high school …,” the 31-year-old daughter of actress Lisa Bonet and rocker Lenny Kravitz said in the 2015 April/May issue of Complex. “Just [a hard time] loving myself.”
Her disordered eating was kicked into gear again when she played the role of someone with anorexia in the 2014 dramedy “The Road Within.”
She lost so much weight for the part that her period was thrown off, her immune system shut down and her thyroid gland stopped working properly.
“You could see my ribcage. I was just trying to lose more weight for the film but I couldn’t see: You’re there. Stop. It was scary,” she had said.
Lady Gaga went down a very dangerous path to achieve weight loss.
The “Rain On Me” singer revealed that she developed bulimia when she was younger during a conference in 2012.
“I used to throw up all the time in high school. So I’m not that confident,” Gaga, 31, admitted at the time. “I wanted to be a skinny little ballerina but I was a voluptuous little Italian girl whose dad had meatballs on the table every night. I used to come home and say, ‘Dad, why do you always give us this food? I need to be thin.’ And he’d say, ‘Eat your spaghetti.’”
She explained that her bulimia got so bad is affected the quality of her singing.
“It made my voice bad, so I had to stop,” she said. “The acid on your vocal cords — it’s very bad.”
While she managed to overcome her eating disorder, she still said she struggled with body image issues.
“Weight is still a struggle,” she said. “Every video I’m in, every magazine cover, they stretch you — they make you perfect. It’s not real life … I’m gonna say this about girls: The dieting wars have got to stop. Everyone just knock it off. Because at the end of the day, it’s affecting kids your age. And it’s making girls sick.”
Years later, Gaga slammed body shamers after her performance at the 2017 Super Bowl, saying, “I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too.”
Portia de Rossi
Portia de Rossi’s disordered eating began when she was just a child starting out in the modeling industry.
“I felt tremendous responsibility when I was 12 years old and I was put on a catwalk,” de Rossi, now 47, told Entertainment Tonight in 2015. “My modeling agents had told me to go on a diet. So I didn’t eat for 10 days before then.”
De Rossi recalled being bullied by other models during a show which lead her to binge and then purge a whole bag of candy.
“I erase the feelings with food, erase the food with vomiting, but you’re still left with the shame,” she said.
De Rossi, who is married to Ellen DeGeneres, has previously addressed her battle with eating disorders in her 2010 memoir, “Unbearable Lightness.”
Kyle Richards spoke about her past eating disorder struggles for the first time in 2009.
The “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star, 51, revealed her body image issues began when she was just 17 years old.
“I was on a TV show and I didn’t like — they kept putting me in these big things. And my boobs were big when I was young and my sisters were tiny and cute,” she said. “Everybody was blonde and blue-eyed and skinny. I said, ‘I don’t like my wardrobe’ and they said, ‘Well, lose some weight and we’ll put you in cuter wardrobe.’”
She continued, “People would compliment me and the more they complimented me, the less I would eat. I would take V8 juice and put it in a bowl and heat it up and that was my food. I was 99 pounds.”
After she spoke about her struggles, she came out saying she regretted publicizing her extreme dieting because she didn’t want her daughters or any other young girls to get any ideas.
Demi Lovato has struggled with an eating disorder for years and it got so bad that it lead to a near-fatal drug overdose.
“I thought the past few years was recovery from an eating disorder when it actually was just completely falling into it. And I just realized that, like, maybe my symptoms weren’t as obvious as before, but it was definitely an eating issue,” she said in February.
Lovato, 28, has been open about struggling with disordered eating and bulimia as well as drug and alcohol addiction and has sought out help in rehab.
Lovato revealed that her old manager worsened her eating disorder by hiding food and sugar from the singer and didn’t even allow her to eat cake on her birthday for years.
These days, the “Sober” singer is embracing her curves and making life changes like switching her manager to Scooter Braun, who gave her a real birthday cake on her D.O.B.
“I just remember crying because I was finally eating cake with a manager that didn’t need anything from me and that loved me for who I am and supported my journey,” she said on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in March.
Lily Collins faced her eating disorder demons when she played the part of a woman with an eating disorder in her movie “To The Bone.”
“I was in recovery for several years before the movie, preparing for the film allowed me to gather facts about eating disorders from professionals,” the actress explained in the July 2017 issue of Shape. “It was a new form of recovery for me. I got to experience it as my character, Ellen, but also as Lily.”
While Collins, 31, overcame her eating disorder years before, she was “terrified” that the part would cause her to relapse.
“I was terrified that doing the movie would take me backward, but I had to remind myself that they hired me to tell a story, not to be a certain weight,” she had said. “In the end, it was a gift to be able to step back into shoes I had once worn but from a mature place.”
Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson has overcome her body image issues.
“I’ve kind of gone through the gamut when it comes to health,” the gymnast told Yahoo Health in 2015. “I’ve hit lows with it — I don’t want to say diagnosed eating disorders — but eating disorders. And then I’ve gone the other way, where I’ve rejected fitness.”
She explained that going through puberty while starring in “Dancing With The Stars” had a negative effect on her body image.
“When I first went on [‘DWTS’ in 2009], I was 16 and I had turned 17 on the show,” she explained. “Going from this strict, regimented schedule to going through puberty on national TV and gaining weight, and just being kind of a huge target for criticism, was just really difficult for me.”
Fortunately, 28-year-old Johnson has learned to love her body.
“[I’ve] kind of gone through the whole education system, all the nutritionists, and now I’m finally healthy,” she said.
“Doctor Who” actor Christopher Eccleston revealed he has battled an eating disorder for years.
“Many times I’ve wanted to reveal that I’m a lifelong anorexic and dysmorphic. I never have,” Eccleston, 56, wrote in his 2019 autobiography, “I Love The Bones Of You.” “I always thought of it as a filthy secret, because I’m Northern, because I’m male and because I’m working-class.
He continued, “The illness is still there raging within me as the Doctor. People love the way I look in that series, but I was very ill. The reward for that illness was the part. And therein lies the perpetuation of the whole sorry situation.”
A decade later, while filming “The A Word,” he was diagnosed with clinical depression and admitted himself into a psychiatric hospital.
“I was in a state of extreme anxiety, convinced I was either going to die or I was going to kill myself,” he said.
He was put on anti-depressants and still continues to use them today.
“The Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Jackie Goldschneider says she nearly died from her eating disorder.
“I want you to understand that getting past an eating disorder and to a place in your life where you can actually eat something and be OK with it, people don’t understand how hard it was to get past that,” the 43-year-old reality star told cast mates Melissa Gorga and Margaret Josephs over lunch in an episode that aired in January.
She also opened up about her struggle with anorexia in a 2018 interview with People.
“I was the thinnest person in the room and I was always going to be the thinnest person in the room,” she said at the time. “That was my identity. That’s what I wanted.”