Celebrities face a lot of pressure to fit into a certain body spectrum, leading most to battle with their body image. This battle can manifest itself in ways like drug abuse, alcoholism, or eating disorders.
Eating disorders are self-destructive behaviors most people adopt to maintain a certain body size. The prevalence of these disorders is especially common among celebrities, who have several often unrealistic expectations to meet up to in terms of body size.
This leads them to develop conditions like bulimia, anorexia or sometimes embracing extreme diet plans and exercise routines.
While most stars remain mum about their struggles until it gets the better of them and result in fatal or near-death encounters, others are vocal throughout the struggle, until they eventually overcome it.
No matter what side of the spectrum they fall in, here is a list of ten celebrities who battled an eating disorder at some point in their life.
1. TAYLOR SWIFT
Singer Taylor Swift always looks confident in her own skin. But it was not always so for the “We Are Never Getting Back Together” crooner. In her Netflix documentary “Miss Americana,” the star opened up about her earlier struggles with an eating disorder.
She recounted how she developed a relationship with food that was dependent on other people’s perceptions of good and bad. The mentality, in addition to constant public scrutiny, led her to rule out food.
She ended up feeling fatigued and on the verge of passing out after each performance. After years of believing the feeling was normal, she eventually realized eating properly would give her the energy she needed to do all the shows.
2. GABOUREY SIDIBE
“Empire” star Gabourey Sidibe struggled with weight issues throughout her life, eventually leading her to develop bulimia.
In her memoir, “This Is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare,” the actress went candid about undergoing weight-loss surgery to control her weight. Long before the surgery, she battled bulimia and depression.
According to the star, her eating disorder was a means of coping with the depression, and not a way of losing weight. Years later, Sidibe is in a better place, embracing healthier habits.
3. ZAYN MALIK
Former One Direction bandmate Zayn Malik also battled an eating disorder at the height of his former band’s global fame. Due to their busy schedules, the icon skipped multiple meals in a row, for days.
Things worsened eventually, with Malik not considering his unhealthy eating pattern a problem until he compared some of his pictures, and noticed the disturbing differences.
4. ZOË KRAVITZ
Actress Zoë Kravitz has been open about her struggles with bulimia and anorexia. She admitted to being pressured into adopting those habits due to her early brush with a life of stardom.
She developed the conditions as a teenager, and they followed her well into adulthood until she realized she needed to seek help.
5. PORTIA DE ROSSI
Ellen DeGeneres’ wife, Portia de Rossi began her career as a child model. Interestingly, that also marked the beginning of her struggles with eating disorders.
The condition prevailed into adulthood as she continued her modeling pursuits. In her book, “Unbearable Lightness,” the star detailed her daunting battle with an eating disorder, and how she managed to live through it.
6. LADY GAGA
Singer Lady Gaga opened up about her battle with anorexia and bulimia in 2012 on her site, Little Monsters. She developed the habits from the age of fifteen, and they followed her into adulthood.
Taking initiative from her own struggles, the songstress founded the Born This Way Foundation. The nonprofit helps connect young people to resources that could help them deal with body image, bullying, drug and alcohol issues.
She aims to help youths battling such situations realize they were not alone.
7. KATIE COURIC
Katie Couric has led many on the path of healing over the years through her sit-downs with various stars to discuss their internal battles. However, the star has encountered some battles of her own.
In 2012, Couric had a sit-down with Demi Lovato to discuss the singer’s battles with eating disorders. During the show, the host also went candid about going through a similar struggle herself.
She recounted how she went from self-loathing herself overeating things she perceived as potential fat-inducers, to finally having a healthy relationship with food.
8. DEMI LOVATO
Arguably the most vocal celebrity on this list when it comes to discussing their health struggles, Demi Lovato battled an eating disorder from childhood.
They developed bulimia as early as nine years old, a condition they witnessed their mom and grandma struggle with for years. At eighteen, the star enrolled in a treatment facility to treat her eating disorders.
Yet, they kept struggling with bulimia even a decade later, admitting in an interview that despite beating most of their addictions, food proved to be their biggest problem. So far, they have made progress.
9. ELTON JOHN
Music legend Elton John once recounted his past struggles with several addictions, including an eating disorder. In addition to battling cocaine, sexual addiction, and alcoholism, he struggled with bulimia for six years.
He admitted the habit resulted from being paranoid about his weight, and yet unable to stop himself from eating.
10. LANA CONDOR
Actress Lana Condor went candid about her eating disorder in 2019, admitting she adopted them during her days as a dancer. She revealed she knew how it felt to battle an eating disorder and body dysmorphia or to have a friend in such situations.
After living through her own battle, the “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” star was determined to make people refrain from considering a certain body type as ideal. That way, they could develop healthy eating habits.
Other celebrities who have also battled disorders include Hillary Duff, Bridget Malcolm, Mel C, Jameela Jamil, Lily Collins, and even the late Princess Diana.
Perhaps it’s time to rethink those images of perfection constantly idolized on the big screen or social media, and give room for more body positivity.