A lot of this blog will focus on the media, particularly the negative influences media has on women and girls. But for this first media entry, I have some good news! Impossibly thin and “fit” celebrities are finally beginning to speak out about body image struggles they’ve faced, which is good for the general public to learn that those kinds of bodies are neither natural nor healthy.
The first person to come out within the last few days was Katie Couric. In an interview with Demi Lovato (another celebrity who’s struggled with an eating disorder) on her new talk show, Couric revealed that throughout college and for years afterwards she battled with bulimia. Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by “binging”, or eating a significant amount of food in a short period of time, and “purging”, or immediately getting rid of the food afterwards usually through vomiting or taking laxatives. Her bravery at coming forward is astounding, and seems to have started a trend with other celebrities.
The next person to admit they’ve had an eating disorder was Lady Gaga. After gaining 25 pounds this summer, she received extremely heavy criticism from the media. If you look at the picture of her after gaining 25 pounds, you can see that she looks completely normal, and more healthy than she ever did in any of music videos, where she essentially looks like a skeleton. She posted a picture of herself on her webiste with the caption “Bulemia and anorexia since I was 15”. She’s now starting a Body Revolution among her fans, encouraging them to accept their bodies as well.
The last one is Stacy London, the host of TLC’s What Not To Wear. She recently revealed that she also struggled from both anorexia and compulsive eating when she was much younger, swinging back and forth between extremely under and over weight.
While it’s fantastic that stars are finally admitting that “perfect” bodies are attained through extreme measures, this topic gets me wondering: how do we find a healthy balance between eating/exercising too much and too little? While most American celebrities overdo it, a significant portion of American citizens eat way too much and exercise way too little. How do we teach people to be healthy without pushing them to the extremes? This is something I’ve been wondering about for a really long time, so I’d love to hear what other people think!
If you’d like more information on Anorexia and Bulimia, the links below provide good general information: