Provides Insight into Celebrity Eating Disorders
Hollywood may be home to some of the world’s most desired men and women, but the pressures of fame have led many in the spotlight to develop eating disorders. Mary-Kate Olson, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Portia de Rossi DeGeneres are just a few celebrities who have come forward about their struggles with eating disorders. Dr. Gregory Jantz, co-author of “Hope, Help & Healing for Eating Disorders” and founder of A Place of Hope, a whole-person treatment center for eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating, offers insights into why disordered eating is so prevalent in Hollywood.
Take Portia de Rossi DeGeneres, for example. The star of “Ally McBeal,” “Arrested Development” and “Better Off Ted” recently detailed her battle with anorexia and bulimia in her autobiography, “Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain.”
“Eating disorders are common among Hollywood celebrities like Portia who strive for an impossible level of perfection,” says Dr. Jantz. “Eating disorders often develop in response to dissatisfaction with one’s own self-image. And, in Hollywood, image is everything.”
In the memoir, Portia goes into detail about how much her eating disorder dictated her day-to-day life, including keeping her calorie count below 300 calories per day, purging and compulsively exercising to the point of near-collapse. At the height of her eating disorder, the 5’7” beauty weighed only 82 pounds and was in the beginning stages of organ failure.
Portia, who is now openly gay, wrote in her book that her eating disorder was compounded by her need to keep her sexual orientation a secret or otherwise risk her Hollywood career.
“The negative feelings involved in hiding sexuality, including fear and isolation, can both prompt and further reinforce disordered eating, resulting in a never-ending cycle,” says Dr. Jantz.
Portia credits her happy and healthy relationship with wife Ellen DeGeneres in helping her overcome her eating disorder and finding self-acceptance.
“Many suffering from an eating disorder tend to isolate themselves from others,” says Dr. Jantz. “A large part of recovering from eating disorders is reaching out to and letting in others for love and support.”
For more resources on eating disorders, including information, treatment options and news, visit caringonline.com.