Anorexic celebrities are generally seen as people who starve for perfection and the perfect body shape. Because of how the media influences eating disorders - and how the paparazzi pry - treatment for celebrity anorexia isn’t easy, nor is it private.
Photo courtesy of D. Shankbone
Famous people with eating disorders have the unique problem of having to live their illness in the public eye.
This is partly because of the nature of their job, and partly due to the fact that the media likes to keep celebrities in the news - especially celebrities with anorexia or other eating disorders.
It seems that no matter how strong the desire might be to maintain some privacy, personal battles with health issues inevitably make headlines.
Back in the day, anorexic celebrities were rarely (if ever) talked about. For instance, both Sally Field and Jane Fonda suffered from disordered eating, but you never heard about these issues until recent years.
1970's singer, Karen Carpenter battled anorexia for several years, but it wasn't until after her death that the public became aware of it.
The sad reality is that not everyone survives this potentially lethal disease. Even anorexic celebrities are not immune - death from anorexia can happen to them too.
However, those who do survive often speak out about the dangers of anorexia in an effort to educate the public and inspire others who are suffering.
The following celebrities with anorexia have all publicly admitted to their struggles with eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and orthorexia.
Anorexic celebrities like Courtney Thorne-Smith sometimes have to leave their jobs because of their eating disorder.
She admits that the pressure to be thin in Hollywood was immense and she couldn't take it anymore. Putting her health before her career, she opted for treatment.
Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler is known for her role as 'Meadow Soprano' on the TV series The Sopranos, but fame and fortune doesn't keep the demons at bay.
Jamie-Lynn battled anorexia throughout her teenage years, but didn't come to terms with it until her Sopranos debut. Out of desperation, she even contemplated suicide.
She is also one of several anorexic celebrities who has written a book about her struggle with the illness.
One of the most famous child stars claims her fame in major films like The Addams Family / Addams Family Values, and that is - Christina Ricci. Anorexia and depression plagued her teen years, proving once again the connection between depression and eating disorders.
Christina also admits to engaging in self harm. She went to therapy to learn to deal with her intense self-hatred. Her journey to recovery has brought her to a much better place where she now seems happy with life and her new image.
For Tracey Gold, anorexia became dangerous while she was playing the role of "Carol" on the Growing Pains TV sitcom.
She was proud of her work ethics and never missed a day of work in her life - until then. Tracey was so ill that the show's producers (and fellow actors) insisted that she see a doctor and take time off to get well.
In 1994, Tracey accepted what could be considered the most challenging role of her life when she portrayed "Nancy" in the real-life story of Nancy Walsh called For The Love Of Nancy.
Throughout the late 1990's and early 2000's you would hear daily rumors about Calista Flockhart anorexia. Actually, to be more precise, the question was constantly being asked if she had anorexia.
Time after time, Calista insisted that she did not have an eating disorder. As far as the general public was concerned, there was no other answer - Ms. Flockhart was simply in denial that she had a problem.
Photo by Alan Light
If you're old enough to remember TV shows in the 1970's (or at least the re-runs), then you're probably familiar with Susan Dey, who played "Laurie Partridge" on the hit TV show, The Partridge Family.
Susan had issues with body image and self esteem. She would see herself on magazine covers and feel like she never measured up to the "perfect image" that was staring back at her.
She developed anorexia, as well as another lesser-known eating disorder called orthorexia. She has been battling these illnesses for more than half of her life.
There are many, many anorexic celebrities and well known people with eating disorders. It's great that most are using their experiences and high profile to try to help others who may be in the same situation.
See also Famous People With Anorexia.
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