Young celebrities use art as
a platform to talk about eating
disorders and their own struggles
Calling all angels
Zoe Kravitz’s role in The Road Within,
struck a little too close to home. The actress, born
to rocker Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, says she was always under pressure because of her ‘beautiful mother’ and because her father always dated supermodels. In the film, she plays a woman struggling with
anorexia, something she has struggled with herself. “It made me not only confront my demons but also realise and accept an insecurity that is still there, and that it’s easy to fall back into that pattern” she says. While it daunted her to shed weight which she’d so painstakingly put on, Zoe explains that it was her will to spread awareness of eating disorders that pushed her. “That’s part of what actually attracted me to the role; I think it’s really important to talk about body image and the struggles a lot of women have with food – especially in the entertainment industry. I related to her in a lot of ways,” she says of her character Marie. The film had a limited release last
month, with a theatrical one on the cards.
Demi Lovato has always been candid about her eating disorder. But the singer is hopeful that discussing her struggles will help other women. After a rehab stint in 2010, she nearly found herself back last year. “I was obsessing over food and terrified of it at the same time. Wilmer (her boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama) noticed and called me out on it, which was a relief,” she says. The 22-year-old singer has partnered with CAST Recovery to create The Lovato Scholarship, to honour her late father, who died in part due to untreated mental health. Speaking about her efforts, Lovato says, “I feel most fulfilled when I can give back to others. It’s a really important part of my own recovery. I’ve been so lucky to work with CAST Recovery. They’ve taught me to deal with my own demons.”
Being a girl
Zosia Mamet, best known for her role as Shoshanna on Girls, has apparently battling an eating disorder for ‘most of her life – in secret’. Thankful to her father for telling her when she was just 17 years old, that she was ‘not allowed to die’, the now 27-year-old took to writing to share her journey. Starting last year, the actress opened up about her battle in her column for Glamour, writing: This struggle has been mostly a private one, a war nobody knew was raging inside me. I tried to fight it alone for a long time. And I nearly died. Calling herself a recovering addict in progress, Mamet’s column usually puts a positive spin on all things relationship, fashion and female focussed. But the main aim is encouraging others to speak openly about eating disorders. “Let’s diminish the stigma. Let’s remind
one another that we’re beautiful,” she says.
In January 2014, Kesha (born Kesha
Rose Sebert) announced she was checking herself into rehab for treatment of an eating disorder, and hoped to come out with the ability to “love myself again, exactly as I am”. Opening up last week about her rehab and tough times, the Timber singer says that she even felt positive when she starved herself to the point of fainting. “Inside, I was really unhappy, but outside, people were like, ‘Wow, you look great.’” When she was not feeling as positive as the messages her songs gave out, she realised it was time to get help. “Now, I’m trying to embrace the skin I’m in. This is who I am — I have to love that,” she admits. The singer wrote 14 new songs in rehab with the help of a toy Casio keyboard. “The whole process has made me so much stronger and ready to take my life by the horns and make a record that I’m going to be proud of and not care what any
body else thinks!” she exclaims.
Awkward star Ashley Rickards says moving
to LA when she was 13 blew up her already existing problems of weight. “I was chubby, and a neighbour of mine said, ‘We don’t need to go to Krispy Kreme, you’ve got a jelly roll right there!’” Opening up about her struggles, the 22-year-old says that she sometimes still has that ‘dysmorphic idea’ of herself. Bravely coming out of the dark shadows of her woes, her new book, A Real Guide to Getting It Together Once and For All, is all about different shapes and sizes. “I wanted to raise awareness about it because it’s sort of a taboo subject. I don’t want anyone to have to feel alone when they’re in that sort of dark, secretive world,” says Rickards. Slowly recovering, she credits routine, healthy eating and finding exercise she loves (she’s a fan of kickboxing and Bikram yoga) as her mantra.