Anorexia can happen to anybody, but because of the pressures on young women to be beautiful, teen girls are the most susceptible to the disease. Actresses and other performers are highly susceptible for similar reasons. Many famous people with anorexia have spoken out about their disease, in the hopes of helping young women and other people who suffer from anorexia nervosa.
Famous Actresses who Suffered From Anorexia
Jane Fonda, famous actress, model, fitness buff and political activist, was one of the first celebrities to speak openly about anorexia. She began struggling with the disease at the early age of 12, beginning a 30-year battle in which she ultimately achieved remission.
Fonda’s friend and fellow actress Sally Field struggled with anorexia for three years in her 20s.
Mary-Kate Olsen, one of the famous Olsen twins, had to deal with anorexia at the age of 16. Two years later, she checked herself into a treatment center and has since reported a full remission.
Jamie-Lynn Sigler, popular actress from the HBO series "The Sopranos," struggled with anorexia, as well as hypergymnasia for years before seeking treatment. At one time, she even considered suicide as a means of escape. She is now the spokesperson for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).
Actress and former Partridge daughter Susan Dey struggled with anorexia for years and suffered terrible side effects. Because of her malnourishment, she stopped menstruating. Her fingers turned orange because she ate nothing but carrots. Maintaining odd diets, like eating one or two foods exclusively, is characteristic of anorexia.
Other Famous Entertainers who Won the Battle
Fashion maven, former Spice Girl and wife to a soccer legend Victoria Beckham developed an eating disorder when the Spice Girls management pressured her to lose weight. Like many who suffer from anorexia, Beckham began excessive exercise regiments, and substituted liquid meal supplements for food.
Another musician, Alanis Morissette, suffered from anorexia for four years--from age 14 to 18--while trying to break into the music business.
Model Kate Dillon was told by designers and photographers that she needed to lose weight. Dillon had always been thin, but their remarks triggered a seven-year battle against anorexia. Recovered, she today works as a plus-size model.
When Tragedy Occurs: Famous People Who Have Died From Anorexia
Karen Carpenter, singer of the famous folk-music duo The Carpenters, is one of the most tragic tales of celebrity anorexia. She began a water diet to lose weight, and continued dieting until she died of cardiac arrest. She was 32 years old at the time, and weighed only 80 pounds.
Famous gymnast Christy Henrich was told that she would have to lose weight if she wanted to make the U.S. Olympic team. She died at the age of 22, due to a massive organ failure brought on by anorexia. At the time she weighed only 60 pounds.
Anorexia nervosa is a serious disease that can lead to fatal consequences. Fortunately, with so many celebrities who are increasingly willing to speak out on the subject, awareness of this disease is increasing. Public awareness is a key factor in destroying the myths surrounding anorexia nervosa, and in controlling anorexia in society.