American pop star and actress, Demi Lovato, recently opened up to the media about having recovered from anorexia nervosa and self-mutilation. Demi was bullied at school for being overweight, a factor that is fairly common in the lives of individuals who become anorexic.
The bullying became so bad that after a horrible day at middle school, Demi asked to be homeschooled. Her mother agreed to the request and in April 2009 she gained her high school diploma through homeschooling.
Her acting career began at the age of seven when she starred in a few episodes of "Barney", the children’s program about a purple dinosaur. She shot to fame in 2008 after bagging the lead role in a Disney film called "Camp Rock".
It has been a brave and courageous move for her to talk about her anorexia when she is under public scrutiny and just starting out on her already successful career, but she did it, she says, to help other teenagers.
"I started compulsively overeating at a very young age. And then I almost stopped eating altogether at the age of 12, after being harassed by kids at school, for being 'fat'. My eating disorder will continue to affect me for the rest of my life, but I’m proud to say that I got the help I needed, and am now the happiest and healthiest I have ever been!
"Eating disorders often stem from feelings of low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, or in my case, being teased and ridiculed for my weight. I also believe that a big contributing factor to these feelings is the pressure that’s out there to meet impossible standards."
Some other famous people who have successfully beaten eating disorders are:
Jane Fonda (actress) – she recovered from binge eating.
Lucy Lawless (Zena Warrior Princess actress) – recovered from bulimia.
Kate Beckinsale (actress in films such as ‘Pearl Harbor’) – recovered from anorexia.
Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice from the "Spice Girls") – recovered from anorexia. When asked what advice she would give teens, she said “I got better because someone before me taught me how to eat properly. She put her hand in mine and, equally, for someone watching, I'm putting my hand in theirs.