Christina Ricci

Christina Ricci: ‘I Was Anorexic’

Oct. 7, 2010 - New York, New York, U.S. - CHRISTINA RICCI arriving at the opening night party for the Manhattan Theatre Club's ''Time Stands Still'' at 230 Fifth in New York City on 10-07-2010.  2010..K66517HMc. © Red Carpet Pictures

Christina Ricci recently opened up about her troubled past:

I had been really anorexic until I was like 16. They were going to hospitalize me, and I was worried about people force-feeding me through a tube. I didn’t want that, so I fought the disease.”

“I remember the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness when I was in the middle of it. My brain had basically become my biggest tormentor. I’d become afraid of myself.”

… says Christina in Black Book magazine.

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  • Priscila

    owww, that’s sad. But I’m glad she is better now.

  • southerngumdrops

    anorexia is a terrible condition to be in. i speak from experience and i think that’s why i’m so sensitive to harsh comments concerning someone’s looks. this site does a good job of moterrating most of them, but i’ve seen comments on other sites that are down right hateful.

    i’ve forgotten a lot of things over the years, but sadly i can name every single time someone has said something hurtful to me about the way i look. and i’m willing to bet i’m not alone. words stick

    • laura

      i completly agree i have previously had condition for many yrs from the age of 12-22 and was hospitalised its horrible that people write really nasty and hurtful comments on this site and others just because their(celebrities) doesnt mean that the words that people chose to you arent hurtful woman should be more supportive of other instead of taking them apart peice by piece at whats wrong with them. thats just my personal oppinion.

      • solaxia

        very true. its a horrible disease. and sadly its more accepted these days. girls who are really thin (and not naturall so) are labelled as ‘healthy’ and ‘fit’ and in reality they could be battling the most horrible thoughts and feelings about themselves and food and weight inside. yet they lose weight and ppl encourage it,…not even realising

  • Christina is really beautiful, not like the average pretty girl you see on street, but she has this special, unique look witch makes her stand out in the crowd. Ive never been her biggest fan, but she IS a nice girl. And when she is so honest and open about her past, makes me like her even more. She is a inspiraton.

    • Laura

      I agree, she looks unique in a sassy quirky way!

      • Leah

        same, she’s so memorable, not just a face you see and forget

  • Erikelle

    disease: a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, toxicity, or viruses.

    Anorexia, along with obesity and alcoholism/drug addiction, are not goddamn diseases.

    • Sidney

      Is psychological disorder, a mental ilness, or something a long the lines, better? It is self inflicted in a way that not a lot of other disorders are perhaps, but i don’t see the point of trying to belittle the problem. I’m glad she’s doing well now.

    • Mia

      so mental illnesses are not a disease? Are you from the 18th century or something? I can’t even believe someone in this day and age believes in this antiquated thinking.

    • And you’re a doctor?

      No?

      Then shut the $%#$ up about what a disease is. Anyone can pick and choose adictionary.

      Besides, a dictionary usually has several meanings for a word, especially one so old as disease.

      You fail

      • bst

        Honey,if you d know ANYTHING about that topic you d know that it is considered as a disease-nowadays.Ditionary explains the meaning,but not the cotext it can be used in.
        An illness in a disease.
        And besides…I know enough doctors and have enough in my family who call it a disease.
        I don t know where you live,but it seems to be ….hillbilly.

        • Did you see I was replying to the person who said it WASN’T a disease

          It’s obviously a disease, I agree with you.

    • Daniel

      Educate yourself please. All the DISEASES you named mostly come from a dysfonctionnal structure that you can find in an organ call “brain”, you see? My wife is a psychiatrist. She is a medecine doctor with a specialisation in psychiatry, she is a scientist and studies the dysfonction of these brain stuctures all day long. I probably don’t kow much about anorexia and other psychological diseases, but I know she didn’t study for ten years at university for nothing. Those are diseases. Don’t say those kind of things if you don’t know anything about it.

    • Casey

      Anorexia, alcoholism/drug addiction, and sometimes obesity do result from a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ (the brain).

      All you have to do is take a look at a brain with any of those conditions vs. a healthy brain via either CAT scans or fMRI. They won’t be the same, I can guarantee it. Not to mention that there is strong evidence to suggest that all 3 of those conditions are genetically influenced to a certain extent.

      But either way, “disease” or not, who cares? Anorexia is a horrible condition, worse than many “diseases.” I don’t get the purpose of your argument.

      • Casey

        Oh I forgot to say, I once read an article which was comparing the similarities between schizophrenia and anorexia.

        One thing the author said was that both conditions have this thing where the people are plagued by imaginary and irrational thoughts, and those are formed by the brain not being able to process sensory information correctly (or creating sensory information where there is none, like schizophrenics hearing things). Those are things that result from the brain not functioning as it should, which does make both of those conditions diseases.

        Maybe you are confusing the more common, “Oh I feel so fat I’m going to starve now” experience with anorexia. Anorexia is not simply about being thin…it is a form of anxiety that happens to manifest itself in that way, but it’s origins are somewhere else.

        • Diana

          “Anorexia is not simply about being thin”
          very well said. Anorexia means abscence of hunger, and it may be a symptom of several diseases. People can be anorexic or hyporexic. Anxiety causes anorexia, and I’m struggling on that, cause sometimes I can’t eat anything when I get anxious, I’ve already lost a couple of pounds, being very very thin, with the bones showing up, but I didn’t have the disease Anorexia as it is knowing nowadays, I always knew I was skinny, and I didn’t like that, but I wasn’t able to eat, caused by the anxiety. A lot of people tought that I had the disease Anorexia, which is sorting that way when someone, usualy a girl, has a self image distortion. She looks at the mirror and thinks she is fat, even she isn’t.
          So we have two things here:
          Anorexia as a disease, when a person have a self image distortion, the brain cheats the person, she can’t see the reality, stops eating to get thinner;
          and anorexia as a symptom of several diseases. People with fever, for example, can be anorexic for a while, they aren’t in hunger, abscence of hunger = anorexia.

          • snoops

            I’m glad to see all these comments, when I read erikelles comment, I felt really upset at her ignorance and I wanted to swear. Not often something someone says online can work me up like that, but that comment was really something else.

          • edith the elf

            I agree with you, snoops…and Casey presents the best response. Anorexia and alcoholism are the result of brain malfunctions and addiction (which we know is rooted in faulty dopamine and seratonin receptors in the brain). Is the original poster claiming the brain isn’t an organ? I’m laughing at the ignorance.

    • K Britt

      Technically she’s right that anorexia and bulimia are not diseases, but they are mental disorders, the most deadly of sorts as a matter of fact. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any other mental disorder.

      She’s right that obesity is not a disease, but the overeating that sometimes causes it, anorexia/bulimia, drug addiction, and alcoholism ALL are disorders.

      • Cristina

        Binge eating disorder and compulsive over eating – which cause obesity – are just as eating disorders as anorexia and bulimia; as well as ednos – eating disorder not otherwise specified. It’s a muddy, messy, nasty territory. Something that messes with the brain, it can ruin a life for ever. And these illnesses don’t care about age, education, background, upbringing, social status, intelligence, you name it. They are terrible.

    • charlie

      Very ignorant comment Erikelle.

    • serena

      I think you make a solid point.

    • Jay-lisa

      Oh my God Erikelle, you’re so stupid it hurts!

    • wohoofiona

      lumping anorexia, obesity, alcoholism and drug addiction is extremely ignorant.

      • Cole

        I actually think that lumping anorexia with drug addiction is perfect. I’ve suffered from ednos since I was 13 and when I hear people describe addiction I can totally relate. Drug addicts ingest substance, anorexics forgo substance.. both start to mess with your brain chemistry over time and will eventually kill you if they go untreated.

  • Daisy

    Actually some would class anorexia as a disease ad it is toxic and poisonous and spreads and takes over your mind!

  • udkcoco

    Its an incorrectly functioning part of your brain. The thought process has become disordered. Last time I checked, having a healthy grip with yourself and reality was important.
    Anyway. I’m so glad she’s better. @southerngumdrops-i feel you there. I remember every backhanded statement a ‘friend’ has ever said.

  • size0??

    Growing up I could always eat what I wanted. When I was a senior in high school I gained weight and at 5’5 went from 112lbs to 130lbs. My boyfriend at the time told me I was fat and I lost weight until I was 103. My weight now is consisient at 110. Although every since then I have struggled with worrying about food and my body. People ‘s comments have a huge impact on how we feel about ourselves . Now that I am older I have learned as long as I am happy with me is all that really matters! 🙂

  • Erica

    I think it’s great that Christina has beaten her disease and is now healthy. After her weight loss I thought she had gone too far and wish she had kept her more curvaceous figure (like when she was in Sleepy Hollow) but she seems happy in herself and that’s what counts.

    To Erikelle – that’s a very antiquated and ill-informed way of thinking!
    Anorexia, alcoholism, drug addiction, some forms of obesity and many other mental disorders (like bi-polar, depression, etc) are diseases as they control the person affected and cannot be overcome without outside help. Maybe some of these disorders begin in a willful way, but they consume people and make their lives hell. It’s really offensive to people who have struggled with or know someone who has struggled with these diseases to try to belittle them and make them a character flaw rather than an uncontrollable disorder.

  • Ly

    Ohh, ok, I just sick of this subject. Years ago almost every celebrity used to say that ‘I eat all I want to, and I do yoga 3 times a week’. And now it’s like ‘Ohh, I suffered from anorexia but I don’t have it anymore, I’m so against this ‘perfect body’ that hollywood industry require blablabla’. Ok, so tell me, if you’re against why you’re still in the business?
    I’m just disgusted with all this celebs that keep saying this or that about this body subject or whatever. Like Jessica Alba saying that has cellulite, that her hips are bigger…or Kelly Osbourne talking about her dieta and her weight loss all the time. Ok, we get it, you’re thinner, great for you. But what about us? Normal/non rich girls? That can’t afford all this stuff that celebs can do to slim down? That goes to the gym and eat well to stay on shape but doesn’t spent all the money on earth to have the perfect body?
    Come on celebs, you guys overreact the fact of slim down, you’re paid to be perfect, stop with all this crap about anorexia and stuff.

    • Calro

      Anyone can be in great shape. All you need is to move your body and not put crap into your system. I lost weight just by using a 50 cent video I got at a thrift store (tae bo). No personal trainer or personal chef necessary.

      • Erica

        Sorry, I don’t agree that ‘anyone’ can be in great shape. Some people have problems with food that are the opposite of anorexia and they simply can’t stop eating. Also, some people have medical conditions that don’t allow them to do much exercise and therefore they can only keep their weight down through diet. Weight loss is an individual thing and we shouldn’t make it sound like everyone who is overweight is just lazy, because people like you found it easy to lose weight once you started moving. That’s great for you – but it won’t work for everyone.

        • Calro

          I did recover from an ED, so I did overcome the odds as well. But I was referring to her post about “normal” girls as having eating issues and health problems ARE not the norm even if a lot of people are developing these issues.

          • Calro

            I should have not said “anyone” though, you are right Erica. I meant to say normal, or average people, not the ones with issues. I live in an area where everyone works out so my judgment gets clouded sometimes:P

          • Ly

            I know what you both are saying… I’m thin, I care about what I eat and I do exercise a lot, cause I like to be thin and healthy, etc. But tell me something, why can’t people with more ‘sustenance’ keep that way? If they’re happy with themselves I can’t see why so much pressure on them to lose weight. It’s another common thing here in Brazil, people who are too thin, take suplements to put on some weight, not ’cause they’re unhappy with themselves but they wanna be accepted by the population. I just can’t see the sense of it. I really think that people should be what THEY WANT TO not what they think that other people want them to be. That’s sad.

    • edith the elf

      @ Ly:

      I think it’s reasonable that an actor/actress can remain in an industry, yet be opposed to the superficial elements of that industry. Christina Ricci obviously loves acting and is really good at it. Just because she comes out criticising *one aspect* of her job, doesn’t mean she should quit. I don’t understand your argument.

      I also disagree with your comment that every celebrity has come out saying they “used to have anorexia but don’t anymore”. Anorexia is often not talked about…and many actresses who have obviously suffered are still in denial about this (Nicole Ritchie, for instance). I think Christina Ricci’s honesty is very brave, and should be commended for her willingness to break down the silence that surrounds eating disorders.

      Your third point also seems to conflate anorexia (a diagnosable condition) with having a “fat day” or thinking “my thighs are too big” (Jessica Alba, etc). The two can’t even be compared and doing so minimises the horrific reality of living with anorexia/bulimia or any other eating disorder. I find your comments really offensive.

      • Ly

        I’m so sorry If I was rude and my comments were offensive, I didn’t mean to be evil at all.
        And I really think you are totally right and I couldn’t agree more with your point of view about everything I said.
        But let me just tell you something maybe out of the blue, I’m from São Paulo/Brazil and it’s absurd how often people talk here about weight. Brazilian people thinks that the world see brazilian woman as ‘perfect’ and that really irritates me, ’cause it’s not like that, it’s not like that AT ALL. Women to be well regarded here have to be fit and tonned but also has to be busty and big-ass feelings…without talking about the tan thing. I think that my problem is that I don’t fit here at all :/ I’m whitey, blond, really thin and tall, sometimes I feel like I’m an ET at university. I’m sorry I know I’m going to a very different way here…but the thing is: why women have to fit in independently of the country that they live? In my mind people should be appreciated by their differences.
        Like, do you think that Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima, Gisele Bundchen are appreciate here? You may say Gisele ’cause of her success but not cause people think that she’s pretty, and Alessandra Ambrosio…I can tell you…almost nobody know who she’s here. Brazilian people knows a lot about ‘fruit-women’, have you guys ever heard about? Basically are robust women with a lot of ‘meat’, like:
        Watermelon-woman:
        http://www.sitedosfamosos.com.br/wp-content/uploads/5054393babado_mulher_melancia_1gente___fotos_407_4711.jpg
        Melon-woman:
        http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_zm6_yCnxJ8c/SgF6V1aC68I/AAAAAAAAAcg/Oaf7vOPnx18/s400/mulher-melao-calcinha.jpg
        strawberry-woman
        http://www.cortocabeloepinto.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/mulhermoranguinho.jpg

        http://www.torresmofresco.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/priscila-bbb.jpg

        Anyway, I just needed to unburden. And again, I’m sorry If my comments were offensive, it’s just that I’m sick to live where people just think about what you look like.

        • Calro

          I totally understand getting emotional or fed up and making comments as I’ve done the same thing. I’m definitely not offended.

          I can relate to not feeling like you fit the ideal in where you live too. I live in SoCal where tons of plastic surgery is common (girls in my high school were getting nose and breast jobs!) and the ideal is skinny/blond. Even a pear shaped woman, no matter how thin she is, can feel really fat out here. I have a friend who has a body like Shakira (like two years ago Shakira) which is totally awesome but she thinks she is hideously fat and is always try to diet and exercise her natural shape away and just got a breast augmentation to “even things out”. It’s sad how these beauty obsessed places can destroy a woman’s body image.

          I’m a pear and all my Brazilian friends used to tell me I would be popular in Brazil…lol…I guess one can always find a place in the world where their shape reigns supreme.

          • Ly

            That’s a relief! 🙂
            Yeah, I really don’t know what’s happening with the world! People should learn to live with their bodies the way they’re, the only thing that really matters is something called : health!
            And ow, I think Shakira has a great body! Is not the kind of body I’d like to have but that doesn’t mean that I can’t think that it’s beautiful! Right? The differences were made to be appreciated! 😀 hahaha yeah, you’d surely be popular in Brazil! And it’s great you know? You have a pear shape body, and that’s gorgeous but the only thing I don’t understand is why people are so into one kinda woman here ‘the hot one’ lol.
            Actually, I just born here, my parents are french and so is half of my family, the other hald are from netherlands 🙂 so I think it’s common the fact that I don’t fit here haha but I can totally say one thing: the guys here really like foreigner women lol
            And that’s something I think it’s funny, in the US the industry thing is skinny women and here are the type ‘more meat to hold’ hahaha just to you realize, there’s a celebrity here caled as ‘steak-woman’ haha. But the real problem here is that this voluptuous women doesn’t know how to dress themselves, so they’re always dressed like sluts :/

        • edith the elf

          That’s okay. Thanks for your message. I understand now they were just said in the heat of the moment. Sorry for getting upset and overreacting.

          You also make valid points about embracing a variety of body shapes. I think that is important, too. Hopefully the rest of society will catch on soon!

  • Diana

    Anorexia is a disorder of central nervous system. It’s a mental illness. People go to psychiatrists, or psychologists, take medicines, sometimes they are hospitalized. Should not have more doubts about it, right? Everywhere you can read medical articles sorting it as a disease.

    Talking about Cristina, she looks so diferent at this picture, though still really pretty. I loved the outfit and great legs!

  • nope

    on a completely unrelated side note, what’s her body shape? I’m guessing a ruler, but that’s just a wild guess. Anyone know anything besides a wild guess? 🙂

    • Erica

      I’d call her a ruler or inverted triangle now – but when she was heavier she looked quite hourglass in some pictures! The weight loss really took a lot from her hips.

  • Calro

    Good for her! I hope she is healthy now.

    I admire actresses that are able to come out and admit they have had an ED in the past because it seems almost every other girl in the entertainment industry has an Eating Disorder and not many talk about it.

  • This is so inspriring..look how beautiful/healthy she is now

  • nannou

    this is like really really old news… I’m glad she got over the worse though

  • formerly Sam

    i like the fact that she’s opening up about it, but she’s obviously not telling the whole story. She relapsed quite a few times in her late teens and all through her 20s. I’ve kinda been following her development, and I think the last time she relapsed was when Speed Racer came out.

    • Calro

      Yeah, she definitely left part of the story out. Most people who’ve had or have ED’s relapse many times before recovery….if they ever truly recover.

  • bst

    Discussing if Anorexia should be called an illness or a diesease is just….so wrong,childish and unworldly.It s way too serious for

    It s not always the nervous system.It can develop out of a general lability ,a depression etc…that s mostly the case.
    If it wouldn t be like that,suffering people wouldn t have to see a psychotherapist,they just could take some pills.
    A mental disorder is not only caused by the nervous system.Some scientists say,the facility can be transfered with the genes,like Depression.

    A whole lot of people (majority)develop an Eating Disorder because of a trauma they experienced.
    And characteristics like self-concidence and a general stability or instability are also very important.

  • serena

    honestly skinnyVsCurvy, I think I will just stop coming to the site now. This post is old and was on one of PerezHilton’s site’s as are 80% of all your other posts. Now that there is FitPerez I have zero reason to keep coming here.

  • Liv

    I’m glad christina isn’t as I’ll as she was but as a fellow sufferer of anorexia it is an illness that you don’t suddenly stop having. Its always there and these comments christina makes are absurd likeits an illness you easily recover from but you never get better unfortunately and everyday is a battle it just gets easier at some point.