26 year-old Girls star Zosia Mamet recently opened up about her eating disorder in a long and personal piece in Glamour Magazine:
“Here’s how I think of my eating disorder: I’m an addict in recovery. We’ve brought other addictions into the light; we’ve talked about them, dissected them, made them acceptable issues to discuss and work out. We need to treat eating disorders just as seriously. (What’s different about eating disorders, of course, is that you can’t just avoid food for the rest of your life. You have to eat to live.) Nobody is addressing the fact that so many women wake up in the morning, look at themselves in the mirror, and, out of habit, attack what they see. Maybe that’s not an all-out disorder, but it’s certainly the seed of one. I read a study once that said that more than a third of casual dieters develop pathological eating habits (and of those, up to 25 percent wind up with an eating disorder). Of course, not all of those people will end up deathly ill, but obsession–and doesn’t every diet require some degree of obsessing?–is a slippery slope. Did you know that only one in 10 people who are suffering gets proper treatment? And that eating disorders have the highest death rate of any mental illness?”
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“If you are lucky enough never to have battled this beast, let me tell you what it’s like: I was told I was fat for the first time when I was eight. I’m not fat; I’ve never been fat. But ever since then, there has been a monster in my brain that tells me I am–that convinces me my clothes don’t fit or that I’ve eaten too much. At times it has forced me to starve myself, to run extra miles, to abuse my body. As a teenager I used to stand in front of the refrigerator late at night staring into that white fluorescent light, debilitated by the war raging inside me: whether to give in to the pitted hunger in my stomach or close the door and go back to bed. I would stand there for hours, opening and closing the door, taking out a piece of food then putting it back in; taking it out, putting it in my mouth, and then spitting it into the garbage. I was only 17, living in misery, waiting to die.”
“I can’t talk about all of this without bringing up the world we live in. Our culture delivers a real one-two punch: You want to control something, and then society says, ‘Hey, how about controlling the way you look? Skinny is beautiful.’ Your obsession feels justified. It’s no secret that we live in a country with a warped view of beauty. ‘Skinny’ sells us everything, from vacations to underwear, effectively. But we need to be brave and expose this body type for what it truly is: a figure naturally possessed by, let’s say, a mere 5 percent of women. We must demand that our media figure out another way to sell things to us. It’s not going to be easy. I recently saw an ad featuring a nearly naked, thin model with the words love yourself written across her. Even this attempt at encouraging women to accept themselves was accompanied by an image telling us the opposite! We have to change the ideal.”