The past week I've read about several celebrities who have talked about their struggles with eating disorders including Katie Couric, Stacy London and Lady Gaga. This got me thinking about whether it's a good thing or a bad thing for celebrities to share their stories with the public.
On one hand, I really appreciate the honesty and vulnerability of all of these people. It takes courage for someone to even admit to themselves that they are struggling with an eating disorder, but then to reveal it to the entire world is an entirely other level. I am also so glad that smart successful people who are in recovery are talking about their experiences with eating disorders in the media.
I also understand what would motivate someone to share something personal. Vulnerability and authenticity allows people to connect with others and decreases shame. Decreasing shame and secrecy also help people stay in recovery.
However, I also see a slippery slope. It is also so important not to glamorize eating disorders in any way and I am hopeful that these stories don't do that. Does seeing a successful celebrity talk about their disorder make having a disorder more interesting? more glamorous? more attractive/acceptable?
What do you think? Do stories about celebrities with eating disorders help/hurt those who are struggling and/or in recovery?
- The Media Influence on Eating Disorders
- Critically Viewing the Media
- Book Review: I Thought it Was Just Me by Brené Brown