Eating disorders have long been coupled with the Hollywood ideal of having the perfect body. A talent (like acting, dancing, singing) is no longer good enough: a celebrity must also present the perfect body. With the pressure of success in Tinsel Town so high, many buckle and submit to eating disorders.
Having spent 30 years in Hollywood, famous actress and athlete Jane Fonda became the first female celebrity to come out of the closet and talk about her eating disorder in the late 1970s. Though initially she did not disclose it, Jane had been fighting eating disorders, which included bulimia and anorexia, since the tender age of 12.
Rising to fame in the 1960s with cinematic hits like ‘Barberella’, Jane is also a fitness guru, having released more than 20 workout videos in the 1980s and 1990s.
Eating disorder and self-help website caringonline.com quotes the now 72-year-old star as saying: “For 25 years, I could never put a forkful in my mouth without feeling fear, without feeling scared. This feels like one of those Alcoholic Anonymous meetings…but instead it’s, ‘I’m Jane Fonda and I’ve been bulimic and anorexic for 25 years of my life.”
She used to purge and binge almost 20 times per day by forceful measures like self-induced vomiting and fasting, which ruined her life. Living with the fear of gaining weight proved life threatening for Jane. After realizing the ill effects of anorexia and bulimia on her personal and professional life, she says she finally recovered when she was 35 years old.
Since then Jane has campaigned in full swing to raise awareness about bulimarexia and said, “I’m 63 years old and only in the last two years have I learned that good enough is good enough.”
Jane struggled with anorexia and bulimia for almost three decades but with her sheer determination and will power Fonda successfully ended her battle. Today, many other anorexic and bulimic individuals see Fonda as a guiding light with her famous eating disorder campaign “Go for the burn”.
Author: Paul Schultz