Though many women in Hollywood seem to live for the day and not think about the consequences of eating unhealthily, experts have long since warned that disorders such as anorexia and bulimia can have serious long-term repercussions. These can vary in severity from rotting teeth to death through starvation. Eating disorders are often said to develop from an early age and are usually linked to traumatic events experienced by the sufferer or to an unhealthy mental state. However, there is also evidence to show that people, especially women, in certain walks of life are more likely to develop a condition than others. Actresses and models feel the pressure to be thin, which equals to success and glamour in their field, every day and some will go to any lengths to achieve the perfect physique.
One actress who became a victim of this pressure is Portia de Rossi. The ’Ally McBeal’ star starved herself under the pressure to remain thin for the show, initially surviving off less than 300 calories a day. She later developed bulimia, whereby she consumed excessive amounts of food only to vomit it up afterwards in order to prevent weight gain. In 1999, Portia was diagnosed with anorexia. During her most critical period, her 5’7 frame weighed in at just 82 pounds, according to Caring Online. Talking to Vogue about this life-threatening state, she remarked: “I’ve often wondered if I wasn’t on that show if it (anorexia) may not have happened. I didn’t really know at that point what it was like to be a celebrity, and the only people I knew at the time who had a similar experience were these women whom I worked with. They became my role models”, Contact Music reported.
After much public scrutiny, Portia finally admitted to having anorexia on Ellen DeGeneres’ show. Talking candidly about her condition, the star commented: “We’ve talked a lot about this. I’m not proud of this struggle. “(While anorexic) it just seemed like I literally wanted to disappear. And now I would like to reappear”, Ask Men wrote. The actress also said that the real wake-up call came from her family when she went back to her homeland: “I went back home to Australia, and my brother and mother said, ‘You’re going to die.’ It really woke me up; I had to do something, or I would lose everything”, according to The Bosh.
Now, with the support of her family and girlfriend Ellen DeGeneres, Portia has managed to regain some of her old self and weighs a healthier 125 pounds. Recalling her troubled past, she said: “To this day, I’ll never deny myself any kind of food. Ever. I realized something was wrong when I stepped on the scale and saw 82 pounds. I don’t really regret much in my life, but I’ll never get the time back I spent worrying what the scale said”, the news provider reported.
The actress blames the pressures her profession put on her and delivered a message, recounted by Actress Archives, to other women who may be going through what she did: “Do as I say, not as I do, because I have firsthand experience with being caught up in the whole Hollywood body thing.”