Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Celebrities & ED's

Two of the hot stories making the rounds on the gossip blogs this week have been Katie Couric disclosing her bulimic past, and Lady Gaga's weight gain and subsequent cry of "eating disorder."  These two ladies have made the same admission, but I can't help but feel that one of them has cheapened the struggle for those in the depths of the disease.  Let me explain.

The photo that inspired my fury.
Katie Couric "came out" (I hope I am not offending any gay people by using this phrase but that's really how it felt when I told my family.  My big dirty secret was out there for all to see and to judge.  And trust me, there was judgement.) on her talk show while talking to Demi Lovato about Demi's struggle with the disease.  Katie's problems had been in her early 20's when she was just starting on the broadcast circuit and, to me, seemed heartfelt.  She wasn't doing it for attention (Tyra Banks she is not), she was just relating to her guest. It lacked sensationalism, which I think is a good thing.  I took her seriously and could tell she understood many of the same things I had been through.

Then you have Lady Gaga.  Like all things Gaga does, she "came out" in a way that reeked of a calculated PR move.  After some unflattering photos from her recent concerts were published in some tabloids, Gaga admitted she had gained 25 pounds in the past few months.  Great, good for you, you eat, and you enjoy life, I dig it!  What I did NOT dig however was her reaction to the "haters"  today.  She posted a photo of herself, looking waifish mind you, in just a bra and underwear with the caption "Bulimic and Anorexic since age 15..."

To this I say: bitch, please.

I always try to be supportive of women, famous or not, when they come out and admit they had an eating disorder, but Gaga posted this photo under the guise of promoting body acceptance, which is the last thing I think it does.   For one, anyone who's had an eating disorder and been treated for it knows about triggers.  You'll notice in this blog I never talk numbers, inches, pounds, or clothing sizes (except for my Gap post) because I know they can be triggering.  So to post a photo of yourself where I can see your ribs and IN YOUR UNDERWEAR doesn't scream body acceptance, it screams insecurity.  She is posting these photos to prove to the haters she's not fat.  THAT'S body acceptance?  No, that's narcissism.

I have no idea if Gaga has had an eating disorder or not, and just because she doesn't think about some of the treatment buzzwords before posting does not mean she never struggled.  Maybe she never got treatment.  Many don't.  But to try to twist the story around to imply that we should be ok with her weight gain because she had an eating disorder is ridiculous.  We should be ok with her weight gain because she's still a healthy weight and SHE'S ok with it!  Why do we need to see photos of her in next to nothing to "prove" that she accepts her body?

It really pisses me off when someone with influence in the public realm dumbs the issue down to such an extent.  Instead of inspiring conversation like Katie Couric's revelation did, Gaga reduced her struggle to a sight gag.

What do you think?


  1. Oh she (Gaga) is a bit of a PR "whore". She prefers the spotlight on herself and comes off as incredibly insincere when it comes to the issues she "advocates".

    In reality Gaga simplifies everything, and it has dire implications for those that do suffer from EDs.

    Did gaga suffer anorexia/bulimia at 15? Maybe, but she is certainly not a person with the right level of maturity to address it.

    And the pictures she has posted of herself seems to be a desperate attempt to get praise for being skinny. in reality she is giving all her female fans (and non fans) a complex- she is not fat in the photos and yet girls who are the same weight will feel like they need to lose "25" pounds. Her bigger sized fans will in turn feel like failures. Even when gaga is "fat" she still is skinny.

    She is not helping anyone with this, she is trying to get reassurance that she is not "fat".

    We live in a culture that is fat-phobic.

    I don't see gaga challenging this the way Beth Ditto would.

    Great blog, will be adding it to my reading list ^_^

  2. I'm so glad I was led to your blog. We need more awareness and dare I say humor in suffering AND recovery. Thanks for the posts. I look forward to more.
    Lady Yoga

  3. I just saw these comments! Thanks you guys! And with that I'm inspired to keep blogging knowing that myself and my mother are not the only people reading!!