Gabourey Sidibe Reveals She Struggled With Bulimia Triggered by Depression


See which celebs have overcome health struggles.

Sadie Robertson

The Duck Dynasty alum opened up in September 2020 about her past struggles with an eating disorder, which first started after her time on Dancing With the Stars in 2014. “I had this body that I never thought I’d have. I had a six-pack for two weeks, but then Thanksgiving hit and it went away. People started to comment,” she told Entertainment Tonight about her post-DWTS body.

Robertson, who was 17 years old when she competed on the ABC series, revealed there were a lot of “negative influences” in her life that fed into her insecurities. Those body image issues were fueled even more by her modeling career. “People would say things like, ‘Oh, if you lost 10 more pounds, you would look like a real model,'” she recalled. “I was literally 115 pounds and already unhealthy. That just messed my mind up.”

The reality star’s “really unhealthy view” of herself continued to grow, leading to her counting calories and judging her shape constantly. “I would look at myself in the mirror and I would think, ‘I’m fat,’ and I was not at all,” she said. Eventually she turned to God and started to thank him for all of the good parts of her body, and over time, her thoughts about beauty changed.

“What really helped me is understanding that it’s not actually about being the most beautiful person in the world,” the “WHOA That’s Good” podcast host added. “It’s about the beauty that radiates inside of you and off of you and how that can actually captivate the attention of somebody who loves you.”

Courtesy Sadie Robertson/Instagram

Charli D’Amelio

The TikTok star revealed in September 2020 that she has an eating disorder. “I’ve always tried to use my voice when it comes to issues surrounding body image, but I’ve never talked about my own struggles with eating disorders,” she wrote on her Instagram Stories. “It’s so uncomfortable to admit to even your closest friends and family, let alone the world. i’ve been afraid to share that I have an eating disorder, but ultimately i hope that by sharing this i can help someone else.”

Courtesy of Charli D’Amelio/Instagram

Ireland Baldwin

In August 2020, the model celebrated six years of being free of her eating disorder. “Wanted to announce that today is the 15th of August, and today marks six years that I have been free of anorexia and bulimia and all of my other food compulsion and eating disorders that I have struggled through for many years,” she said in an Instagram video. “And today marks six years. So, you can do it.”

Courtesy Ireland Baldwin/Instagram

Shawn Johnson

The Olympic gold medalist spoke about her past eating disorder during a June 2020 YouTube video. Johnson revealed she only consumed 700 calories while she was training for the 2008 Olympics, which led to “self-confidence and self-image issues” once she wasn’t competing. “In my mind, everybody praised me for what I did at the Olympics,” she said in the video. “They praised who I was as a human being when I was there. In my mind, if I could look like that, not necessarily compete or do gymnastics, but if I could be that person again, then the world would say that I was enough and I was accepted, which didn’t make any sense.” After gaining weight following her departure from the sport, Johnson said she turned to Adderall and dieting to try and stay thin. She eventually left gymnastics for good ahead of the 2012 Olympics and started seeing a therapist and nutritionist, calling it her “turning point.”


Laura Prepon

The Orange Is the New Black alum opened up about her struggle with bulimia in her motherhood guide, You & I, as Mothers: A Raw and Honest Guide to Motherhood in 2020. The actress revealed that her mother “taught” her bulimia after she was told to lose 25 pounds at age 15 during a model casting call. Her struggle with the disorder lasted until her late 20s and was “a bonding thing” she did with her mom, calling it a “shared secret.” Prepon eventually weighed 105 pounds and explained that weight loss became a “compulsion that would completely debilitate” her.

Gregory Pace/Shutterstock

Taylor Swift

The “Lover” singer revealed she has struggled with eating disorders and body image over the years in her 2020 Netflix documentary, Miss Americana. “It’s not good for me to see pictures of myself every day,” she said in a voiceover. “It’s only happened a few times, and I’m not in any way proud of it, [but in the past I’ve seen] a picture of me where I feel like I looked like my tummy was too big or … someone said that I looked pregnant … and that’ll just trigger me to just starve a little bit — just stop eating.”

Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Mary-Kate Olsen

The former child star sought treatment for anorexia nervosa at Cirque Lodge in 2004. “This is a challenge that Mary-Kate has made a decision to face,” her rep said at the time. “This is a challenge she will meet.”

Dimitrios Kambouris/FilmMagic

Demi Lovato

“I was compulsively overeating when I was eight years old. So, I guess, for the past 10 years, I’ve had a really unhealthy relationship with food,” Lovato told 20/20 in 2011. She sought treatment in late 2010 for bulimia.

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Kelly Clarkson

In 2007, Clarkson admitted to struggling with bulimia after a skinnier, less talented singer stole her part in a high school musical. “I thought if I came back and I was cuter and thinner, then I’d get the role,” she told CosmoGirl. “It wasn’t smart. . .and I became bulimic for the next six months.”

Lester Cohen/WireImage

Stephanie Pratt

In 2009, The Hills star told Us how she began bingeing and purging after watching a scene she shot with Lauren Conrad in 2007: “I was horrified. I remember saying, ‘I can’t believe how huge I look walking over to Lauren.'”

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Bethenny Frankel

“I spent my entire life being obsessed with dieting,” the Bravo reality star told Us in 2011. “Bingeing and then fasting or starving. Forbidding everything. That’s how I used to be: up and down 5 pounds every single day, to the extremes. My metabolism was totally wrecked.”

Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage

Portia De Rossi

In her 2010 memoir, Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, the actress revealed that she once put herself on a 300-calorie-per-day diet that led her to weigh a mere 82 pounds. “It wasn’t that I was proud of it, but it was certainly a recognition for my self-control,” she said.

Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Lily Allen

“I used to vomit after meals. It’s not something I’m proud of,” the British singer said in the 2010 documentary Riches to Rags. “A lot of people came up to me telling me how great I looked and I’d be on the cover of every magazine. . .But I wasn’t happy.”

Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

Sharon Osbourne

She may have survived a battle with cancer, but The Talk co-host admits she’s still fighting her eating disorder. “I’ve been able to conquer just about everything except bulimia,” she has said.

Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images


“In high school, I really wouldn’t eat,” the Jersey Shore star said in 2010. “It got so crazy that I would only eat a cracker or a cucumber a day and I would feel full.” After her school nurse and her parents intervened, the 4’9″ MTV star “gained my weight back to like 98, where I always was.”

John Shearer/WireImage

Wynonna Judd

In January 2006, the country singer checked into treatment to confront her eating disorder. “Food to me is what alcohol is to an alcoholic, and the struggle is up and down,” Judd told Larry King. “I had been using food for every emotion I had. . .and it became too much, so I did something about it.”

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Geri Halliwell

The Spice Girl has been open about her struggles with bulimia. “It’s not really about food or the body shape,” she explained in 2003. “It’s just a way of dealing or coping with life. . .I really feel that what’s helped me is talking about it with other people who share the same addiction.”

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Candace Cameron Bure

In her 2010 memoir, Reshaping It All, Cameron Bure revealed that she began binging and purging after Full House ended its run in 1995 and she moved to Canada with her new husband, NHL player Valeri Bure.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Jamie-Lynn Sigler

In 2005, the Sopranos star came forward about her battle with exercise bulimia. “Knowing that I was able to overcome it and be healthy and happy again is amazing,” she told CNN. Sigler now serves as a spokeswoman for the National Eating Disorders Association.

Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Thandie Newton

“I had terrible bulimia for about a year,” the actress told Easy Living in 2007. “I’ve still got the scars on my knuckles from where I put my fingers down my throat.” Now when she looks in the mirror, Newton says she sees a “happy, defiant, loving friend.”

Gary Gershoff/WireImage

Justine Bateman

“I realized I was an anorexic, a bulimic, and a compulsive overeater,” the Family Ties actress told Entertainment Weekly in 1996. She checked into a 12-step program, which led to another calling. “I needed a concept of God that worked for me, and I wound up giving my life to Jesus Christ.”

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

You may also like

Leave a Comment