In her latest column for Glamour, actress Zosia Mamet has penned a frank, heartfelt call for more honesty and openness around eating disorders. The Girls star bravely admitted for the first time publicly that she has suffered from an eating disorder for several years and thinks of herself as “an addict in recovery”:
As a teenager I used to stand in front of the refrigerator late at night staring into that white fluorescent light, debilitated by the war raging inside me: whether to give in to the pitted hunger in my stomach or close the door and go back to bed. I would stand there for hours, opening and closing the door, taking out a piece of food then putting it back in; taking it out, putting it in my mouth, and then spitting it into the garbage.
My dad eventually got me into treatment. He came home one night from a party, took me by the shoulders, and said, “You’re not allowed to die.” It was the first time I realized this wasn’t all about me. I didn’t care if I died, but my family did. That’s the thing about these kinds of disorders: They’re consuming; they make you egocentric; they’re all you can see.
Mamet doesn’t describe the details of her diagnosis, but it’s clear her treatment and recovery was painstaking—a two-steps-forward-one-step-back kind of challenge. She also takes the “media” to task for selling skinny as sexy:
I recently saw an ad featuring a nearly naked, thin model with the words love yourself written across her. Even this attempt at encouraging women to accept themselves was accompanied by an image telling us the opposite! We have to change the ideal.
But how? Well, Mamet is urging her fellow sufferers—in a firm, tough-love sort of way—to ‘fess up about their struggles and help destigmatize the disease. Everyone, she says, can benefit from being reminded that they’re beautiful, regardless of their looks or body shape.
We all suffer in some small way; we are all a little bit ashamed of that second cupcake. Let’s diminish the stigma. Let’s remind one another that we’re beautiful. Maybe you’ll help a friend. Maybe you’ll help yourself. And if you’re reading this and you’re suffering, please know you’re not alone. Tell someone: The people who love you will listen, I promise. And you’ll feel better.
It’s easier said than done, but good to be reminded. Thanks, Shosh.
Read the full piece here.
(Image: Zosia Mamet backstage at the Rebecca Taylor fashion show on September 7, 2013 in New York City. Vivien Killilea/Getty Images.)