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Big Name, Big Solution– Maybe Not.

Every few months or so, a celebrity reveals that he or she has struggled or is currently struggling with an eating disorder. Princess Diana, actress Jessica Alba, and musician Elton John are all part of this group. Sometimes it comes as a surprise, sometimes the public was anticipating the news, but what these revelations have in common is that these popular figures tell their stories and send a message to both their adoring fans and their intense haters. Celebrities are commended for their honesty, their bravery, and often portrayed an example for the public of how to seek help. When former Disney Channel star Demi Lovato told the public about her experiences with bulimia and self-harm about a year and a half ago, she was received with open arms and the public genuinely wished her a swift recovery.
While it’s a refreshing change from the continuous bashing Hollywood actors get for perpetuating unhealthy body weights, how do these revelations affect the millions of people in the country dealing with disordered eating? Can the recent publicity of Lady Gaga’s bulimia in high school and current weight issues help those of us who are struggling every day?

… Especially when, at the same time, anorexia, bulimia, and weight are regularly the subjects of jokes on some of our favorite television shows? Both Family Guy and Flight of the Conchords have done it. Even Disney Channel has been there. An episode of Disney Channel’s sitcom “Shake It Up” made light of a eating disorders last December. Demi Lovato publically took a stand, saying “I find it really funny how a company can lose one of their actress’ from the pressures of an EATING DISORDER and yet still make about that.. …very disease…… #nice.” She followed up with “Dear Disney Channel, EATING DISORDERS ARE NOT SOMETHING TO JOKES ABOUT.” Amen to that, Demi.
Hollywood needs to work harder to stop sending mixed messages. Take a stand and stay behind it. Don’t perpetuate these negative, unfunny, unnecessary jokes and attitudes and then run to support celebrities after they’ve opened up about their struggle.

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