Disney star Dove Cameron says she had a “bad case of anorexia”
The danger of eating disorders in Hollywood has been an open secret for decades, but one Disney actress is coming clean about her experience with anorexia. “Descendants 2” and “Liv and Maddie” star Dove Cameron recently decided to admit her own struggles with eating disorders to be more honest with her fans.
“I’ve never said this before, but I had such a bad case of anorexia,” the 22-year-old revealed to Stylecaster. “I was so badly down that hole. I was not eating for days sometimes. But it was because I thought I needed to be absolutely tiny to be loved. I genuinely thought I needed to be as skinny as I possibly could to be loved and appreciated and good enough.”
“I started to watch some people that I knew personally go so far down the not-eating hole of trying to be so skinny,” she continued. “Because that’s such a thing in Hollywood. We never want to say it, but it’s such a big thing.”
While she recognized that she had a problem, Cameron said the dishonesty was even harder for her to live with. She saw others who were maintaining similarly dangerous eating disorders tell fans to “watch what they eat and run” to achieve similarly tiny body shapes.
“It made me so personally upset,” she said. “That’s a blatant lie. That’s not OK. That’s not a role model. I realized that if I was going to be a role model then I needed to live like the girls that I needed when I was young.”
Because such a large portion of Cameron’s fanbase is young, she feels particular pressure to be a good role model, but Dove said she does this by showing herself in as authentic a way as possible.
“It’s so much more important for me, for my young fans … to normalize something that can help so many people than it is to hide under the guise of having a perfect life,” she said. “How boring is that? I don’t want to live under that pressure. I don’t want to be dishonest.”
Since coming to terms with her eating disorder, Dove Cameron told Stylecaster she has “worked really hard” to become healthy and accept her imperfections.
As long as my life is happy and healthy, so is my worldview,”