Amanda Crew, known for her role as Monica Hall on HBO’s Silicon Valley recently spoke out about her struggle with an eating disorder. In a new interview with People, the actress explained that although her body image issues and disordered eating began early on, working in Hollywood made things a lot harder.
Crew explained she was known for being skinny as a child. Because of that, when she went through puberty and experienced normal body changes like weight-gain, Crew began to feel like she was losing a key characteristic that made her who she was. She told People, "From a young age I thought that being skinny was my value and my worth. So, when I started going through puberty, I felt like I was no longer skinny and there was nothing special about me."
When Crew began working as an actress at age 21, her obsession with what she ate and how much she exercised became even more intense. "I was like, how could I have a healthy relationship with my body in an industry that’s so obsessed with how I look?" Crew explained. That's why, now that she has made significant progress toward recovery, she wants to see a change. The 31-year-old said, "I think we need more diverse representation of role models...And the last thing we should be putting value on is our exterior. We need more focus for girls on our brains, and our creativity and our passion."
Crew isn't the only celebrity who has recently opened up about her experience with disordered eating. In her book I'm Fine... And Other Lies, which was released early last month, comedienne Whitney Cummings wrote about developing an eating disorder as a teenager. Kesha also talked to Rolling Stone last month about how pressure to look a certain way in the music industry fueled her eating disorder.
Crew is right. We need far more diversity in Hollywood in order to prevent women from facing similar struggles in the future, and it seems that, by speaking up and sharing their experiences, these women have already taken the first step towards that change.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of support, please call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.