Many young and successful women will suffer from an eating disorder at some stage in their lives. Though the exact causes of conditions such as bulimia and anorexia still remain unclear, medical professionals have suggested that factors such as low self esteem, a tendency towards obsessive compulsive behavior and external pressures to be thin can all act as catalysts. Anorexia sufferers attempt to starve themselves, whereas bulimics will experience bouts of binge eating followed by purging – be it through vomiting or the consumption of laxatives.
Actress Mary-Kate Olsen has been battling with anorexia ever since she became an adult. In an interview, the star talked about feeling inadequate next to her twin sister Ashley, saying: “I – are you kidding me? I look in the mirror and I’m like why do you look pretty and I look ugly?” Soon after her 18th birthday, Mary-Kate lost weight drastically, forcing her family to intervene and in 2004 she checked into a rehabilitation facility in Utah in order to deal with her illness.
Having gained 15 pounds and returned to a healthier state of mind by late 2004, Mary-Kate Olsen reflected upon her experiences and, according to Holly Scoop, stated: “I’m sure growing up in the public eye wasn’t easy; can you imagine being famous since you were 9 months old? That’s crazy! They can’t even poop or get Starbucks without making headlines.”