To be a black woman with an eating disorder is almost an urban legend. The unspoken reality in the African American community has yet to take notice in the mainstream as anorexia, bulimia and the like have often been falsely labeled “A white woman’s disease.” Instead of recognizing this issue and giving it the attention it deserves, those suffering in silence have continued to keep quiet as their worlds fall apart.
In her book, Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat, author Stephanie Covington Armstrong, an African American woman who used to throw up 15 times a day, details her struggle with self-love, self-acceptance, and addiction that used food as a weapon against herself before seeking help to save her life.
Unfortunately, this secret is far too common for African American women looking for their voice in this epidemic. But they’re not alone. Here are five celebrities who have also struggled in silence with eating disorders: