Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall opens up about struggling from an eating disorder during her teenage years in the group’s new book, Our World. In excerpts published by BuzzFeed on Thursday, October 20, the singer writes about having to be hospitalized.
“I was about 13 when I got anorexia,” the 23-year-old shares in the book. “I think it was the culmination of a lot of stuff, not just the bullying [at school]. My mam and dad were arguing a lot, and my granda Mohammed, who I was really close to, died.”
The British singer explained that by not eating, she felt in control of her life.
“At 13, you’re at that age when you don’t really have control over anything, and I felt as if the only thing I could control was what I was eating,” she writes. “I started skipping meals and stuff like that. I would look in the mirror and it wasn’t that I’d think I was fat, I just had it in my head that I wanted to be really, really skinny.”
According to BuzzFeed, the “Shout Out to My Ex” singer writes that she would eat “foods that would work as a laxative,” and would throw away meals. She also disguised her weight loss by dressing in baggy clothes.
“My periods stopped and things were getting out of control, but I don’t think I really cared about what was happening to me,” Thirwall shares. “I felt so depressed at that time that I just wanted to waste away and disappear.”
The singer sought treatment, but she writes that it “took going to a hospital to make me realize what I was doing.”
“They sat me down in the clinic and were quite tough at first, spelling it out: ‘You’re destroying your body and if you keep doing this you will die,’” she concludes. “I thought: ‘F–king hell, I can’t do this to my family.’ It shocked me into a change.”
For information on eating disorders and resources, visit the website for the National Eating Disorders Association.
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