Did Sia have an eating disorder? (5 reasons celebrities develop eating disorders)

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Page last updated: 21/09/2022

In this blog post, we shall answer the question “did Sia have an eating disorder?” and look at who Sia is, what eating disorders are and their types. We will also look at the symptoms of each eating disorder. Finally, we shall look at the main reasons why celebrities develop eating disorders.

Did Sia have an eating disorder?

No, Sia did not have an eating disorder. However, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, the singer opened up about dieting like crazy ‌to fit the stereotype of the ‘perfect body’ of pop stars. She always grew up believing that to be a successful musician, you have to be thin.

In as much as her friends told her that weight did not matter, the 42-year-old singer revealed that she had very many insecurities regarding her weight. Before we delve deeper into discussing Sia’s body image issues, let us look at who Sia is.

Who is Sia?

Sia Kate Isobelle Furler is an Australian songwriter and singer. She released her debut studio album in 1997 in Australia. She then moved to London, where she released her second studio album, Healing is Difficult, in 2001, and the third one, Colour, the small One, in 2004.

Her song, Chandelier, appeared on the top 10 single in 2014, she has since been wearing wigs that hide her face to protect her identity. In early 2021, she also wrote and directed a feature film called music. She has had 9 grammy award nominations, ARIA awards and an MTV video music video award.

Sia’s struggle with body image

In an interview with the rolling stone, Sia confessed to dieting like crazy to try to meet the standards of pop stars. She said that she viewed herself as a tree trunk and a loser. In the interview, she said “I have dieted like crazy over the last 10 years… trying to fit into the stereotype of, like, “Hot pop star”… somebody did say, “You don’t have to be a model. You’re actually an artist … It literally doesn’t matter what you look like.”

Just like many celebrities, Sia felt the need to change how she looks to meet the unrealistic expectations put on them by their fans and the media. Many have turned to doing corrective surgeries and having strict diets and workout plans just in the name of being thin. Many celebrities are criticized for how they look and unfortunately, most succumb to the pressure of being perfect, hence looking for ways to be and stay thin.

Influence of media on the development of eating disorders

Many celebrities have come out and opened up about their struggles with eating disorders. Though there are some who have not spoken about it, they are speculated to be struggling with eating disorders from their physical appearances and behaviours. 

Sia was widely known for wearing wigs that covered her face and for a long time people did not know her identity. This, she said, was to protect herself from the negative side that came with fame. She compared the stereotype of a highly opinionated uninformed mother-in-law applied to all teenagers with computers in the world.

“I don’t want to be critiqued about the way that I look on the internet… I’ve been writing pop songs for pop stars now for a couple of years and I’ve become friends with them and see what their life is like and that’s not something I want,” Sia said.

She also said that during her early years of fame, she started abusing drugs, had depression and in 2010, she considered suicide. Just like Sia, many other celebrities and famous people are experiencing scrutiny from social media on how the look, dress, walk, talk, date or eat. 

Many have bowed to the pressure the societal standards of beauty placed upon them hence setting unrealistic expectations upon themselves. Media contributes to the development of eating disorders in the following ways:

Did Sia have an eating disorder? (5 reasons celebrities develop eating disorders)

The societal standards of beauty

Many people perceive beautiful women to be petite or skinny. The internet today is filled with beautiful women with petite figures and they represent the standards of beauty today. The ladies are expected to have a certain body shape, failure to which they will receive backlash from their management and their fans. 

Sia also conformed to dieting like crazy for over ten years to try and fit the standards placed on pop artists. The most famous models and those who model for Victoria’s secret are extremely slender and are portrayed as beautiful or “sexy” and this has been accepted as the standard for beauty.

Digital manipulation

Technology today has allowed us to manipulate pictures to our liking. You can be transformed into a glamorous, thin woman by trimming, shaping and enhancing the photo on the computer. It is very difficult to identify fake pictures and those that have been manipulated.

Sia had for a long time concealed her identity as a way to protect herself from being depicted in a certain way by the media and fans. Young people are deluded into looking ‘perfect’ like their idols without realizing that some of them have used digital manipulation.

Increased non-invasive surgeries

Many celebrities have been deluded into getting “perfect” bodies by undergoing surgeries to correct parts of their bodies that they don’t like. Procedures like liposuction and rib removal surgeries are in high demand for celebrities to achieve perfect body shapes. They put pressure on young people who want to emulate them and resulting in restrictive dieting and disordered eating to look like their idols.

Diet culture 

Diet culture is an extreme belief that one’s appearance and body shape is more important than one’s general well-being. It gives the idea that controlling what you eat and how much you eat is normal. Sia dieted excessively to fit the stereotype of a “hot popstar”. Examples of diet culture include:

  • Having guilt or shame for eating
  • Feelings of unworthiness due to your physical appearance
  • Suppressing appetite with caffeine, nicotine, water, etc.
  • Labelling food as good or bad

On-screen sexual objectification

Most of the time, women and sometimes men on-screen are seen as sex objects than cognitive and emotional beings. People tend to focus on the parts of the bodies of people they idolize. Influencers, musicians and actors/ actresses are criticized for how they look, their physical appearances and their body shapes. Sexually objectifying women in media can lead to self-objectification, body dissatisfaction, sexist beliefs and increased tolerance of violence against women.

Demand for their jobs

Most celebrities have demanding jobs that leave them little or no time to relax and engage in healthy eating habits. Most of them get used to having fast foods or snacks in between their busy schedules. Those in the film industry are forced to cut weight overnight to fit certain roles and these factors can be triggers for eating disorders.

Sia thought, that to be a pop star, you have to have a perfect body shape and this made her engage in unhealthy eating habits that could have developed into an eating disorder. 

Breath Me by Sia 

The song, breath me has been interpreted many times by people who relate to it in different ways. One of those ways is depicting a girl with an eating disorder trying to recover from it. We will look at the lyrics and then interpret them later.

Help, I have done it again

I have been here many times before

Hurt myself again today

And, the worst part is there’s no-one else to blame

Be my friend, hold me

Wrap me up, enfold me

I am small and needy

Warm me up and breathe me

Ouch I have lost myself again

Lost myself and I am nowhere to be found

Yeah I think that I might break

Lost myself again and I feel unsafe

The night Sia wrote the song, she attempted suicide by taking 22 tablets of Valium with a bottle of vodka. She was suffering from anxiety and self-harm. This, she confessed years later after the song had been released.

 The song has been used multiple times by people suffering from eating disorders. It depicts the difficult journey of trying to recover and episodes of relapses. Many have used the song as a school project for eating disorders as randomawesome did. It depicts that she is in dire need of someone who will save her from herself.

She is unsure of how to escape from her misery begging for a chance to be whole again. She blames herself for keeping on hurting herself but is unable to stop by herself. People with eating disorders are not in control of their habits. It becomes an obsessive habit that becomes very hard to stop.

Most of them have negative thoughts about their bodies. Sia confessed that she viewed herself as a tree trunk or a loser. No matter what her friends told her, she felt that she was not thin enough.

Unless people agree to seek help, eating disorders can go on for years and some like anorexia nervosa can be fatal and even cause death. Just like the song says, reach out and get help. Confide in a person you trust and let them help you get the right treatment for an eating disorder.

It is also important to note that it is not your fault that you have an eating disorder. Many people indulge in disordered eating as a way to cope and feel in control. Others use it to numb trauma. Getting professional help will also help you get the root cause of your eating disorder and how to resolve those underlying issues.

Conclusion

In this blog, we have looked at who Sia is and whether she has an eating disorder. We have also looked at what eating disorders are and their types. Finally, we have looked at the contribution of media to the development of eating disorders.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comment section below.

Frequently asked questions: sia eating disorder

Is not eating a coping mechanism?

Many people with eating disorders indulge in restricting food, dieting and purging as a way of feeling in control of something in a world they feel they do not. This purging method makes them feel a sense of security.

Can PTSD trigger anorexia?

Yes, symptoms of PTSD tend to occur before symptoms of anorexia begin. This shows that some people develop symptoms of anorexia after experiencing traumatic events.

Is bulimia a coping mechanism?

Yes, bulimia can be an unhealthy coping mechanism that some people use to numb symptoms of trauma. The consequences of this include social and emotional problems, medical issues and the development of psychiatric issues.

Citations

Psychreel, does Sia have an eating disorder? Retrieved from https://psychreel.com/does-sia-have-an-eating-disorder/

Healthline, 6 Common Types of Eating Disorders (and Their Symptoms). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/common-eating-disorders

Mayo Clinic, eating disorders. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eating-disorders/symptoms-causes/syc-20353603