Did Taylor Momsen have an eating disorder? (+9 myths and misconceptions)

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In this blog post, we shall answer the question “did Taylor Momsen have an eating disorder?” and look at the rumours surrounding Momsen regarding her weight and whether she had an eating disorder. We shall also educate ourselves on the myths and misconceptions surrounding eating disorders and give facts about them instead.

Did Taylor Momsen have an eating disorder?

No, Taylor Momsen denied ever having an eating disorder. Rumours had been spreading that she was suffering from anorexia.

She however denied the allegations, saying, “I’m just kind of naturally thin. My mom’s really thin, and I’m tall. Good genes… I just eat healthily. I walk a lot because I live in New York. So I try to walk a lot instead of taking cabs… I should probably start working out or something. I dance, so I guess that’s a full workout. I’ve been dancing since I was three, so I guess that would be it.”

Before we discuss in detail speculations about her having anorexia, let us look at who Taylor Momsen is.

Who is Taylor Momsen?

She is an American singer, songwriter, model and former actress. During her acting career, she played the role of Cindy Lou in the film, how the grinch stole Christmas, in 2002 and as Jenny Humphrey in the teen drama gossip girl (2007-2012). She has also been the front woman of the American rock band, The Pretty Reckless, since 2009.

Taylor started modelling at the age of 2 and since then she has been the face of famous brands like the face of Madonna’s fashion line “material girl”, model for John Galliano’s new women’s fragrance, and appeared in a video for Galliano’s “Parlez-Moi d’Amour” fragrance ad campaign.

She has also appeared on the covers of magazines like page six magazine at the age of 15, seventeen, revolver, FHM, and maxim. She quit acting in 2011 to focus on her music career which has been successful to date.

Taylor Momsen on eating disorders

With her twig frame, she had always been described as the gorgeous model start of the show, gossip girl. However, rumours started spreading that her body size was not a result of genes but caused by anorexia. Her body transformed within months and an insider claimed that the problems started after she was asked to film in a bra.

The claims further stated that she was forced to cut weight from a size 2 to a 0. “Taylor’s been doing liquid fasting cleanses for a few weeks… The problem is that she’s done several back-to-backs…. She’s entirely too thin. Her shoulder bones are way too pronounced, and her clavicle bones are sticking out.”

Just like Taylor, many people have experienced scrutiny for their body weight and physical appearance. From well-known celebrities to our families and the community at large, many people have been labeled with eating disorders just from how they look.

We will use Taylor’s statements to determine the myths surrounding eating disorders.

Myths surrounding eating disorders

People with eating disorders are very thin

Fact: many people with eating disorders are not underweight

Like the case of Taylor Momsen, the media portrays people with eating disorders as underweight and thin. This is, however, not an immediate indication of eating disorders. 

Taylor explained that her body weight could be due to her genes and the fact that she walks a lot. She also says that she has good metabolism.

While some eating disorders cause extreme weight loss, others do not. An example is binge eating. Research shows that 70% of people with eating disorders are obese. This myth can be damaging to people with eating disorders who are not underweight as they feel they are not sick

Eating disorders only affect teenagers and young people

Fact: eating disorders affect people of all ages

Although research shows that the onset of eating disorders is during the teenage years, the disorders can affect people of any age including young children. Recent research shows that children as young as 5 and 6 are receiving treatment for eating disorders.

There is also a disturbing trend of the media portraying young and upcoming actresses needing to meet the physical perfection standards of beauty. Although this is partly true, the mass has generalized that all actresses that have a skinny appearance are suffering from eating disorders. Taylor Momsen was added to this list because of her thin appearance, and she had to defend herself.

Older adults can also have eating disorders. While some develop eating disorders at this advanced age, some carry it from childhood or teenage years into adulthood.

Eating disorders are a way to get attention

Fact: people develop eating disorders for various reasons but as a way of getting attention is not one of them.

An unnamed source claimed that Taylor’s disorder started when she was requested to act a scene on Gossip girl with a bra. The rumour was that the stress to look perfect for that part led to her drastic weight loss.

Eating disorders are not a personal choice. In fact, many people try to hide the fact that they have an eating disorder rather than use it to get attention. Common factors that can lead to the development of eating disorders include:

  • Negative coping mechanisms for stressors or trauma like bullying or bereavement
  • Genetics
  • Mental illnesses

Once a person with an eating disorder starts to eat, they become better

Fact: eating disorders are not just about food

The unnamed source further claimed that Taylor had been doing liquid fasting cleanses and indicated that they could be the reason behind her ‘pronounced shoulder bones and clavicles sticking out.’

Eating disorders are mental conditions, and not just about food. Developing healthy eating habits is not the only component of recovery. People in the recovery from eating disorders need to also to work on the root causes and contributors of the eating disorder, learn coping mechanisms, resolve past trauma, build self-esteem and learn stress coping mechanisms.

People with eating disorders will never recover

Fact: full recovery from an eating disorder is possible

With the right treatment plan, it is possible to make a full recovery from an eating disorder. For those who do not fully recover, most see an improvement in their condition.

Recovery time varies. Some people will make a full recovery in a short time, while others may need extended treatment programs. Regular doctor appointments, having healthy meal plans and self-care tips are important for those in recovery.

Relapses are also normal in recovery and having mental health professionals in your circles will help in managing your condition and avoid full-blown relapses.

Anorexia is the only serious eating disorder

Fact: any eating disorder can cause potentially life-threatening risks that can have adverse effects on an individual.

Most of the celebrities who receive criticism about how they look, are the skinny ones. Just like Taylor, many people are quick to label them with anorexia and mention how dangerous the condition is.

However, research has shown that the mortality rate of bulimia and Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED) is approaching that of anorexia nervosa. People who use diuretics, and laxatives to induce vomiting increase their risk of sudden death and heart attacks due to the imbalance of electrolytes.

Excessive exercise increases the amount of stress on the body and this also increases the risk of death.

Since I do not see a loved one engaging in disordered eating anymore, I do not need to worry

Fact: many people with eating disorders hide their symptoms due to shame or fear that someone will stop them. Many people recovering from eating disorders have opened up about hiding their symptoms from their loved ones.

It is therefore important to keep expressing your concern to a loved one who is suffering from an eating disorder and gain their trust so that they are able to open up when they are struggling.

If my loved one insists they are fine, I should believe them

Fact: sometimes, people suffering from eating disorders are not aware that they are sick or some might deny the presence of an illness so as not to be stopped. Many have no self-awareness of the adverse effects the illness is having on their body.it is, therefore, your duty as a loved one to express concern and insist on the treatment of the illness.

Having strict rules about eating and restrictive diets are not a problem

Fact: what appears to be a strict diet on the surface can be the beginning of an eating disorder.

It is understandable why people are concerned about Taylor’s diet, and if it could be an indication of eating disorder. Disordered eating can have adverse medical effects on an individual, such as bone loss and anaemia.

Chronic dieting has been associated with the development of eating disorders. Addressing these concerns right away can help in the prevention and mitigation of an eating disorder before it becomes full-blown.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have looked at who Taylor Momsen is and whether she had an eating disorder. We have also looked at the reason many people concluded that Taylor had an eating disorder. We have also looked at the myths surrounding eating disorder and instead, given the facts about them.

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

Frequently asked questions: Did Taylor Momsen have an eating disorder?

What is the most serious eating disorder?

Anorexia has a high mortality rate due to the physical implications it has. While all eating disorders have dire impacts on your mental and physical health, professionals have agreed that Anorexia has the worsts symptoms.

Why was Taylor Momsen written off?

Taylor’s departure from Gossip Girl was due to ‘creative differences’ as she decided to focus more on her music career that led to the fronting of her band, The Pretty Reckless, full time.

What are the three common reasons why people have eating disorders?

Family history of eating disorder, having other mental disorders, dieting and starvation and stress.

What does Taylor do now?

She is still making music. Her band released their fourth album, Death by Rock and Roll, in 2021as she confessed that The Beatles are her favourite band.

Does body image cause eating disorders?

Dissatisfaction with how your body looks can affect your eating habits and lead to disordered eating and dieting.

Citations

Laurafitzmaurice, (February 18, 2021). Taylor Momsen Opened Up About Struggling With Depression And Substance Abuse. Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeed.com/larryfitzmaurice/taylor-momsen-substance-abuse-depression

Entertainyourlife, (October 8, 2008). A Gossip Girl Quiz: Is Taylor Momsen Anorexic? Retrieved from https://entertainyourlife.wordpress.com/2008/10/28/a-gossip-girl-quiz-is-taylor-momsen-anorexic/

Estera C., I year ago. Gossip Girl star Taylor Momsen bravely recalls battle with depression and substance abuse: ‘I was a mess’. Retrieved from https://celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/taylor-momsen-reveals-battle-depression-substance-abuse/e38f95b2-1470-4ca5-8d85-0e890b735146

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