Portia de Rossi Talks Past Struggles With Bulimia On 'It Got Better' & It's An Excellent Way To Raise Awareness

Portia de Rossi is speaking out about a painful past memory. The actress will appear in an episode of the LGBT online docuseries It Got Better that airs on May 13 to shares the trials she faced as a young model. Portia de Rossi opened up about her eating disorders in an interview clip from her episode, revealed exclusively by Entertainment Tonight. In the clip, she says,

I felt tremendous responsibility when I was 12 years old, and I was put on a catwalk. My modeling agents had told me to go on a diet. So I didn't eat for 10 days before then. I'm up on this catwalk, and I'm a little kid and posing and trying to be sexy and strutting around and all the other models are making fun of my bushy eyebrows. When I got in the car after that event and just opened up a bag of my favorite candy and just put my whole head in it and I think, "S--t, what have I done? I just undid two weeks worth of dieting." So then I vomit.

It is a harrowing story. And sadly, de Rossi is far from being alone in this struggle. It has been estimated that up to 24 million people of all ages and genders in the United States have suffered from an eating disorder of some sort. But the story is even more upsetting when you keep in mind how young de Rossi was at the time all of this was happening. That being said, it is a positive thing that the actress is bravely speaking out to raise awareness of this still very relevant and serious issue. Though de Rossi has talked about her struggles before, the context of this show will give LGBT youth in particular easier access to her story.

ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ/AFP/Getty Images

The show, which was inspired by the LGBT suicide prevention project It Gets Better, chronicles celebrities and their stories of coming out and coming of age. It is a perfect platform for de Rossi to speak out. Research has shown that LGBT youth may be more likely to binge eat and purge than their heterosexual or cisgender peers, starting from as early as age 12 — the same age that de Rossi began an unhealthy relationship with food. Considering eating disorders are typically associated in the media with straight cisgender females, it is a good thing for LGBT youth who may have struggled with food to see that they do not have to fight this particular battle alone.

If they see that de Rossi was not only able to survive but thrive after her eating disorder (hello, Scandal and Arrested Development), this could be a great opportunity for them to understand eating disorders and how to get help. Not only that, but someone who has not personally struggled with eating that watches the show could potentially help a peer or friend who is having the same problem, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. So essentially, de Rossi opening up about this has the potential to pay dividends to all, or at least shed light on this topic to those who think body negativity is a thing of the past. Kudos to her!

You can check out de Rossi's episode here.

Image: Getty Images