Former Pussycat doll and X-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger revealed her struggle with bulimia on last night’s Behind The Music on VH1. She said on the show, “My bulimia was my addiction. Hurting myself was my addiction.”
It sounds as if Nicole’s bulimia developed after she joined the Pussycat Dolls: there is one triggering event discussed in the clip on People.com. In 2003, she received the outfit she was to wear for her first group photo shoot with the Dolls:
“I got my outfit, and my outfit was a bra and some underwear and some garters. I was sweating in the backroom and I was like ‘I can’t walk out, I can’t do this.’” It was all new to me, I was incredibly scared, and I was not comfortable with my body.”
I’ve written a few times in the past few weeks about the body image problems of female performers, especially those of musicians. For these women, their bodies are not only what gets them from place to place; they are essential aspects of their careers. The pressure, then, to have a body that is thin, beautiful and pleasing to the public, must be crushing. And combined with all the other pressures of performing: learning routines, rehearsing, perfecting songs, doing interviews and appearances, having paparazzi follow your every move…it sounds less and less glamourous and more and more like the perfect storm for mental issues to emerge.
Nicole explained,”When I got offstage, there was this high. Then I’d come back to my room and I’d be alone, so I would just do things.” She doesn’t elaborate on what the things were, but it’s heavily implied that she was engaging in self-harm behaviors, including ones specific to bulimia.
In the interview, she appears fairly uncomfortable when talking about her eating disorder. She said she was “embarrassed:” “I never want to play a victim, and I never wanted my family to hear about things from me because I think it would break their heart, you know?”
I’m glad she decided to overcome her shame and embarrassment to talk about her battle with bulimia, though. Being honest about eating disorders or other issues is never, ever playing a victim—in fact, it’s the total opposite, a way to highlight and celebrate your strength.
And it sounds like Nicole doesn’t regret speaking to VH1 about it. Last night, she tweeted “Reading tweets about my #BehindTheMusic. And I’m in tears. I was so afraid to come out with my story but realized I am not alone…” In another tweet, she continued, “Thanku for not judging me..I pray U2 may find the strength n courage to know the Truth..That u r worthy and perfect just the way God made u.”
Photo: Will Alexander/WENN.com