‘Awkward’ star Ashley Rickards deals with eating disorders in new book ‘A Real Guide to Getting It Together Once and For All’
Source: NY Daily News.
Ashley Rickards says Hollywood encourages undereating.
ASHLEY RICKARDS, star of MTV’s “Awkward,” quickly learned that the entertainment community doesn’t tolerate anorexia and other eating disorders.
It encourages them.
That’s hardly a revelation to anyone who has watched television’s endless parade of young size-zero actresses.
Still, Rickards’ own tale, which she recounts in a controversial new book titled “A Real Guide to Getting It Together Once and For All” (Harlequin, $19.95) feels unusually direct.
She developed an eating disorder as a young teenager in Florida, Rickards writes, because she was tired of feeling like the fat reject with the frizzy hair.
Between a growth spurt and starvation, she had shed the “fat” part when she started acting.
“By 14 my eating disorder and I moved to Los Angeles, which definitely did not help,” she writes. “Quite the opposite. I was praised for being so skinny by stylists, casting directors and even fellow actors. Anorexia became less of an emotional coping strategy and more of a lifestyle choice.”
One day she felt dizzy and went to a doctor who told her “my body was simply shutting down.”
She was scared, she writes, but not scared enough. She ate a little less, purged a little less. She told herself she’d be fine.
When she got the book deal, she writes, “the plan was basically to lie” about the eating part.
But since her book is designed as an honest and chatty guide to a teenage girl’s life, from makeup to dating drama and smart nutrition, that wasn’t going to work.
So she got honest.
“I am still in recovery,” she writes. “Some days I do well and some days I don’t.” She’s optimistic, she says, that she’ll beat it.
But what her story says about the larger problem feels chilling.