“Hairspray” actress Brittany Snow has admitted to an extreme eating disorder, cutting, and depression in a recent interview with the website “Half of Us.” Snow talks about her struggle with weight, which began at the age of 12 when she started the “Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type” diet, after it was recommended by some of her “Guiding Light” adult costars. Wonderful influence. She got a lot of compliments on her weight loss, and the feeling of acceptance and encouragement became addictive. Eventually, she was down to 85 pounds and worried she still wasn’t thin enough.
“Brittany Snow’s descent into the dark world of eating disorders began when she landed the role of Susan Lemay on TV’s Guiding Light, the actress, now 21, tells MTVU.com. ‘I remember looking around at all these women who were on the soap opera who were working out and dieting,’ Snow says. Taking their cue, a 12-year-old Snow tried her first diet, called Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type. ‘I took it to the extreme,’ the Hairspray star admits, which included a two-month stint when she ‘lived on pineapple.’
“After losing 10 lbs. on the diet, Snow says she heard compliments and felt accepted from those around her. Soon it was a feeling she couldn’t get enough of. ‘It kind of progressed into this thing where I needed to always be dieting and losing weight and more weight,’ she says in the site’s interview series Half of Us, which addresses mental health issues and ways to get help. ‘It became my life and I didn’t have any friends and this was definitely my best friend and I held on to it really tight.’
“At 15, Snow was stepping onto the scale 10 to 15 times a day and weighed only 85 lbs. ‘I knew that was a really low number and I knew that my hair was falling out and I had really weird skin. My face looked really weird and I was getting this fuzz on my face and I was always cold – always to the point of uncontrollably shaking,’ she says. But ‘I was more scared that 85 lbs. wasn’t good enough. I wanted to be lower.”
Brittany Snow is one of those sorta famous actresses that I never really thought much about, and she’s very pretty in a small, petite person kind of way. I never noticed just how tiny she was until I read this story, and really started looking. That would mean she was obviously struggling with anorexia through much, if not all, of her time on “American Dreams.” Snow says she finally reached the end of her rope when she started cutting herself.
“Rock bottom came when Snow began cutting herself. ‘I would look at the scars and what I had done to myself and that would convince me not to eat,’ she says. ‘I also was crying for attention and I also really wanted someone to see my scars and help me and give me a hug.’
“By 19, Snow was in rehab and things took a turn for the better. She stopped cutting and got help for her depression. ‘But the eating stuff was still really hard to deal with,’ she says. ‘It’s still a struggle.’
“Her advice to girls who are going though a similar situation is to take baby steps. ‘It’s very important to talk to anybody. Maybe the first step is just to talk to a friend about it,’ she says. ‘Probably they’ll relate in some way.’”
That advice sounds very sensible. I imagine that for someone struggling with something as complex, private, and scary as anorexia, making a full-on confession might seem too overwhelming. The idea of baby steps makes sense. It’s amazing that Brittany could have had so many people around her who either didn’t notice or didn’t say anything.
Picture note by Celebitchy: Brittany Snow is shown in a white dress at fashion week on 9/5/07. She is at a party for her Vegas Magazine cover on 8/24/07 in the photos where she is wearing a pink dress. Thanks to PRPhotos.