Anna Paquin: ‘I had a massive anorexia relapse after my babes were born’

I so appreciate Anna Paquin for coming out years ago as one of the first bisexual celebrity women. She didn’t paint herself as special or different (like Miley Cyrus does, she’s ridiculous) and I give her so much credit for calmly explaining one of the biggest myths about bisexuality to Larry King, who conflated bisexuality with fidelity. She’s managed to be open about her life while shielding her twins’ identity and while not making a big deal about any of it. I know she’s not a big celebrity, but she won an Oscar as a child, she could have gone that route. She could be promoting her personal life and capitalizing on her lifestyle if she wanted, but that’s not who she is. Anna posted a message for World Breastfeeding Week in which she admitted that all the hype around it makes her feel bad for not being able to nurse her twins. That message is above. When a commenter noted that Anna had previously talked about nursing in relation to her breast size reducing, Anna opened up about her struggles with anorexia. She said that she was able to pump for but not nurse her fraternal twins, Charlie and Poppy, who were born prematurely almost seven years ago. Here’s what she wrote and I’ve included a screenshot in the gallery.

cavglaz: I’m confused. I remember reading this article when it came out b/c I was nursing my newborn at the time.

_annapaquin’s: @cavglaz I pumped briefly never was able to actually breastfeed. But the real reason my boobs looked tiny was I had a massive anorexia relapse after my babes were born. But that didn’t make for a cute/funny talk show story…

cavglaz: @_annapaquin Appreciate you clarifying. Regardless of the journey you or anyone else took there’s no need for shame or guilt. Glad you and your babes are healthy now. I still struggle with post body changes from 2 beautiful healthy boys but grateful to be so blessed when others struggle with everything from conception challenges to breastfeeding challenges to children with heath issues.

[From Instagram]

I’ve covered Anna for years, I’m a huge True Blood fan, and this is the first I’m hearing about her struggle with an eating disorder. She did mention it, also in a comment, last December, but that barely got coverage. Back then she said “I am gratefully and actively recovering from anorexia” when someone trolled her that she had “functional anorexia.” This more recent comment lifts the curtain a little about her media strategy and explains why she’s never discussed it in an interview. She just doesn’t want the headlines or the speculation. She hinted about it a little in an interview with Self in 2010, saying “I’m really careful about what I eat, and I work out a lot. It’s not like this is an accident… As I get older, I’m getting better about taking care of myself without depriving myself. It’s not a good way to live. It’s not a good way to work.”

As for her comments on breastfeeding, she was so open and vulnerable about that too. For all the problems with social media, it really has helped us connect and relate to each other in deeper ways. Anna is a private person and she carefully chooses how and when to open up. It’s been a privilege to get to know her this way, over many years. If more celebrities were like this it would make my job a lot harder though. Also can we please get the True Blood movie already? I promise to promote the hell out of it.




photos credit: WENN and screenshot from Instagram

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26 Responses to “Anna Paquin: ‘I had a massive anorexia relapse after my babes were born’”

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  1. Cee says:

    Why do people presume bisexuality equals infidelity?
    My ex asked me if I would be able to be in a relationship with a bisexual man to which I replied “yes” and he couldn’t understand how I’d willingly be with a man who had sex and relationships with other men, as if that would make him cheat on me with other men and not women. That is homophobia, plain and simple. Cheaters know no sexual orientation – they’ll cheat whether they’re gay, straight, bi, pan, etc.

    • Dzanna says:

      I really think it’s because of how boring most people are.

    • alternative fact says:

      I’m a lesbian in a relationship with a bi woman who has mostly dated men by choice. I think sometimes it’s an insecurity thing like “Is there something my partner gets from the opposite sex that I can’t give him/her?”, at least that’s how it has been for me when that comes up. Insecurity like that is also 100% on the partner to cope with. I love my gf and I trust she would tell me if there was something she needed that I wasn’t giving her (minus a penis lol). If insecurity comes up it’s my job to deal with that in a healthy way and not project that onto her.
      As for your husband I think a lot of people think bi men are really just gay.

      • Cee says:

        I’m not bi, nor is my ex (boyfriend, thankfully). He just thought I was SO OPEN MINDED because I’d not have issues dating a bisexual man.
        But he is also a man who slept with countless married women cause it wasn’t his responsibility (yeah, he sure was a keeper) even though he knew they were married with kids, etc. Then he acted all surprised I’d date a bi man (because I can separate being faithful with sexual orientation) but would never knowingly have sex with a married man.

  2. My3cents says:

    I really appreciate her honesty and openness. In the image perfect environment she operates in it’s even more commendable.
    I wasn’t able to nurse as well, felt really guilty, but eventually I just let it go, and focused on the positive. Being a mother is opening yourself to constant judgment, when the harshest is usually our own.

    Also True Blood, yassss all day long!

    • Dzanna says:

      A healthy baby is one who has been fed. I’m glad you didn’t let the mommy-shamers get you down.

  3. Mika says:

    I love Anna. I know this sounds weird but… Sookie Stackhouse was annoying in a really charming way. I want her to be happy.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Yeah, Anna captured Sookie as she was annoying in the books and I loved the books.

      Have always been a fan of Anna’s, she has had her struggles but seems to have gotten the help and support she needs (Stephen has also struggled with alcohol issues and has been sober 14 years so I imagine he is a big support). Plus her relationship with Stephen seems pretty solid, esp for a celebrity pairing.

  4. Eliza says:

    Nursing requires extra calories post delivery, while you’re body is going crazy and hormones are all off.. it can actually triggering for many women with a history of anorexia. If she was trying, failing, feeling a lack of control, yeah I can see it. I’m happy to hear everything worked out in the end and she’s in a healthier mindset.

  5. Sophie says:

    Poor Anna! I had a similar breastfeeding struggle, so I know how she feels.

    I remember that she was filming true blood when the twins were born and she had to go right into filming semi-nude scenes with A-Skars. At the time I marveled at how quickly she lost the weight, but in retrospect it makes sense that she had an eating disorder. I feel so badly for her.

    • lucy2 says:

      I think it was the Warlow character, not Askars? She had her kids towards the end of the series.
      But I remember thinking how thin she looked then too, and wondered if it was sort of overdoing losing the baby weight. I didn’t know she had suffered anorexia previously. I’m really glad she’s doing ok now.

  6. Pineapple says:

    I will never for the life of me understand why we, as women, allow so much expectation to be put on having children. What the heck? No one is guaranteed a child .. so much unknown can happen. It would be so much nicer if we viewed pregnancy as an unguaranteed journey some people go on. However YOU did it, you did it right. XO Then when the odd, strange, difficult stuff happens … it would be so, so, so much easier to deal with. We fantasize relationships, childbearing and having … it is nuts. Just nuts. I would love to write a book, “Don’t expect anything when you are expecting.” Crap happens.

    • Lucy says:

      This! This is 100% the book I would write! My outlook is basically this and it served me so well in pregnancy/early motherhood.
      I got lucky and was able to breastfeed without much trouble, which was great because I’m too lazy to keep up with bottles.
      I’ve had to talk down moms who felt less than because bf wasn’t working. Fed is best. Always. Baby doesn’t care. No one should care. It is no reflection on anyone. Ugggh.
      Also, I’m anti lactation ppl because my best friend had triplets who had to be in the NICU. She was able to pump, and was doing it 7 times a day (so sleeping for 6 hours). The lactation women at the hospital were condescending and insisted that a mother to a 3 year old who was spending her days in the hospital waiting for 3 newborns to come home needed to prioritise pumping over sleep. All the rage.

  7. Erin says:

    I feel so bad for these women in Hollywood. They’re all hungry all the time. Julianne Moore has literally said that exact statement. I can only imagine how many have functional anorexia, and how restricted by and to their bodies these women must feel. I’m a recovering anorexic and still suffer from small relapses; I cannot imagine trying to eat normally recovering in Hollywood. I think we all need to remember that these bodies come at a cost. Sometimes I think the only way to move forward on this issue is to just stop commenting on them period.

    • alternative fact says:

      <3 You might consider finding a therapist or a nutritionist who you can check in with after you have your baby since you're aware of your risk. Transition periods in hormones and our bodies (puberty, post partum, and menopause especially) are when women are most vulnerable to developing eating disorders or relapsing. Not saying this to freak you out or that you're destined for relapse, just that seeking support ahead of time could be worthwhile if relapse post partum is something you are worried about. Congratulations on baby!

  8. Yup, Me says:

    I loved True Blood when I watched it the first time but I recently rewatched several seasons and it just does not hold up- particularly Sookie and Bill’s storyline. Every time they had a scene, I was basically like “Can y’all go away so I cam see what other folks are up to?” Eric and Pam stay YUM. I Ioved Tara but NO to that tired ass angry black woman trope (we’ve moved on to the era of Black Girl Magic and Rutina is MUCH better served by her work on Queen Sugar). And you can never make a True Blood movie without the glorious Nelsan Ellis (who was so good that his character, Lafayette, went from dying in season 1 to surviving the entire series).

    No True Blood movie.

    • Dee Kay says:

      I hard agree with this assessment. True Blood was an awesome watch while it was on, but it devolved quickly in later seasons and would not hold up to a rewatch today.

  9. elimaeby says:

    I never knew she struggled with an eating disorder, but I’ve always loved her for her honesty about her bisexuality.

    I’m pregnant and in recovery from an ED, so I appreciate her honesty about relapsing after birth. I worry about that a lot.

  10. Jen says:

    This is so sad. After reading this I googled “Anna Paquin post pregnancy” and all of these articles show up talking about Anna’s great post pregnancy body, and how she bounced back so quickly. The images show a very, very thin Anna – who was being glorified for this very slight figure. It’s so frustrating that women are praised for losing weight so fast after having a baby when meanwhile, many women (not all!) who do are in reality struggling with ED which is difficult enough, and then on top of that there is positive reinforcement for the ED, and high expectations for those who are eating normally and healthily, and struggling to “bounce back” who then put more pressure on themselves for not measuring up. This is, in honesty, one of the reasons I have chosen not to have children – along with mental illness and a few other things that are nobody’s business and things I don’t have to explain to justify my decision.

    I’m so glad she’s able to be honest about her ED, and is in recovery. ED is a lifetime struggle, and I don’t think anyone who has one ever truly recovers (myself included). Even if we learn how to nourish ourselves correctly, it’s the terrible thoughts and self-loathing that never really completely cease.

    • alternative fact says:

      Even though I know it’s not real it’s hard not to compare yourself to women (and men) in Hollywood because it’s their job to make it look easy. I feel so awful for mothers who are just buried under every awful expectation. Even the idea of “get your body exactly back to the way it was before pregnancy” is ridiculous. Your internal organs and your bone structure shift during pregnancy so you can grow a baby! It’s cruel that women are thought of us failures if we can’t give birth and look exactly like we did in high school 6 weeks later. I used to nanny for a woman who talked about how crazy it was that her proportions changed after pregnancy. I’ve never had children so idk how common this is but she said she lost all her baby weight and still had to buy new jeans because her hips were different post partum. Wild.

  11. weezle says:

    I’m 50, and I am noticing my husband ogling very the young even when I’m around. Being an insensitive sleezebag has nothing to do with whatever gender you prefer.

  12. Sammi says:

    I think 🤔 if I remember right that she had the twins and then had to film right away almost after they were born. She managed to lose the post baby weight but didn’t do it the healthy way. Her husband and twinsnis what made her slow down the past few years. It’s hard being a mom but being a celebrity mom is way worse because hwonmanys toured do we see of celebrities magically losing all this post baby weight soooo fast and none of it is right.

  13. Sara says:

    I remember that final season of True Blood after she had the babies, she looked scary skinny. I remember watching and wondering why no one was addressing her crazy weight loss. No one talked about it though. Go back and watch, she’s SO THIN.

  14. MissAmerica says:

    I really can’t relate because I had a really easy time breastfeeding, (in fact still nursing my 15-month-old while pregnant.) But I’m completely aware of how lucky I am and how naturally it came for me. I can’t imagine having preemies, it’d be so incredibly difficult to BF them due to their incubation, isolation, tubes and special circumstances, most of the time until they reach the equivalent of full-term, of which it could be months in the hospital, plus she had two babies. It’d be incredibly difficult. I think it’s wonderful she expressed milk for as long as possible (I personally hated that more than BF!) I think it’s wonderful she’s destigamitizing the topic. It’s a different journey for every mom and baby.