Well Being

5 Beloved Characters From Movies And TV With Disordered Eating Habits

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cassie-skins-tv-eating-disorderOkay maybe they aren't all beloved, but they're all complicated and multi-dimensional and their problem with food isn't a one-episode-after-school-special style lesson for audiences. Most television shows or movies are so heavy handed with their handling of eating disorders that it's a joke.

Here are 5 realistically troubled characters with disordered eating habits:

1) Cassie Ainsworth from Skins- Played by the ethereal and magnetic Hannah Murray who can also be seen on Game of Thrones, Cassie Ainsworth is probably the least corny portrayal of a teenage girl with anorexia in the history of television. Once Cassie ‘didn't eat for three days because [she] wanted to be lovely.” If you haven't watched Skins, you absolutely should. You'll fall in love with Cass.

2) Nina Sayers from Black Swan(2010)- Everybody knows that many ballerinas are starving, but how many have to lick frosting off of their mother's fingers? Black Swan doesn't focus too hard on Natalie Portman's character's eating disorder, rather the film allows the disorder to play a part in the nightmarish world. For a horror fable, it handles disordered eating with shockingly realistically.

3) Hanna Marin from Pretty Little Liars- Hanna was once a chubby girl who was teased and called “Hefty Hanna” by her classmates. After summers at fat camp and learning how to make herself vomit after binge-eating whole pies, Hanna lost the weight and became an it-girl. Throughout the show, her eating disorder is only touched on a few times deliberately, but it's present in a realistically looming way. Maybe it's not overt, but it's lurking.

4) Daisy Randone from Girl, Interrupted(1999)- My favorite on this and any list. It's rare to see ED-NOS like this in media. Daisy Randone is slim, but not particularly skinny. She doesn't have anorexia, she doesn't binge or purge, but her eating is very disordered.Daisy Randone can't eat in front of other people, she can't eat anything but rotisserie chicken from her father's deli–when she finishes a chicken, she keeps the carcas wrapped up in foil under her bed. She trades valium for stool-softeners because her eating disorder keeps her from having bowel movements. There's something about the way the late Brittany Murphy plats Daisy that makes her so endearing. Sure she's crazy and mean, but she's also funny and evokes empathy. No one has ever said the word “asshole” like Murphy's Daisy Randone.

5) Betty Francis from Mad Men- Betty's disordered eating is one of her more nuanced character traits. Fans of Mad Men watched Betty Draper yo-yo diet and obsess about food throughout the 1960s. We learn mother shamed her as a child for “stoutness” and we see her emotionally shot gun some whipped cream straight from the can to her dome.  After gaining a significant amount of weight a few seasons ago, Betty dropped it all. Amphetamine use was rampant for women of Betty's age and social class. No doubt she dabbled in some drugging as well as some other disordered behaviors to help her shed the weight. What a drag it is getting old.

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