Leon Bennett/Getty Images for ESSENCEPrecious star Gabourey Sidibe opened up in a honest new interview about her secret struggle with an eating disorder.
Appearing Monday on Taraji P. Henson‘s Peace of Mind with Taraji on Facebook Watch, the 33-year-old Oscar nominee detailed her battle with bulimia.
Sidibe revealed she used the eating disorder to control her anxiety, which manifested after her parents divorced when she was five.
“It wasn’t about losing weight, it wasn’t about controlling my appetite, it truly was about how it stopped me from crying, it felt like I was controlling my emotions – I was not, I was out of control. I was getting worse,” she revealed. “Being depressed is one thing, if you add an eating disorder to that, that’s a whole other monster that you have to fight.”
Sidibe detailed when she turned to bulimia, explaining her anxiety made her cry uncontrollably one day that she threw up.
“The second I was done throwing up, my tear ducts dried, I wasn’t sweating anymore, I’d stopped crying and I thought ‘I found the button, this is it.’ I realized that if I throw up it’s going to stop what is going on,” she recalled.
Henson praised the Empire alum’s bravery and pointed out that her story will help shed light on an underserved community suffering from eating disorders — Black girls.
“Did you know that 50 percent of Black girls are more likely to be bulimic than white girls,” Henson remarked, adding, “I thought bulimia was only a white girl plight, I honestly thought that.”
Sidibe furthered that bulimia doesn’t only affect “skinny” girls, noting, “eating disorders are not necessarily about weight, it’s not about appearance, a lot of it is about control.”
Asked if she could speak to her younger self, Sidibe emotionally revealed that she would “hug her.”
By Megan Stone
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