Eating disorders are a serious epidemic among teenagers, both girls and boys alike.
The pressure to be 'perfect and desirable' is thrown at them from a very young age. Couple that with the seemingly effortless beauty flowing out of Hollywood, it's no wonder young people have body image issues.
But Jane Thirlwall, a member of the hit girl group Little Mix, is trying to break down the unrealistic expectations by sharing her own story about battling anorexia.
The pop group recently released a book and in it Thirlwall revealed she had suffered from the eating disorder (something she had previously kept quiet.)
"I was about 13 when I got anorexia. I think it was the culmination of a lot of stuff, not just the bullying. My mam and dad were arguing a lot and my Grandma Mohammed, who I was really close to, died [...] At 13, you're at that age when you don't really have control over anything, and I felt as if the only thing I could control was what I was eating. I started skipping meals and stuff like that. I would look in the mirror and it wasn't that I'd think I was fat, I just had it in my head that I wanted to be really, really skinny. [...] My periods stopped and things were getting out of control, but I don't think I really cared about what was happening to me. I felt so depressed at that time that I just wanted to waste away and disappear [...] Anorexia is a self-destructive thing and you become stubborn, so when people are trying to tell you something you get it into your head that they're against you, and you're not going to listen. It took going to hospital to make me realize what I was doing, that it wasn't a game, it was something really serious. They sat me down in the clinic and were quite tough at first, spelling it out: "You're destroying your body and if you keep doing this you will die." I thought: "F*****g hell, I can't do this to my family." It shocked me into a change."
Jade said she would eat foods that were natural laxatives, hide her dinner so she wouldn't have to eat it, and hide her weight loss under baggy clothing so no one would get suspicious. After Jade was released from the hospital, she admitted herself to an out-patient program that included weekly weigh-ins and counselling sessions. Once she began to recover, she noticed things began picking up at school and she finally realize her passion for singing. She auditioned for The X-Factor and is now in a mega-hot girl group.
If anything, Jade wants her message to inspire young teens who may also be struggling with eating disorders, showing them things do in fact get better.