TikTok's most followed star, Charli D'Amelio, has bravely spoken out about struggling with an eating disorder. The sixteen-year-old currently has over 86 million followers on the app and is famed for her dancing and snappy videos, which regularly rack up millions of views – she also boasts 28.7 million Instagram fans. Her older sister, Dixie, has also found fame as a popular social media personality too.
Taking to Instagram Stories, Charli recently addressed her followers (many of whom are young girls) and said she wanted to share her experiences in the hopes of helping others. "I’ve always tried to use my voice when it comes to issues surrounding body image, but I’ve never talked about my own struggles with eating disorders," she said. "It’s so uncomfortable to admit to even your closest friends and family, let alone the world."
"I’ve been afraid to share that I have an eating disorder, but ultimately I hope that by sharing this I can help someone else," Charli continued. "I know eating disorders are something that so many other people are battling behind closed doors." She also apologised for featuring 'Prom Queen' by Beach Bunny, a song that contains lyrics which some could find triggering in relation to body image.
"To anyone I could have hurt by unintentionally playing a song and not realising that those lyrics could have trigged [sic] you, I deeply and truly apologise and I hope you know that I never intended to cause you harm."
Charli encouraged her followers who may be facing difficulties when it comes to food to seek help. "For anyone that is struggling with this, I know some days can be worse than others," she wrote. "I need you to know you are not alone. Remember it's OK to reach out and get help. We all need help sometimes." She added a link to the National Eating Disorders Association.
When discussing trolls, Charli has heartbreakingly said in a previous video that she often receives an abundance of negative comments about the way she looks: "Some of the most hurtful comments I read about myself online are, 'She’s fatter than when we got her famous' or 'She’s ugly' – they don’t like the way my face looks for some reason."
TikTok as a platform has been critiqued for allowing pro-anorexia videos to appear on users' For You Pages (FYP), and for the popularity of 'What I Eat In A Day' clips, which can promote unhealthy eating habits.
"You can’t choose what you view on the FYP so I am constantly seeing videos on dieting and exercise," one user, Poppy* told Cosmopolitan UK. "More and more girls are making videos like this and it’s hard to avoid them. Once you’ve viewed one, TikTok keeps showing you more." She continued on to say she's had to block several accounts in order to help her mental health, but that it's an ongoing battle as the content remains unavoidable.
We really hope that Charli (and anybody else in a similar position) is receiving the help she needs.
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