Wow, if you wondered why Jennette McCurdy ran away from Hollywood at top speed, wonder no more!
The iCarly star opened up earlier this year about having officially retired from acting, refusing to even come back for an appearance on the revival series. She even said she was “embarrassed” by her work as a TV star.
Those sentiments are making a bit more sense after this raw interview for fellow child star Mayim Bialik ‘s Breakdown podcast. In it, she candidly discusses the eating disorders she developed as a young actress — and how, she says, her mother was to blame for them.
See, she had a stage mom who, at just 11 years old, allegedly suggested a severely restricted diet to keep her daughter small — and still able to score those lucrative child actor roles. She revealed:
“My mom was the person that introduced me to anorexia, actually. I said, ‘Well, how can I not develop boobs? I don’t want those.’ And she said, ‘Well, there’s a thing called calorie restriction.’ Those were her exact words. She did not say the word ‘anorexia.’ I did not hear the word ‘anorexia’ until I overheard a doctor talking with my mom a year later when I had lost X amount of weight and was rail-thin, and it sounded like a dinosaur to me. I remember that distinctly, like, ‘Hmm, somebody’s talking about me like I’m a dinosaur.’ But it was her talking to my mom about my eating disorder, which my mom denied in order for her to be able to support it.”
Wow. Just awful. She explained how she didn’t realize she was being exploited and how much that was not in her best interest:
“At the time I just thought, ‘Mom’s looking out for me, Mom wants me to not have breasts so that I don’t have breast cancer, Mom wants me to look young so I can book more roles so I can support the family and do the thing.’”
The Nickelodeon star revealed the sad truth didn’t occur to her until her mother’s death in 2013.
Even that sad event didn’t free her from eating disorders, it just changed them. She went from being anorexic to bulimic. Binging was just one of many coping mechanisms she used to deal with something she wasn’t emotionally prepared for:
“That same week [of her death] was the first time that I had sex, the first time that I made myself throw up — bulimia, which I then had for a few years — and the first time that I had a drink of alcohol. Those coping mechanisms all kind of hit at once.”
Bulimia got to be a hugely dangerous problem for the now-29-year-old, who revealed she was purging 5-10 times a day at her worst point.
“Anytime that I wasn’t purging, I was thinking about my next time purging. That was how my mind was just oriented.”
So awful. We often speak these days about the way children in show business are treated by others, but this is a good reminder the first people to exploit child stars are often their own family.
You can see the powerful full conversation (below)!