Tallulah Willis Talks Eating Disorders, Body Dysmorphia & Valuing Yourself


It’s a familiar storyline. Celebrity offspring being caught up in substance abuse, the media having a field day tracking their every move and the public taking bets on how far they will fall. It can’t be easy living every moment of your life in the public eye. While the rest of us have the luxury of dealing with the majority of our problems in private, celebrities and their kids have the added pressure of the paparazzi lens.

What we sometimes struggle to forget is that they too are human, and should be given the same allowances when they make mistakes and genuinely need help. Tallulah Willis, daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore has been known for her pattern of substance abuse since she was a teenager. The now-20-year-old blogger still struggles with issues surrounding addiction, but she has come a long way.

In a interview with Style Like U for their ‘What’s Underneath’ project where they ask their subjects to answer confronting questions while symbolically stripping away items of clothing, Tallulah opened up about body image, eating disorders and how she learned to love herself.

She starts off talking about valuing ourselves despite the times when we don’t feel our best.

“I always say, that feeling you’re supposed to have on your wedding day, why not have that every day? It’s inside you the whole time! It’s just you!” Wow, that’s a pretty awesome and powerful thought. The fact that we have that notion of feeling on top of the world inside us at all times, why don’t we access it more often?

“I struggled a lot when I was younger, I was diagnosed with body dysmorphia from reading those stupid fucking tabloid magazines when I was only 13, feeling like I was ugly, always. I believed the strangers more than the people who loved me. It was like a conviction.” She says that was the reason she started dressing to get attention, so that those strangers would think differently of her.

Her biggest insecurity came from reading awful things about her on the internet because she was the child of two huge celebrities. People would make fun of her face but praise her body, which is why for a time she placed all her energy trying to get people to focus on her body.


Tallulah goes on to explain the eating disorders she had and how she felt trapped in her body which she only valued according to what other people thought of her. She is certainly not alone in that. When we place all the power in other people to determine our worth, it ends up being a slippery slope of denial and self-loathing.

She comes to the conclusion, when talking about her body image issues, that it was all a mindset, and once she learned how to control that for herself, the situation changed.

During her tumultuous years she also struggled to find her “thing” in life, what it is that she wanted to do. Creative writing became something she found strength in eventually.

“If I can use any of the pain that I’ve gone through, and if I can translate it into a way that when other girls read it they can be healed, even if it’s the smallest piece, that’s a very very important thing to me.”

We’ve all heard the saying “hurt people, hurt people” but we want to declare while that may be true in some cases, we also firmly believe hurt people can heal hurt people. There’s nothing like being able to identify with someone else and take comfort from their experience.

When Style Like U asked Tallulah who are her biggest influences, surprisingly and awesomely, she says herself.

“I found influence and inspiration from this picture in my head of what I wanted it to be. This future me. For so long I was so far away from her, and now I have something to say and I can have a conversation with someone without being drunk and naked and ‘life of the party’. I never thought I would get to see her ever, I thought she was this little trapped abstract thing that would never come to fruition. It’s crazy to like yourself, not just the way you look, but like yourself and find value in that.”

So while all the other tabloid sites get pleasure out of focusing on Tallulah going to rehab, or trying to work on herself, we’re choosing to value her as a young woman, who is struggling like the rest of us but is learning valuable things which she will pass on to so many other girls who look up to her.

Girl, keep doing your thing because you are beautiful, valuable, and we’re glad you shared your message with the world!


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