'Girls' Star Zosia Mamet Reveals Eating Disorder

By Shawn Dwyer 08/20/14

The actress wrote about her long struggle in a column published in Glamour magazine.

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Zosia Mamet, actress and daughter of famed playwright David Mamet who plays the uptight Shoshanna Shapiro on HBO's Girls, recently wrote a column in Glamour magazine detailing her life-long battle with eating disorders.

Mamet described how she first developed issues with weight when she was told that she was fat at eight years old. That manifested into "a monster in my brain" that compelled her to "abuse my body" and "stand in front of the refrigerator late at night staring into that white fluorescent light, debilitated by the war raging inside me."

"I was only 17, living in misery, waiting to die," she wrote.

Mamet went on to reveal that it was her father who first compelled her to receive treatment by telling her that she wasn't "allowed to die." She realized for the first time that others around her were also being affected by her disease and that led to her receiving treatment.

"[D]uring treatment I discovered that my disorder has never really been about weight or food—that's just the way the monster manifests itself," Mamet wrote. "Really these diseases are about control: control of your life and of your body."

The control issues she faced were in part an extension of our culture, which constantly projects the idea that "skinny" is healthy and ideal. Mamet went on to urge those suffering from eating disorders to know that they aren't alone and to talk to the people they love.

"Today I'm at a healthy weight, though I realize that my obsession will always be with me in some way," Mamet wrote at the end of her piece. "For years the voice inside me has gotten louder or quieter at times. It may never disappear completely, but hopefully one day it'll be so quiet, it'll only be a whisper and I'll wonder, Was that just the wind?"

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.