In this blog, we will explore Blair Waldorf and her eating disorder, and also cover topics like who Blair Waldorf is, what is her problem, which eating disorder she suffers from, and also frequently asked questions about the topic.
Does Blair Waldorf Have An Eating Disorder?
Yes, Blair Waldorf seems to be suffering from a condition called bulimia as she often indulges in food and binges uncontrollably but in order to avoid gaining weight, she tends to engage in purging behaviors like vomiting out the food, using laxatives, etc.
Let us explore who she is and all about her eating disorder in detail.
Who is Blair Waldorf?
Blair Waldorf is a 16-year-old teenager who is a resident of Manhattan, New York in the show Gossip Girl. She is a student and goes to a private high school. She and her family in the initials of the episode appear to be in a good place. Her parents are divorced. mother lives in Manhattan and father lives in Paris. Her father left her mother for a male model named Romain.
Her mother enjoys a prime status in Manhattan and would go to any lengths to keep it that way. Blair and her mother are sometimes finicky with each other but it seems normal for a teenager and her mother to get into fights with each other sometimes.
Blair and her life
Blair is an only child, so she has no siblings to support her apart from her best friend Serena. Blair is snobbier and Serena is much more emotionally settled and keeps Blair grounded. They fight often but always end up shaking hands. Blair’s ex-boyfriend is Nate. They dated from age 5 to 16. Blair goes a bit over the top but it’s probably due to her separation anxiety and depression which flares up from time to time during the course of the series.
Blair can walk into a bar and chug on martinis all night and in the world in which she lives, adults are not really bothered(mind you she is only sixteen) so it is completely normal in her world to go crazy from time to time. She does not do drugs and her biggest task is to maintain her status as the queen bee in her high school.
No matter whatever she is going through, eventually her number one priority is be staying at the top of the totem pole in her school and is clearly quite proud of it. Her other goal is to attend Yale University after she graduates and then become the trophy wife and settle down. She argues against being like her mother but wants to marry a guy like she did to her father. So how does Blair cope with all of this?
Simple, by putting other people down. She is not afraid to do it and constantly does it during the entire show. And clearly uses alcohol to cope with her problems.
What is Blair’s problem?
During the first season of Gossip Girl, we are shown the snippets in form of flashbacks of her past treatments. Blair’s eating habits remain normal for the first few episodes, but after being exposed to various stressors, her eating habits go awry again.
At times she would pick at food but later would binge on whatever she found in the kitchen. Also, her best mate Serena and Blair’s mother once bring up the discussion of her past treatments and talk amongst them that her symptoms are returning. Blairtotally negates them and ignores whatever fact-worthy points her friend and her mother make about her eating.
Each time she fights with Serena or her mother, her eating problems return immediately and her lack of control over her eating habits makes life hell for her. Specifically in one incident, on thanksgiving, she has a huge brawl with her mother about her father. Her mother hides the fact that her father would be coming to the town for holiday. She becomes exclusively snappy at her mother.
During the Thanksgiving dinner, she keeps picking at her meal. When her mother tells her to choose a dessert from the kitchen, she storms off to the kitchen and finds an apple pie. She wants to eat that apple pie but instead of eating a portion of it, she looks at it for some time and then begins to binge on it and consumes the entire pie. After finishing the pie, she immediately runs to the bathroom and starts to puke purposely. Blair seems to have an issue with her self-image, the binging and purging are a kind of coping mechanism for her. When she is done with puking, she calls Serena and cries on her shoulder. This incident is not the only one about Blair’s coping mechanism of binging and purging but remains a critical moment in reference to Blair’s illness.
Which eating disorder Blair is suffering from?
When it comes to diagnosis, it seems that Blair is suffering from Bulimia Nervosa.
Let us look at what exactly Bulimia Nervosa is:
- Repetitive episodes of binge eating. What does an episode of binge eating mean?
If you eat in a specific period of time, say within a three-hour period, and the amount of food is comparatively larger than usually people would eat when taking a meal in the same period of time and under similar situations.
If you do not possess the ability to stop eating whenever you want, and during an episode, you seem to have a lack of control despite knowing that you are eating too much.
- After binge eating, using methods to avoid gaining weight
After the person eats unusually large amounts of food in a given period of time they often indulge in behaviours to avoid gaining weight. These behaviours can be like vomiting on purpose, using diuretics, laxatives, etc.
Blair has both these symptoms often depicted in the show
Blair Waldorf shows both these symptoms during the Thanksgiving part when she had an episode – it was evident that she was not able to stop eating that pie and she probably did not consider if it was a pie or a lasagna.
Other symptoms of Bulimia would be to indulge in compensatory behavior so as to escape weight gain(because the patient is concerned about their body image).
Such methods can be (but are not limited to)
- Self-induced throwing up of food
- Misuse of laxatives
- Taking diuretics
- Excessive exercise.
For Blair Waldorf, her chosen methods to prevent weight gain are purging the food out, that is, self-induced puking as well as fasting, the episodes of fasting can be sometimes loosely grouped with Anorexia Nervosa.
The binge-eating episodes can occur, almost once a week for three months to say the least.
The show Gossip Girl does not say much about when Blair has the onset of Bulimia Nervosa, but when she is only sixteen, we see that Blair’s mother discusses her previous treatment for Bulimia, so our assumption is that the disorder has been there for some years now.
Body shape and weight: Bulimia Nervosa
Another symptom of Bulimia Nervosa is evaluating yourself based on your body’s shape and weight.
Blair clearly does this. She is super self-conscious all the time about how she looks, more than that – how her body looks and how much it weighs. Her mother actually points out sometimes that she needs to take a look at her body weight, which can very well be a trigger for those suffering from Bulimia, and this we conjecture that would have been one of the reasons regarding her consciousness about Body Image.
- Blair eats very little and continues picking at the food while having each meal, until the next onset of a Bulimic episode sets in and the binging and puking occurs again.
How accurate is the portrayal of Bulimia Nervosa in the series?
- Somebody who does not know anything about the disorder can learn about the basic characteristics of this disorder. The audience can also understand and grasp that not each time the patient suffering from this disorder is in control of what they are eating and how much they are eating. The episode of the disorder can be triggered by issues about which the patient is sensitive, just like any other illness. This is an accurate portrayal of the symptom.
- However, we would like to counterpoint that the seriousness of this disorder has been quite undermined. The disorder has been mislabeled because it has been a cause of her poor mental health, so if anything triggering happens in her life, which leads to depression will most certainly notch up to an episode. Gossip girl does not comment on her way of dealing with problems in her life and hence misses the point of severity.
Treatment for Blair’s eating disorder: Bulimia nervosa
After examining Blair Waldorf’s eating disorder, it would be better, to begin with, Behavioral therapy sessions. Blair was not taught how to manage her emotions and deal with whatever problems occurred in her life. So therapy could help her be more sure of herself and her emotions, it will also help her how to deal with body image issues and perhaps also get her into an exercise program, to maintain her physical health so that she feels more in shape and healthy. her mother and her friends could keep a tab on her eating habits but understanding her illness completely will help her know that there are other methods of dealing with problems in life.
Also, making Blair take a low dosage of antidepressants or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and checking her progress minutely while she is on her medication can also contribute quite much to the treatment. And what is more important in the case of Blair, is communication between her mother and herself. They both need to come to a common ground and need to discuss her illness in a healthier manner. These treatments can help Blair win over this disorder and she would eventually learn how to discuss her feelings and problems and not binge and purge as a coping mechanism.
Frequently Asked Questions: Does Blair Waldorf Have An Eating Disorder?
What are the three warning signs of Bulimia?
Warning signs of Bulimia are:
- Episodes of binge eating
- Self-induced puking
- Misuse of diuretics and laxatives
- Complaining about body image
- Showing guilt and shame about binging
- Feeling annoyed and self-conscious about body image.
What does Bulimia do to your face?
Bulimia can cause facial swelling, and sufferers find this most stressful. Bulimia can make people’s faces look fat due to the swelling. But what is actually happening is your body’s reaction to purging and the dehydration it causes.
Does bulimia cause hair loss?
Bulimia causes dehydration due to frequent puking means that your body lacks water and because of this your hair can become dry and fizzy. You may or may not experience hair loss. Dry skin and nails are also another persisting side effects of Bulimia.
What are the five signs of Anorexia?
Warning signs of anorexia nervosa are
- Not eating enough, and consequently being underweight.
- Your self-esteem is based on how your body looks
- You are scared shitless of gaining weight
- Your hair keeps falling out
- Disruption in your sleeping pattern.
Do models have eating disorders?
Models often suffer from eating disorders as the fashion industry is so obsessed with Size zero and various studies have shown that around 39% of models suffer from one or the other kind of eating disorders.
Who is more likely to have an eating disorder?
Adolescent girls and young women are more likely to suffer from eating disorders as compared to adolescent boys and young men. This does not mean that men don’t have an eating disorder, men can also have eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, etc.