Taylor Momsen and her rumored eating disorder

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In this blog post titled ‘Taylor Momsen and her rumored eating disorder,’ we will be talking about who Taylor Momsen is, what eating disorders are, their symptoms, and if the rumors surrounding Taylor Momsen are true.

Taylor Momsen and her rumored eating disorder

Taylor Momsen is the actor who played the role of Jenny Humphrey in the show ‘Gossip Girl’ and due to her extremely thin body, it seems like she has an eating disorder.

There were speculations around her eating disorder which will be explored in the later section, before that let us know who is Taylor Momsen, what are eating disorders, different types of eating disorders, etc. 

Who is Taylor Momsen?

She might not be very famous to the Gen Z’. But well if you are a millennial and grew up watching Gossip Girl then you probably already know the girl who played the role of a social climber Jennifer “Jenny” Tallulah Humphrey. 

Taylor Momsen was born in St. Louis, Missouri in the year 1993 on July 26. She was born to Michael and Collette Momsen and she has a younger sister, Sloane Momsen, who is also in the same profession. Her ancestors are Russian. 

Though she was raised a Roman Catholic and studied in Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School for elementary school and later Herbert Hoover Middle School in Potomac, Maryland, she says now that as she was growing older, she was not a religious person. 

She pursued dance at the Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis. Momsen said she has been modeling since the age of two and acting since the age of three.  

In the year 2000, Momsen played the role of Cindy Lou Who in Dr. Seuss’ ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’, which turned out to be her breakout role. 

In the year 2007, she landed a role and became a main cast in the series Gossip girl. But her appearance in the show became less and less since the 4th season and only returned in a guest role in seasons’ 5 and 6. 

What are Eating disorders?

Feeding and eating disorders are characterized by eating and feeding related behaviors which are problematic or include disruption of eating in a healthy fashion, that might cause changes in absorption or consumption of food which negatively impacts psychosocial functioning or physical health. 

The DSM-5 recognizes rumination disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, pica, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder, in feeding and eating disorders. Let us now summarize these eating disorders in brief. 

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder 

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is an eating and feeding disorder. Children suffering from ARFID are extremely picky eaters and have little to no interest in eating food. They eat only a limited variety of selective foods, which leads to improper growth and not reaching the required nutritional levels. 

It usually develops earlier than other eating disorders. Unlike anorexia and bulimia, which are more commonly seen in girls, boys are more susceptible to ARFID. The symptoms include nutritional deficiencies, reduced or no appetite, lack of interest in having food etc. 

People suffering from ARFID may not feel hungry or may be tired by the smell, taste, texture, or color of food. Some kids are also scared of pain, choking, or vomiting when they eat. When food restriction or avoidance is based on the your own sensory features such as sensitivity to appearance, texture, color, smell, etc., then behavior during these conditions can be described as “restrictive eating,” “selective eating,” and “food neophobia” 

Pica 

Pica is an eating disorder in which people compulsively eat nonfood items. Dirt, clay, and flaking paint are among the most common items ingested. Less common items include glue, hair, cigarette ashes, and feces. 

Pica is more common among children, affecting 10% to 30% of young kids aged 1 to 6. It also occurs in children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID). 

At times, pregnant women also crave strange items, especially nonfood items. For these women, pica most commonly involves eating dirt and the condition may be related to an iron and zinc deficiency. 

The symptoms of Pica include stomach pain, irregular bowel movements, blood in the stool etc, apart from the obvious compulsive ingestion of the items under question. 

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa which is often simply called anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by an abnormal body weight which is very low, an unavoidable fear of gaining weight, and also having a distorted perception of what a healthy weight can be. 

People with anorexia nervosa place a high effort on controlling their weight and shape, using extreme and often threatening efforts that tend to significantly affect their daily lives.

To avoid weight gain or to promote weight loss, people with anorexia severely restrict the quantity of food they eat. They control their calorie intake by purging after eating or by using diuretics, laxatives, diet aids, or enemas. 

They may also exercise more than they are supposed to so that they can lose weight. And no matter how much weight has been lost, the person still continues to be scared of weight gain.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia  nervosa is commonly referred to as bulimia. It is a serious and potentially life-threatening eating disorder. People with bulimia might secretly binge eat large amounts of food with no control over the amount they are eating and then induce vomit, trying to get rid of the extra calories gained in an unhealthy way.

Similar to that of people with anorexia, to get rid of calories taken in and also to prevent weight gain, people with bulimia use different methods. 

You may regularly self-induce vomiting or misuse laxatives, weight-loss supplements, diuretics or enemas after binging very similar to that of people with anorexia. Or periods of alternation can take place when you try to completely starve yourself. 

When a person has bulimia, they are preoccupied with their weight and body shape. They may judge themselves quite severely and harshly as relating to their self-perceived flaws. 

Because it is related to self-image and not just about food, bulimia can be hard to manage. However, proper treatment can help a person feel better about themselves and therefore adopt healthier eating patterns and avoid serious complications.

Rumination disorder 

Rumination disorder, also called rumination syndrome is a condition where people repeatedly and unintentionally bring up, that is regurgitate undigested or partially digested food from the stomach, rechew it, and then either swallow it or spit it out.

Reportedly it does not taste acidic because the food hasn’t yet been digested yet, so it tastes normal unlike how vomit tastes. Rumination typically occurs soon after every meal. The statistics regarding the number of people suffering from this condition is not known. Treatment includes behavioral therapy or medications.

Binge-eating disorder

Binge-eating disorder like other disorders is a serious feeding disorder in which a person frequently consumes unusually large amounts of food and feels unable to stop eating. Though many people overeat and it is quite common, people with binge-eating disorder find it hard to stop even when they start feeling uncomfortable. They frequently avoid social situations because they fear that they may be unable to control their eating and feel embarrassed in front of them. 

Causes and risk factors of eating disorders 

The exact causes and risk factors that may be leading to the development of eating and feeding disorders are not known. 

There may be many causes like that of other mental health issues, such as: Genetics and biology and/or psychological or emotional health. 

The risk factors however might include family history; that is, the eating disorder is likely to occur if someone in the family is suffering or previously suffered from any eating disorders.

People who have other mental health conditions are also at the risk of developing eating disorders, especially people suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression and Intellectual disability. Other risk factors include feelings of stress, guilt and failure in important life events. 

Rumors surrounding Taylor Momsen’s eating disorder

Rumors surrounding Taylor Momsen regarding her eating disorder started off as people were scrutinizing her body and looks as she was growing up. 

When asked about whether she was suffering from an eating disorder, Taylor swiftly denied the rumors and said that she had always been very thin. She says she has good metabolism and also says that she frequently walks around because she also lives in New York and prefers taking walks rather than a car. 

Let us see what she said when asked about suffering from an eating disorder in her own words back in 2008; 

“I’m just kind of naturally thin. My mom’s really thin, and I’m tall. Good genes… I just eat healthy. I walk a lot because I live in New York. So I try to walk a lot instead of taking cabs… I should probably start working out or something. I dance, so I guess that’s a full workout. I’ve been dancing since I was three, so I guess that would be it.” 

So any and all claims about Taylor Momsem suffering from an eating disorder does not seem to be true as she never admitted to be suffering from one. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What happened to Taylor Momsen?

During her 4th season in Gossip girl, Taylor seemed to have completely lost her interest in acting. People saw less and less of her. She decided that acting is not what she wanted and decided to pursue her dream in music. Pretty reckless, her band made some pretty successful albums and they recently released one in 2021. 

How old is Taylor Momsen?

Taylor Momsen was born in St. Louis, Missouri in the year 1993 on July 26. So she is 28 years old now. 

Can anorexics get pregnant?

women with anorexia nervosa do become pregnant and are more likely to have pregnancies that are unplanned. This might be because of menstruation, absence or irregularity. 

How long can anorexia last?

Anorexia can last for about 3 to 8 years. The duration of course depends on recorded cases and the situation around it. 

Does body image cause eating disorders? 

People suffering from body-image problems do have the risk of suffering from eating disorders because a lot of these disorders have to do with frequent misconceptions regarding their weight. 

What is the death rate of eating disorders?

Among the people who do not take any treatment, the death rate is about 20%. Eating disorders can be quite fatal and life threatening, please consult a mental health professional in order to get proper support. 

References 

Abraham, S., & Llewellyn-Jones, D. (1984). Eating disorders: The facts. New York: OxfordUniversity Press.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

https://gossipgirl.fandom.com/wiki/Taylor_Momsen

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