Amanda Crew is an actress, activist, and eating disorder survivor. She’s graced the screens of numerous television shows and movies and is best known as the female lead in the HBO series Silicon Valley.
She also sits on the board of Project Heal. She’s passionate about using her voice to campaign for equity and accessibility in eating disorder care. Amanda is spreading the message that eating disorders affect people of all ethnicities, genders, and body sizes – and ALL are deserving of care.
On a recent episode of The Recovery Warrior Shows, Amanda shared her story and discussed the importance of being a responsible recovery advocate as a thin white woman.
Amanda Crew’s Eating Disorder Journey
After struggling with disordered eating for many years, things intensified for Amanda in the late 2000’s. She moved from Canada to Los Angeles to work as an actress where she was submerged in the Hollywood culture that focuses on appearance and dieting. She then found herself over-exercising, and under-eating on a regular basis.
Despite this, Amanda didn’t even realize she was struggling. She had a limited understanding of eating disorders, and thought you only had one if you had to be put on a feeding tube. But her experience, like most people with eating disorders, didn’t match this description.
I didn’t think I had an eating disorder because I was still eating. I just thought I was good at dieting.
One day while hiking, Amanda was so low on energy that she tripped and fractured her knee. This accident was a wake-up call, forcing her to confront the feelings and thoughts she’d been numbing with her eating disorder. It was a moment of truth, and she started to make changes.
Eating Disorder Advocacy
After many years in recovery, Amanda Crew joined the board of Project Heal in 2017. She’s now committed to using her celebrity platform to share her story to help others. Amanda feels a responsibility to show up ethically as a thin, white, cis woman in the eating disorder world, where so many voices are silenced for not fitting this stereotype.
She credits much of her learning in this area to Dr. Rosales Meza, who has helped her confront the behaviors, mindsets, and qualities of white supremacy both inside and outside the eating disorder world. Amanda also stresses the importance of naming and paying the people she learns from. She wants to avoid perpetuating the cycle of extracting information from marginalized identities, and pushing them out of the narrative.
Anything I’ve learned about showing up ethically and responsibly as a thin white woman, I learned from a woman of color.
Amanda acknowledges that like recovery, being a responsible advocate is a learning journey. Though she’s made mistakes (and expects to make more), she promises to always hold herself accountable and keep improving. Amanda feels that reckoning with an internalized white colonial mindset is some of the most challenging and rewarding work she’s ever done.
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