We ask: Was there really a need for Halsey to say sorry for sharing a photo that showed the effects of eating disorder?

Halsey eating disorder
Halsey has always been open about her mental health. (Getty Images)

American singer-songwriter Halsey connected with her fans on Sunday through an array of never-seen-before photos of herself as she took park in the trending “post a picture of” challenge on Instagram.

The 26-year-old artist wrote “ask me to post a picture of” with a blank caption, asking fans to fill it in with things they wanted to see from her.

It was all fun at first, as Halsey granted a fan’s request to see her pink wig. She also shared behind the scene photo of her Forget Me Too collab with Machine Gun Kelly, as well as her normal quarantine day look.

But the supposedly fun interaction with her 22.5 million followers made an unexpected turn when Halsey posted a shot of herself at her “lowest point”, showing a mirror shot she snapped amid her battle with an eating disorder.

Halsey, a New Jersey native captioned the shot with TW:ED, short for Trigger Warning: Eating Disorder, and encouraged her followers in need to “Ask for help”.

The Bad at Love artist has always been open about her mental and physical struggles. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine last year, she revealed that she had checked into medical centers twice for bipolar disorder.

Halsey’s photo did not go down with a lot of those who saw it, as people starting slamming her on social media. The talented singer had to delete the photo after knowing that it was blown out of proportion.

One Twitter user posted a series of tweets against the artist, saying Halsey should not give education on a topic, such as eating disorder, which she doesn’t have knowledge about it. The user already deleted her tweets, and set her account to private.

Another user slammed Halsey saying, “I have had an eating disorder and prefer people to be real and raw. I’m sorry but trigger warning culture goes too far so many times, I don’t care if my opinion is unpopular at this point.” One stated, “I’ll take that as a no, you’ve never experienced an eating disorder. You’re sounding a little ableist today.”

Another commented, “posting your bodychecks at your lowest weight is not a good way of inspiring disordered people to recover and idk why these “recovery posts” still do this. i saw halsey’s ig story with her bodycheck, and all i could think of was how i wanna look like *that*”

With all the hateful comments thrown at her on social media for posting a raw photo of herself depicting her eating disorder, Halsey posted her apology on Twitter.

Halsey tweeted, “TW: disordered eating,” adding, “I am very sorry for posting a photo of myself depicting my struggle with ED without a sufficient trigger warning.”

The musician continued, “I was very nervous to post it and didn’t think properly. I had positive intentions. I would never want to harm someone who shares my struggle.”

In another post, she explained that she’s going to take some time off of social media to process everything that happened after a supposedly fun game. “with that being said im gonna log off now because this has turned into something I am not emotionally equipped to handle for the time being. I hope that’s okay,” Halsey wrote

Many people on Twitter also came to the artist’s defense, saying that the Halsey didn’t need to apologize for having an eating disorder nor for sharing her story about it.

One user stated, “People really need to stop expecting entertainers to manage everyone’s emotions for them, it’s awful. they aren’t therapists. they get triggered and they get overwhelmed and they have trauma like everyone else. I hate cancel culture it’s so annoying.”

Another said, “I feel like you make this woman apologize for everything. Sometimes your triggers aren’t anyone’s else problems. She has the right to post and deal with her own problems.”

One user told the artist, “No please don’t be sorry. As a 15-year-old girl who is struggling with an eating disorder it’s nice to know someone I look up too for so long actually knows what it’s like to go through this makes me so proud. So please don’t be sorry because you’re helping me.”

What’s an eating disorder?

According to Healthline, eating disorders are complex mental health conditions that cause unhealthy eating habits. In severe cases, eating disorders can cause serious health consequences and may even result in death if left untreated.

Though eating disorders can affect people of any gender at any stage in life, they’re most often reported in adolescents and young women. In fact, up to 13% of youth may experience at least one eating disorder by the age of 20.

In the United States alone, an estimated 20 million women and 10 million men have or have had an eating disorder at some point in their life

Experts believe that eating disorders may be caused by a variety of factors – genetics, personality traits (neuroticism, perfectionism, and impulsivity), peer pressure, cultural preferences and exposure to media.

There are six common types of eating disorders, each have different symptoms and effects, according to an article at healthline.com.

Anorexia nervosa

People with anorexia generally view themselves as overweight, even if they’re dangerously underweight. They tend to constantly monitor their weight, avoid eating certain types of foods, and severely restrict their calories. Anorexia can be very damaging to the body. Over time, individuals living with it may experience the thinning of their bones, infertility, brittle hair and nails, and the growth of a layer of fine hair all over their body. In severe cases, anorexia can result in brain, heart or multi-organ failure and death.

Bulimia nervosa

People with bulimia frequently eat unusually large amounts of food in a specific period of time. Each binge eating episode usually continues until the person becomes painfully full. Binges can happen with any type of food, but mostly occur with foods the individual would normally avoid. Side effects of bulimia may include an inflamed and sore throat, swollen salivary glands, worn tooth enamel, tooth decay, acid reflux, irritation of the gut, severe dehydration, and hormonal disturbances. In severe cases, bulimia can also create an imbalance in levels of electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and calcium. This can cause a stroke or heart attack.

Binge eating disorder

This is believed to be one of the most common eating disorders, especially in the United States. It typically begins during adolescence and early adulthood, although it can develop later on. They typically eat unusually large amounts of food in relatively short periods of time and feel a lack of control during binges. People with binge eating disorder often have overweight or obesity. This may increase their risk of medical complications linked to excess weight, such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes

Pica

Individuals with pica crave non-food substances, such as ice, dirt, soil, chalk, soap, paper, hair, cloth, wool, pebbles, laundry detergent, or cornstarch. This disorder is most frequently observed in children, pregnant women, and individuals with mental disabilities. Individuals with pica may be at an increased risk of poisoning, infections, gut injuries, and nutritional deficiencies. Depending on the substances ingested, pica may be fatal.

Rumination disorder

It describes a condition in which a person regurgitates food they have previously chewed and swallowed, re-chews it, and then either re-swallows it or spits it out. This rumination typically occurs within the first 30 minutes after a meal. Unlike medical conditions like reflux, it’s voluntary.

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder

The term replaces what was known as a “feeding disorder of infancy and early childhood,” a diagnosis previously reserved for children under 7 years old. Although ARFID generally develops during infancy or early childhood, it can persist into adulthood. What’s more, it’s equally common among men and women. Individuals with this disorder experience disturbed eating either due to a lack of interest in eating or distaste for certain smells, tastes, colors, textures, or temperatures.

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