Life Health & Wellbeing

Tuesday 12 November 2019

'I was anorexic in school so I lost a couple of years of my life' - actress Clelia Murphy

Clelia Murphy on The Late Late Show
Clelia Murphy on The Late Late Show
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Actress Clelia Murphy has opened up about her battle with negative body image as a young woman.

The Dancing with the Stars contestant spoke about being anorexic in school and how she overcame her issues with body image.

When she joined the line-up for the dance show, she had said she was doing it to "lose a stone and half" but on Friday's Late Late Show she told Ryan Tubridy, "Actually, what it is and what I should have been clear about is it's about getting fit."

The former Fair City star added, "It's not about what you look like on the outside.  It's about how you feel on the inside.  Losing weight or putting on weight, it's not what you put in your mouth, it's what you have in your head."

She said she had experience of severe issues as a teenager of 17 and 18.

"I was anorexic in school so I lost a couple of years of my life.  I had to repeat my Leaving Cert," she told host Tubridy.

"As a young woman at 17 I thought that if I was thin that would make me happy and I was only concerned with the outside.  It's not about the outside, it's about the inside.

"I had a moment on the 39 bus going into town and I thought to myself, I look to all intents and purposes - that heroin chic was in - I look fashionable, but I've never been so miserable, so this is not for me anymore."

Clelia revealed that he mother was a great support for her at the time.

"My mother put it very well.  She said, 'Look, if you had a car you look after your car, you put the petrol into it, you put the diesel into it, you get it serviced and you've got to look after your body like that'."

Clelia now has a daughter of her own and is conscious of the pressures young women are facing today.

"In a world where you have the filters and the hashtags and learning how to put on make-up, the thing that I worry about with my daughter is it's about being yourself.  Everybody else is taken.

"When you're looking at Instagram and all these things, that doesn't really exist.  Learn to take off the make up properly, learn how to be happy in your skin. 

"It doesn't matter about your bum.  It matters how you are to yourself and to other people around you," she said.

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