Nicole Scherzinger health: X Factor star’s struggle growing up set off by body dysmorphia

Nicole Scherzinger, 41, is on the judging panel for this year’s The X Factor: Celebrity – another chance for her to flaunt her quirky catchphrases and witty remarks. The star’s apparent fearlessness is the envy of many, but over the last few years the singer has opened up about her struggles with body dysmorphia and eating disorders in the past.


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As part of the Child Mind Institute’s #MyYoungerSelf mental health awareness campaign, Nicole shared how she wished she could tell her younger self that all the hardships she went through were preparing her for something bigger.

She said: “Growing up I really struggled with feeling like I fit in. I even had a hard time feeling like I fit into my own skin.

“I was just really hard on myself, I had a lot of struggles with self-esteem and a lot of insecurities and later on that resulted in me having eating disorders because of my body dysmorphia.

“I was just really hard on myself growing up and I didn’t like myself very much.”

The singer rose to fame during her 20s, appearing in pop girl group The Pussycat Dolls.

Formed in 2003, the band lasted seven years before splitting in 2010.

Nicole then earned herself a spot on the judging panel for The X Factor and appeared on the West End revival of the musical Cats.

The star added if she could give advice to her younger self, she’d tell her the challenges she was facing were preparing her for something big.

She said: “I would tell may younger self that you are perfect just the way God made you. You are precious and you have purpose.

“You’re going to go through a lot of pain and struggles in life but there is purpose.

“You’re going to go through a lot of pain and struggles in life but there is purpose in that pain and there’s a bigger plan.

“And when you go through those struggles and challenges it’s going to be preparing you and protecting you, Nicole.


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“And even though you feel like you don’t fit in it’s because you’re not meant to fit in, you’re meant to stand out.

“Just hold on, don’t give up. Don’t let anyone else, not even yourself, get in the way of who you are and who you were created to be.”

What causes eating disorders and how do you know if someone’s got one?

The exact cause of eating disorders is not known, but the NHS says you’re more likely to get one if:

  • You or a member of your family has a history of eating disorders, depression, or alcohol or drug addiction
  • You have been criticised for your eating habits, body shape or weight
  • You’re overly concerned with being slim, particularly if you also feel pressure from society or your job – for example, ballet dancers, jockeys, models or athletes
  • You have anxiety, low self-esteem, an obsessive personality or are a perfectionist
  • You have been sexually abused

Signs of an eating disorder in someone else include:

  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Lying about how much and when they have eaten, or how much they weigh
  • Eating a lot of food very fast
  • Going to the bathroom a lot after eating, often returning looking flushed
  • Excessively or obsessively exercising
  • Avoiding eating with others
  • Cutting food into small pieces or eating very slowly
  • Wearing loose or baggy clothes to hide their weight loss

If you think you may have an eating disorder, even if you’re not sure, see a GP as soon as you can.

If you think someone else has an eating disorder, let them know you’re worried about them and encourage them to see a GP. You could offer to go along with them.

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