Kelsea Ballerini Shares Battle with Eating Disorder and Body Dysmorphia

In her new poetry book Feel Your Way Through, Kelsea Ballerini opens up about her struggles with body dysmorphia and an eating disorder as a teenager.

In her poem, “Kangaroo”, Kelsea writes that like many girls she had “body image issues” when she was a teen and they were intensified when boys at school started calling her “kangaroo” because of her “belly and little legs.”

She told People  that after a performance on the Today Show in 2015 she “saw an article pop up, and it said, ‘Ballerini debuts baby bum. I reverted back to that 12-year-old version of me but thought: Either you’re going to get triggered by this all the time, or you’re going to get to a point where you’re okay enough to look past it.”

Today, Kelsea says, “I’m in a much healthier spot, and I’m much more gentle with how I talk to myself and my body, There are still days where I revert back to being that 12-year-old, and I have to catch myself, and hold myself accountable to the work I’ve done.”

Kelsea has fired back against body shamers in the past.

She hopes the book will help others. “When you’re able to talk about things, you can feel shame and keep it hidden, or you can be vulnerable and connect with people and heal together,” she said. “That’s why I air out a couple of my dark secrets in this book.”

Read more of People’s chat with Kelsea here. 

(Warning: the article contains mentions of specific eating disorder behaviors that may be triggering to those who are struggling.)

Kelsea also sat down with Reese Witherspoon to talk about body image, female support systems, and getting to know yourself as you get older.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with an eating disorder text “NEDA” to 741741 to be connected with a trained volunteer at Crisis Text Line. Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 support via text message to individuals who are struggling with mental health, including eating disorders, and are experiencing crisis situations.