Being in the spotlight means that stars have intense scrutiny about their appearances. And when you’re a dancer, the pressure is heightened since your body is your tool. This has unfortunately proved true for Dancing With The Stars pro Cheryl Burke. She’s faced her unfair share of criticism about her body and now she’s opening up about her internal struggles as well.
As reported by People, Cheryl revealed that she suffers from body dysmorphia while she was a guest on the podcast HypochondriActor. According to the Mayo Clinic, body dysmorphia is a mental health disorder. It presents when a person can’t stop thinking about a perceived flaw. This causes anxiety, distress and difficulty functioning in daily life.
Cheryl began, “Now that I’m sober, I have body dysmorphia because I’m a dancer. I mean, tell me one dancer that doesn’t.” She continued, “So when I look at myself in the mirror and someone says, ‘Oh, you look amazing,’ I see someone who is overweight and, in my eyes and in my way of judging myself, not amazing. It’s like no matter what I look like.”
The two-time DWTS champ admitted, “I knew I had a problem when I was going back through old seasons and I was pretty skinny and yet I was still giving wardrobe hassle in our fittings. Not hassling them but more like, ‘Oh, I feel like s—’ or ‘Oh my God, look at my fat roll.’ And it’s just so ridiculous, right?”
When asked what her “tipping point” was, Cheryl noted that it was when her weight became the topic of conversation. “Not only was my dance coach just harder on me, but because I’m naturally curvy, like I have hip bones, it is what it is. But also, the nation decided to call me fat about season seven or eight when I got off my birth control and I retained 15 lbs. of water weight, which I thought was going to obviously be the opposite — normally people lose weight when they get off birth control,” she explained.
“So I decided to get off of it right at the beginning of the season and I gained weight like in less than a week, literally 15 lbs. of water weight. And then it was a big deal, like ‘Cheryl’s too fat for TV,’ ” she recalled. “Ever since then, it’s been really nonstop. I have to be very conscious and kind of take a step back and to see that happen.”
Cheryl went on to clarify how the disorder affects her. “So, you know, it will ruin my mood. So let’s say I have a fitting and it doesn’t fit the way [I want]. Or if I feel bloated, like what normal humans go through, it will affect my mood for the rest of the day,” she divulged.
[Photo Credit: ABC/Maarten de Boer]