Julie Bowen Reveals She Struggled With An Eating Disorder In Her Teens: ‘I Was Starving’

Julie Bowen was constantly worried about 'making mistakes' which, she says, correlated to her not eating.

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Julie Bowen, 52, revealed she had an eating disorder as a teenager. The Modern Family alum revealed it was a “coping mechanism” on the Tamron Hall Show, explaining that there was a correlation between stress about both “making mistakes” and “struggling” with puberty that lead to her being “starving” over not eating. “I wasn’t liking that feeling of changing,” she explained to Tamron Hall.

Back in the 80s, topics like eating disorders were also not as readily discussed. “We didn’t talk about anything, and it just sort of felt like… dirty. And I realized, when you’re really starving, you don’t have any feelings,” she recalled. “It’s kind of amazing. The body goes, ‘We don’t have time for that.’ So I think it was a coping mechanism,” she said to the talk show host.

During the interview, she also compared her experience as a teen to that of her teenage sons now. “You know, it’s funny because I have three sons, and they’re all so different. But I see one of them is very similar to me, and I see him always trying to color inside the lines and get the A+,” she also said, referencing her kids Oliver, 15, and twins John and Gustav, 13.

“And I think [as a teen] I interpreted being messy or making mistakes or having an a– or like fat coming out of the top of your jeans [as] a symbol that you couldn’t contain yourself. That you were too much, and that to be good meant staying inside the lines — literally and figuratively. Keeping it tight,” she reasoned. “And that’s my attitude: tight. And by the way, that is not fun. It’s not a fun way to live.”

Julie Bowen is seen at the Baby2Baby gala. (Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock)

Later in life, Julie explained that she experienced body shaming after giving birth to her twins, now 13, back in 2009. “I was lucky enough to get a little bit of fame and recognition before everybody had a cell phone in their pocket and a camera all the time. I had my twins in 2009, and I was in Hawaii shooting Modern Family. It was less than a year later, and I still had like the baby gunk,” she began.

“I was working and breastfeeding, and I jumped in the ocean with my husband at the time wearing a bikini — no one was around — and by the time we got up to the room, there had been paparazzi like in the rocks hidden away, and it was the nastiest. Like, ‘What is wrong with her? This is disgusting’,” she remembered of the interaction.