Recently playing a role in the blockbuster Iron Man 3 film, Ashley Hamilton has certainly enjoyed a fair share of success over the past few years. With wealth and fame following, Ashley has recently opened up about a very personal and intimate challenge in his life: bulimia and anorexia.
Ashley’s problems with these eating disorders have persisted since his teenage years and are not the only problems faced by the Hollywood star. Difficulties in past years with drugs and alcohol have plagued the young star’s younger life. With six years of sobriety under his belt, Ashley has told press that he feels there remains the challenge of publicly admitting and conquering his eating disorder difficulties. While Ashley has disclosed that the eating disorder issues were prevalent before his drug and alcohol problems he claims they may be linked in his circumstance, stating “I believe it was my problem before I got into drugs and alcohol. I used the drugs and alcohol to control the food addiction."
The subject of fame places a unique spin on the difficulties an individual faces when fighting an eating disorder. Such disorders are incredibly intimate in nature and are founded on the way the person views their body and accepts it. The attention placed on any famous person is massive, invasive and hugely critical. The most minor details are analysed, picked apart and plastered across magazines in different interpretations, leaving little privacy and personal space for the individual in question. This pressure and can play havoc with the chances of conquering an eating disorder, giving little room for respite. The choice to open up to the public is one of immense bravery on Ashley’s part, as it will invite hordes of interview requests and further give himself to the public eye.
Ashley’s personal relationship with the enormous Hollywood actor and star of Iron Man 3 Robert Downey Jr. was, Ashley reported, of immense value and appreciation in his difficulties concerning drugs, alcohol and his eating. Robert Downey Jr. reportedly gave Ashley “the opportunity to trust in me sober-wise and give me a shot of this magnitude. I'll forever owe him for that.”
The coverage of celebrities’ health and bodies is one of huge profit and controversy. With paparazzi practicing increasingly invasive tactics in order to attain the latest news story or photograph stars are being left less of themselves as personal, with more and more being given up to the public eye in the name of gossip and celebrity news. The seemingly blind expectation for this pressure to be put up with is arguably immoral, with not all able to bear the weight of such scrutiny. The choice to “go public” with such a personal affliction speaks well of Ashley Hamilton, but also invites even more attention as fans and the press seek reports of his progress in this most personal of battles.