Mariel Hemingway Breaks Free Of A Family Legacy & Lifelong Eating Disorder

Mariel Hemingway Breaks Free Of A Family Legacy & Lifelong Eating Disorder


– There were some days when
I would look in the mirror and cry at the fact that
I thought about food. More than I thought about my children, I thought about food more
than I thought about anything. – So can you first start by just sharing how you feel right now? – I feel excited. I think not knowing is a wonderful, kind of scary place to be,
but it’s a good place to be. – Can you talk a little
bit about what you think your style says about you? – I’ve never felt very stylish. That’s been a big insecurity for me. When I was a young girl I
made a movie called Manhattan and Diane Keaton was in the movie, and she’s an icon of style. What it must be like to know that you want to look that way that you’re going to dress that way, that you’re going to you
know, wear your pants high and you’re going to put your belt on it, you’re going to cinch it up and you’re going to you
know wear those clothes and you know that’s your style. I never had that confidence. I’m okay with who I am now. I really actually like me and that took a lot of years to come by. I enjoy my life now in a way that I
didn’t even know how to. I didn’t know that you
could enjoy your life. I thought I was happy because I existed. And I had survived a family that most of them don’t survive. – What are assumptions
that people make about you based on your appearance? – People do assume that because I’m tall, blonde and healthy,
that I have no problems. I have a name and she
must be totally together and no problems in her life and wealthy. I mean, I had the childhood that I had, I come from seven
suicides, but it doesn’t. I know it doesn’t define me anymore. – Can I take off my jacket? – Yeah. – (laughs) I’m so hot. – What has been your biggest struggle? – Body image and food. Food was such an issue for me. There were some days when
I would look in the mirror and cry at the fact that
I thought about food, more than I thought about my children, I thought about food more
than I thought about anything. I watched my oldest sister Muffet, who is still alive and
is schizophrenic, bipolar and secondary suicidal tendencies. She was beautiful, she
was absolutely gorgeous, and then when she went on
medication, she became very heavy. My middle sister Margo, who was a model, she went from being like this girl in Idaho to being one of
the top models in the world. She began to spiral from
that kind of adulation and that kind of attention and as she spiraled she got heavy, and I also watch my father gain weight when he would drink a lot. So in my mind, if you got heavy that meant you’re crazy. And I really associated being heavy or fat or whatever it was, in my mind with, “I’ve lost control of myself, “if I could control my body,
I could control my life. “I could control my brain.” And it doesn’t work like obviously, but it tortured me. It tortured me for the longest time I would fast and then break the fast and eat boxes of, you know,
organic cereal. (laugh) It was back in the no fat days. So I didn’t eat fat for 20 years and counting the calories of it. I went through that stage
and I had to quit doing that, but I was so not healthy. I was so tortured, food tortured me and I would pray please just
relieve me from this obsession. Many years go by and I have kids and I’m still secretly doing that and pretending like I’m
going to raise, you know, healthy children and say,
“Oh, this is just your mom’s “issue, don’t worry about it.” I mean, from a kid to forty years, I was probably depressed
every day of my life and did not know it. And my family was depressed, and they were self medicating
their depression with alcohol. And I was self medicating depression with controlling everything in my life. And I didn’t make that correlation, until well into my 40s. My grandfather, Ernest
Hemingway took his life. His father took his life. My grandmother, which
is my middle name sake, Hadley, her father took his life. A great uncle, I think a great aunt, and possibly an uncle, though my cousin say
that it wasn’t suicide, and my sister Margo took her life in 1996 We’re having dinner at
my dad’s house in Idaho, and it was in the spring, I got the call “Is Mr. Hemingway there?” And my dad was like at
the stores something, and I said, “No, but this
is his daughter Mariel “may I help you?” Blah, blah, blah. And he said, “We believe that your
sister has taking her life” Or has committed suicide, and they said “Your sister Margo”, and I said, “Oh, you
mean my sister Muffet?” Because I thought, of course, that it was my sister who
was not mentally, you know, well. I thought sure that
he got the wrong name. They said, “It’s a possible
accidental overdose.” And my father never let that go, in his mind ’cause he had lost his father, in his mind it wasn’t suicide. It couldn’t be suicide. Not another person in his life leaving because he felt inadequate or that he did something wrong. So he never– he just like–
even when it came out publicly, it was suicide, all this time he was like, never, we never discussed it. And I feel so bad for my dad ’cause– because I know that when you are a child of somebody to take, I just
know from watching my father, you always feel like
you weren’t good enough to stick around for even
when you’re an adult, and his hearing started to go really badly after that. So interesting. Like, you don’t want to
hear you don’t– you know? – What was your personal response, so something like that happening and how out of control
that must have felt? – We had a very challenging relationship. So there was a lot of guilt around how I felt I’d been with her. It was almost like being an only child being the youngest, with these older siblings who were so different from me and their life seemed to unravel. They couldn’t Control it. You know, I kept thinking oh,
I’m making such good choices. I’m healthy and I’m this, and I’m going to eat just specific– – You thought you could will
yourself into not unraveling? – I would become obsessed
with holistic doctors to a point where I call them constantly. I tried to make everybody that I followed, my friend, so that I wouldn’t feel so bad about how much I needed them. I would get so obsessed with somebody that I thought if they died or something, I will fall apart. So I followed all these people. I’ve been in sweat lodge,
I’ve sweated, have chanted, but close to towards the end of me going through my guru, follow everybody stage. I went to India, it was this trip with all these really erudite, amazing humans. And we’re going to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. So he’s sitting next to me here and it was so fascinating
to watch somebody who’s so incredibly humble, intelligent and completely
didn’t care about what he had to say. It wasn’t about him speaking. And I get up and he takes his hand and he puts his hand
on my hand and he says, he looks me in the eye, he puts big a whole smile on his face and he says, “You’re okay.” (laughs) it was from that moment, that
my life started to change not because he did some spell on me – Yeah, – or didn’t move the
energy or did whatever it was because I finally heard myself, and
then what I realized was, I was my own guru, I was my own teacher, I was my own trainer. I could eat food. It was life changing. Because I really did know he was right. And what’s changed in my life is that I actually feel
as though I’m living in my self with those
revelations constantly kind of unveiling themselves to me, meaning I am present. I’m in an amazing relationship and I didn’t know those existed. You can’t share with another person. You can’t grow with another person until you’ve learned how to be you. There are some things that
I still am being tested on, like even right now. – Like what? – I didn’t know…it’s funny that this would be so embarrassing to me. I’m financially really
super challenge right now. And that’s a misconception about who I am. Like I’m part of a family that– you know, I’m not part of a family estate or anything like that. That’s kind of the last thing in my life. That is you know, like I
think that’s my sense of like are you really ready to
be free? my entire family, they didn’t survive, they didn’t survive, so if I
have everything, if I am okay, then I left all of them behind. – Oh my God. – Why in your body, in
your skin, in your journey, why is it a good place to be? – I mean the truth is if we can’t be in our own body where can we be? It’s a gift and that’s why I’m
so into being healthy truly, I used to actually
equivocate saying “Healthy” as being you know, like
that was a little bit of losing control, like,
“Oh, healthy people. “I want to be skinnier, “a little bit skinnier
than a health person.” I had some messed up like definitions in my mind
of what was going to make me feel good about this, about this body. And this body has been incredible to me. I mean, I’m blessed. I’ve been blessed, you know, and I didn’t give my body credit. I didn’t say thank you. I mean, that was in movies
where I played an athlete and I was able to do it. And I’m 57 and I can
still hike up mountains. He takes me rock climbing and I cry because I’m scared. But my body does that. And I never gave it credit
for being so amazing. It is so– they’re gifted. The fact that we get up every morning, and we eat food and we
do the things that we do and we abuse our bodies
and it still comes back. You know? And we don’t thank our bodies enough for getting this is the
vehicle for the journey. – I’m Lily – and I’m Elisa – and we’re the mother
daughter co founders of StyleLikeU. Thank you for tuning
into this week’s episode of The What’s Underneath Project brought to you by ThirdLove. – ThirdLove is a lingerie company that is dedicated to
offering bras for everybody no matter size, shape or age. – ThirdLove offers 78 sizes including exclusive half cup sizes. – We are so grateful to
ThirdLove for supporting us and bringing this new season of the what’s underneath project to life. – If you agree that facade separate us and being radically
honest brings us together help spread the movement
for self-acceptance by sharing this episode and subscribing to our YouTube channel. – And don’t forget to
click the bell so you’re aware of every time we drop a new episode.

91 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I sympathize with her so much. There is so much pain and at the same time so much strength. Whenever hateful thoughts about my own body pops up in my head I remember how ungrateful I am. My body takes me through this journey that is life without pain or illnesses and in such a graceful and beautiful way… I want to be more thankful and forgiven towards myself.

  2. I identify with finding comfort in myself late in life also
    THANK YOU
    Body dysmorphia almost under control these last few years

  3. Mariel Hemingway wow.. What a wonderful woman incredibly strong, brave and intelligent. Absolutely stunning, beautiful looking much younger than her years. Thank you for being so open and vulnerable x I’m on my own personal journey off falling in love with my own body.. Realising that I may have fed my mind my soul but I had truly neglected and abused my body with a terrible diet and lack of exercise. To becoming obese with comfort eating.. I am now slowly looking at my body loving it and nourishing this body I have been given, becoming healthier with good food. Real food and loving myself in this new way.. I have lost so much physical weight. Even realising that I used the weight to hide from others! Which makes no sense when I made myself twice my size!! We can all change a bad pattern in our lives we are all unique and wonderful in our own ways x

  4. I can't thank you enough for this video. My best friend took her life this year and I'm blaming myself. I feel strong again.

  5. I really really enjoyed watching this. I salute and thank you for your raw honesty about everything you’ve been through including the ways you used to punish yourself. As a 29 year old, I can relate. You are truly beautiful in every sense of the word and please know that your openness has been a great comfort to me and many others. What you’ve done in this video was not easy but please know I and many others deeply appreciate it. Sending you love from London, England. ❤️✌?

  6. Oh bless you Mariel, that was so powerful. Two take aways for me are the beautiful "you are ok" that finally began the real healing and when she said about the body being the 'vehicle for the journey'. That really rang loud and clear for me.x Thanks so much to all at Style like U, yet another amazing episode! Xxxx

  7. Mariel, you are a beautiful person. I am happy that you are a survivor and that you seem to have found inner peace.. Best wishes for where ever your path of life takes you from here.

  8. wow… how powerful. This is the first StyleLikeU confession that actually made me cry… Mariel reminds me once again how much are women programmed to not love themselves as they are, to not accept their shapes as they are, to always feel not good enough…. and how the liberation eventually comes with Menopause, when we do realize we were/are ALWAYS GOOD ENOUGH.

  9. I feel her and I feel for her so very much. Thank you so much for being that openly and honest with us. It helps, at least it helps me cause I'm so afraid to lose myself completely at the moment.

  10. Mariel, you are a daughter of Idaho, and have it's strength, wildness, and determination to survive and live free in your bones. Thank you for sharing your story.

  11. This was so so so beautiful. Thank you Mariel for being so vulnerable, open, and authentic❤️ your words have touched my heart

  12. Wow. I am out of breath.. with love, sisterhood, hurt. This is beautiful. Such raw honesty. Thank you thank you thank you for facilitating this!

  13. So beautiful and i can relate i feel like i have abused my body too much but im trying to be better now and im glad i watched this ❤️

  14. Thank you for all these beautiful women and their stories. This is my favorite channel on YouTube. Lots of love and gratitude for what you do. <3

  15. Thank you! This channel reminds me time and time again that I am not alone, that my experiences and feelings are valid and shared by many many people. The human experience isn't easy, but people like Mariel give me hope and enable me to see the beauty in all of the chaos. I needed this video today.

  16. Thank you! This channel reminds me time and time again that I am not alone, that my experiences and feelings are valid and shared by many many people. The human experience isn't easy, but people like Mariel give me hope and enable me to see the beauty in all of the chaos. I needed this video today.

  17. That is so long ago since I saw her in the movie star 80…. I was so in love with her! Good to see her again.???♥️

  18. When I first watched the trailer for this coming season I became really interested because a few more relatable "norm" styled individuals were included.. and I have (applying bold with a bang to the next word) not been disappointed. Although I have a deep love for seeing the wild, out there fashionistas you share with us, there's been something really beautiful in this group of individuals. More than ever this season has me thinking really "Whats underneath?" and that authenticity isn't tied necessarily to the bold, strikingly different or dramatic. Brief has been nailed!

  19. the heroine is very sympathetic, I wish she talked more and was asked better questions. I think the way you ask the same questions on every interview is kinda making the whole experience a bit shallow
    Also, the way you guys push your ads is kinda ruining the whole atmosphere.

  20. I get what she is saying because I have come to a similar enlightenment in my 50s, actually 53, where I said to myself that "I'm okay" and I'm done with seeking validation from others. I will do what I like and feel how I feel and make sure I take care of myself and not rely others to take care of me. Validating myself is what matters. ?? ??

  21. Thankyou, lily, elisa, for the work that u do! Actually mariel's coat, scarf and shirt are lowkey stylish and the undies are understated chic! And must've been so hard to live in a family that took to drinking and taking their own lives. I can only imagine. Hugs for being u and strong and like elisa said, "minding…". Lately i get upset by little things and have entertained the thought of suicide but i think about it long and hard and how fortunate i am and how much more i need to do. Thankyou for sharing because it truly is caring when we learn from each other. Also, the part about how people think one is well off because of a family name and appearances resonated. And to have gone to india and daramsala, wow, to have felt seen or something by the dalai lama =] namaste xoxooooooooooo

  22. Thank you for sharing this incredibly intimate and vulnerable moment of truth and for sharing your story with us. You are a very beautiful and powerful woman and so humane and deep. Thank you StyleLikeU Team for these wonderful interviews <3

  23. This is really breathtaking. Mariel's insights and emotional honesty are compelling, and strike so many notes with me/ where I'm at. Beautiful and powerful watching. Thanks to all of you xx

  24. Mariel Hemingway is a profound human being! I am honored to say this is our 11th trip around the Sun together! I Love you to the MOON Mariel. How lucky we are to have found each other!!!! You are braver than you believe Stronger than you seem and Smarter than you think! To the girl who makes me sing. I am proud to see you FLY.

  25. Watched her grow up from her movie roles. She has more people who love her than she knows. Good to see her again and looking so awesomely beautiful.

  26. Blessings sweet soul! We all have our own inner demons that the outside world and those closest to us have no idea exist. We fight those demons constantly each day without letting anyone in on the pain that we are experiencing, mostly out of fear of judgement and inadequacy as a whole.
    Thank you for sharing your life story and experiences. I am so proud of you. What you said brought tears to my eyes but also made me realize that I was not alone. I hope you see this message so you'll know how touched it made me. I want you to know how much bravery and courage it took to do such a wonderful and selfless act of love for humankind. You have saved lives by telling your story and letting people know that everyone goes through very bad stuff, even if you may think that a particular someone never has had any bad things happen in their life. Thank you for being an inspiration to me especially! I am very grateful for you and proud of you! My hope for you is that all your pains, demons and sorrows will weaken soon and fade out or at least become unremarkable. For graciously helping others, may great comfort return to you ten fold. You are an inspiration, treasure and blessing sweet lady.

  27. I really needed this. Woman being open about their eating obsessions and body image issues is a god send. Bless. ❤

  28. This video was so cathartic and life-affirming. Thank you to Mariel for being so open and thank you to the two of you who created it. Thank you to our bodies, they're utterly amazing!

  29. Hello friends, very good videos, I congratulate you both, mother and daughter for that excellent work. I greet you from Venezuela!

  30. This was so special. Loved what she said about being thankful for what your body does for you every day and appreciating and loving it. Also there's a ninja cutting onions under my eyes -.-

  31. It’s unfortunate that this incredibly talented intelligent family has bourne so much scrutiny. That being said they are an example of surviving and thriving in spite of so many with mental afflictions. Each are individuals. Many struggled and many broke through to see the sunshine. Thank you for all your courage.

  32. I see her saying now she is healthy and okay with it, that she isn’t super skinny. And I constantly thought, that she doesn’t need to have an issue with food because she is still so beautiful. Every day in my fucking life I ask myself why I am so ugly and fat, but I can’t find the answer. Why does everybody feel so good in their body and look so good and I do and am not? I mean this will never change because I look so ugly that I have no reason to like me and no one will love me ever, because I am not lovable. How could any person love me for who I am if I have also such a stupid Charakter. Everybody have been saying me that I am beautiful and I am such a nice person but they lie. And the worst part of all is the fact that they only have been saying this because they wanna make me feel good, not because they truly meant it like that. I mean I am 1.67 m tall and weigh 56 kg! That is so big, how could K be lovable this way? Sorry for waisting your time, I just only wanted to write it down, I thought I would feel better afterwards.

  33. Such a moving submission; I felt every bit of her.
    One day I may tell my story too???
    Love you For this Ms. Hemingway ??

  34. My uncle committed suicide last year, my mum has schizophrenia and I had an eating disorder for about 15 years. You are my kind of people Mariel. I'm so happy you now know you are going to be ok. Same here. ❤

  35. The revelation of brutal honesty with one's self and others is powerful beyond belief. I am in awe of the message I just heard. The discovery never ends. Thank you Mariel for sharing.

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