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Florence Welch says eating disorder struggles led to ‘emotional immaturity’

Singer says it was ‘a miracle’ that she did not fall back into old eating patterns during lockdown

Annabel Nugent
Tuesday 26 April 2022 16:11 BST
(Getty Images)

Florence Welch has opened up about the impact that her past eating disorder continues to have on her.

The singer – who has previously been candid about her experience of anorexia – spoke about how the topic relates to her thoughts on having children.

In a new interview with Vogue, the singer was asked about her song “King”, which was released earlier this year.

“The whole crux of the song is that you’re torn between the two [motherhood and career],” she said.

“The thing I’ve always been sure of is my work, but I do start to feel this shifting of priorities, this sense of like, maybe I want something different.”

Asked why she feels she cannot have both motherhood and a career, Welch responded that she thinks it is because she is “afraid”.

“It seems like the bravest thing in the world to have children. It’s the ultimate measure of faith and of letting go of control. I feel like to have a child and to let that amount of love in... I’ve spent my life trying to run away from these big feelings,” she said.

“I think I’ve had a stilted emotional immaturity just through having been in addiction and eating disorders for years.”

The musician went on to say that she has a “really complicated relationship” with her body.

The interviewer noted that Welch is “finally comfortable in it, but the idea of the change it would undergo [in pregnancy] is one she finds terrifying”.

Florence Welch at the Brit Awards
Florence Welch at the Brit Awards (AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking about her difficulties in lockdown, Welch said it was a “miracle” that she did not fall back into her old eating patterns.

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“There were moments when I was like, ‘Should I be starting to cut back on my sugar? Or should I do a cleanse?’ And that for me is just a slippery slope. Anorexia provides a feeling of certainty, because you’re just like, I’m going to control this,” she said.

“Luckily, I have people I can talk to and that’s one of the most important things for anyone – to keep talking about it. And not to be ashamed if those thoughts come up.”

For anyone struggling with the issues raised in this piece, eating disorder charity Beat’s helpline is available 365 days a year on 0808 801 0677. You can visit their website here.

NCFED offers information, resources and counselling for those suffering from eating disorders, as well as their support networks. They can be reached by phone on 845 838 2040 or their website here.

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