Whitney Cummings was recently in the spotlight for sharing her own topless photo in an attempt to take power back from internet trolls threatening to release screenshots of the same picture. But during an episode of Pretty Big Deal with Ashley Graham, Cummings explained that she didn’t always hold that kind of power when it came to her body. Instead, she often felt powerless after growing up with an eating disorder.
In Tuesday’s episode of Ashley Graham’s podcast, the comedian and actor opened up about many facets of her life, including her recent Netflix stand-up special Can I Touch It? And while talking about her latest work, Cummings also revealed how having a robot made to look just like her helped her to overcome some insecurities.
“This experience has been pretty therapeutic for the body dysmorphia that I deal with,” Cummings said of interacting with the robot. “I’ve had eating disorders my whole life. I now would say I have disordered eating.”
During the conversation, Cummings revealed that the disorder even impacted the way that she developed during puberty. Most notably that her boobs grew in different sizes. And although it was one of her biggest insecurities, opening up about it has also been cathartic.
“After I talked onstage about how my boobs were different sizes, women come up to me and they’re like, ‘I thought I was the only one,” Cummings said. “I mean [...] I don’t think any woman’s boobs are symmetrical.”
Still, she admitted that the insecurity she experienced with her breasts, in particular, led her to get three different augmentation surgeries.
“Three surgeries because the first surgery I was so embarrassed to tell anyone, I was so embarrassed to get it done, I had so much shame around it that I like Googled it and just went to some guy by the airport, and he like didn’t have an office,” Cummings explained. “I finally let a girlfriend in on what happened when there was like a muscle was cut through and she was like, ‘Oh just go to my guy, what are you doing?’”
The 37-year-old pointed out that this happened during a time when women weren’t so openly speaking about their “flaws.” Additionally, she felt pressure to lover her unaltered body after overcoming an eating disorder
“I had so much shame around that because I think I’d worked so hard to accept my body that I thought this was like a setback,” she admitted. “But for me, it was really about sort of erasing in a big way sort of the things that reminded me of the disordered eating and what my body was like back then, and I really just wanted to get past that stage.”
Now, Cummings says that she loves her breasts and appreciates her body, even though she still has thoughts triggered by her disordered eating. She’s even worked to overcome some of her other fears and insecurities, including her desire to someday start a family, by freezing her eggs.
“I like to plan because I think planning is freedom,” she explained. “I also found myself around 30, 31 years old lowering my standards for guys because I felt the ticking clock and I was like, ah it’s fine. What’s 3 ex-wives? It’s fine. What’s some guy with 3 DUIs? I’m so judgmental. I found myself lowering my standard because that fear started creeping in.”
According to Cummings, that standard didn’t just apply to her dating life. In fact, once she “took pressure off” by making the realization that she had time to find the right partner, Cummings started not only finding herself in healthier relationships but also doing better in work endeavors.
“It was a very fear-based decision that ended up alleviating my fears,” she said. “The last thing we all need is more pressure.”
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