Dancing on Ice: Brendan Cole on training with Vanessa Bauer
Dancing on Ice star Vanessa Bauer has bravely opened up about developing an eating disorder at the tender age of nine. The star, 27, has been skating since she was a young girl and has blamed “toxic training conditions” for why she experienced Bulimia.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, the ITV talent explained: “It’s very common unfortunately in sports like figure skating for young girls to develop eating disorders so I wasn’t alone in that.
“Back in the day, I felt that I was alone in my eating disorder. I was about nine years old when I first developed it – I was very young.
“Toxic training conditions are definitely the cause for young girls developing eating disorders,” she continued. “I do believe coaches need to be educated more about mental health and about the way they are teaching children.”
Vanessa explained that, as a young girl, she would be weighed on a scale each week and if she had gained weight, she would be told off.
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She continued: “For me at nine years old, we would get on the scales and each coach would ask us to get on the scales in front of all of the other students and if we weighed more than the week before, they would tell us off for that.
“You’re supposed to gain weight when you’re a nine-year-old girl who hasn’t even gone through a period yet so that will mess up your mind a lot.”
The figure skater felt alone for a decade with her Bulimia battle, but decided to take control and began counselling from the age of 14. Thankfully, Vanessa’s relationship with food is great today, as she doesn’t restrict herself like she did when she was a competitive figure skater.
She credits Dancing on Ice for improving her body confidence, after competing on the show for the last six seasons.
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“To be completely honest, I believe that Dancing on Ice has given me a lot of body confidence in a way, I see myself in sparkly outfits and costumes and I love what I see in the mirror,” she revealed.
“I never thought I’d look in the mirror in a two-piece and really love what I see. I’m so happy about that.”
Vanessa will be featured in ITV’s The Real Full Monty, airing in December, as well as Dancing on Ice in January 2024.
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