Florence Welch did not reveal her past struggles with an eating disorder to her family before writing about it in a song.
The Florence + the Machine singer started obsessing about her weight and what she ate when she was 17 years old, and she wrote about it in a song titled Hunger on her latest album, High As Hope, which was released earlier this year (18).
Florence’s family was unaware of what she was dealing with at the time, but when the song was released they were able to confront it.
“My sister was like, ‘What are you doing? Are you OK? You haven’t spoken about this even with mom, and you’ve put it in a pop song? What’s wrong with you?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t know what I’m doing’,” she tells Rolling Stone magazine. “But it opened up a lot of stuff in my family that was good in the end.
“I did sit down and talk it through with my mom. But it’s funny, with English people, you have the talk and then everyone just carries on, just like, ‘OK, that’s dealt with!’ We put that in the drawer and we go on.”
The 32 year old has since overcome her eating disorder, but she still sometimes grapples with the mental impact of the disease. She explains that while she has a “healthy relationship” with her body now, she can deny herself “emotional nourishment” at times.
“It’s not an overnight thing,” she says. “It’s funny ’cause it’s one of the most insidious things you can have. I have a healthy relationship with my body now more than I ever did before, but it took me a long time. And it stays with you in really weird ways… The head stuff, it takes a while.
“It comes back in really strange ways, which I was looking at in this record (sic). It’s very hard to accept love. If you’ve been denying yourself nourishment in some way, you also have a tendency to deny yourself emotional nourishment.”