Amy Winehouse's brother has a new theory as to what killed his rock 'n' roll sister back in 2011. Alex Winehouse told the Guardian that it wasn't drugs or alcohol that caused her death, it was bulimia. He reveals that she'd struggled with the eating disorder ever since she was a teenager and never really recovered.
She suffered from bulimia very badly. That's not, like, a revelation—you knew just by looking at her ... She would have died eventually, the way she was going, but what really killed her was the bulimia ... Absolutely terrible. I think that it left her weaker and more susceptible. Had she not had an eating disorder, she would have been physically stronger.
Alex is right about one thing: you knew by looking at her that Amy was sick and needed help. Unfortunately, she didn't seek it, or receive it, in time.
But for all we've heard about Amy's death over the last two years, none of it has been attributed to an eating disorder. Is it because we're afraid of them?
We're allowed to call someone an alcoholic or a drug addict, but to label someone a bulimic somehow sounds too harsh, like it's going too far, like it's getting too personal, like it's getting too presumptuous.
Granted, the bulimic act usually happens in private behind closed doors while drinking in public and getting wasted in bars is evidence on display, but the taboo that surrounds the confrontation of an alleged eating disorder doesn't totally make sense.
If the idea is to help a friend or a family member get better, there shouldn't be a difference when it comes to what supposed ailments are and aren't allowed to be on the table. Everything should be on the table.
Maybe Alex's comments will help bring to the foreground a deadly disease that we so rarely address. Amy certainly had a lot of demons, but maybe talking about them, all of them, will help someone else.
What do you think?
Photo via fyunkie/Flickr