Julie Bowen, 52, of Modern Family fame reveals she had an eating disorder when she was a teenager


Julie Bowen developed an eating disorder as a ‘coping mechanism’ when she was a teenager.

The former Modern Family star – who has Oliver, 15, and twins John and Gustav, 13, with ex-husband Scott Phillips – always worried about ‘making mistakes’ and being unable to ‘contain’ herself when she was younger, with her feelings leading her to stop eating.

The blonde beauty shared that at times she was ‘starving’ and felt she didn’t have time for food. 

Early days: Julie Bowen developed an eating disorder as a 'coping mechanism' when she was a teenager. The former Modern Family star always worried about 'making mistakes' and being unable to 'contain' herself. The star seen as a young woman during her very first head shot

Early days: Julie Bowen developed an eating disorder as a ‘coping mechanism’ when she was a teenager. The former Modern Family star always worried about ‘making mistakes’ and being unable to ‘contain’ herself. The star seen as a young woman during her very first head shot

Very slender in 2003: The star looked thin in New York City 20 years ago

Still thin: Seen heading into ABC this week

Very slender lady: Seen left in 2003 in New York City 20 years ago; and seen right heading into ABC this week

‘You know, it’s funny because I have three sons, and they’re all so different. But I see one of them is very similar to me, and I see him always trying to colour inside the lines and get the A+,’ she said while on The Tamron Hall Show.

‘And I think (as a teen) I interpreted being messy or making mistakes or having an a** or like fat coming out of the top of your jeans [as] a symbol that you couldn’t contain yourself. That you were too much, and that to be good meant staying inside the lines — literally and figuratively. Keeping it tight.

‘And that’s my attitude: tight. And by the way, that is not fun. It’s not a fun way to live.’

At the time, Julie, now 52, was ‘struggling’ with puberty and ‘not liking that feeling of changing’ but found when she was ‘really starving’, she didn’t think about things as much.

She added: ‘We didn’t talk about anything, and it just sort of felt like… dirty. And I realized, when you’re really starving, you don’t have any feelings. It’s kind of amazing. The body goes, “We don’t have time for that.” So I think it was a coping mechanism.’

School days: At the time, Julie was 'struggling' with puberty and 'not liking that feeling of changing' but found when she was 'really starving', she didn't think about things as much

School days: At the time, Julie was ‘struggling’ with puberty and ‘not liking that feeling of changing’ but found when she was ‘really starving’, she didn’t think about things as much

Elsewhere on the show, the actress opened up about the ‘nastiest’ body shaming she experienced after her twins were born.

She said: ‘I was lucky enough to get a little bit of fame and recognition before everybody had a cell phone in their pocket and a camera all the time.

‘I had my twins in 2009, and I was in Hawaii shooting Modern Family. It was less than a year later, and I still had like the baby gunk.

‘I was working and breastfeeding, and I jumped in the ocean with my husband at the time wearing a bikini — no one was around — and by the time we got up to the room, there had been paparazzi like in the rocks hidden away, and it was the nastiest. Like, “What is wrong with her? This is disgusting.”‘

A look: She is seen here in 2002 in NYC at the opening night of the play Elephant Man

A look: She is seen here in 2002 in NYC at the opening night of the play Elephant Man

This week she spoke candidly about getting plastic surgery as soon as her hit TV show Modern Family came to an end in 2020.

The actress, who portrayed Claire Dunphy on the ABC sitcom from 2009 to 2020, opened up on Wednesday on The View after being inspired by host Sunny Hostin, 54, who recently spoke about her own plastic surgery to destigmatize it.

‘I finally got the stomach fixed,’ Julie revealed while holding her belly.

Stomach fixed: 'Finally, after all these years. They ripped it open, the twins just ripped it,' Julia said of her stomach surgery referencing her 13-year-old sons Gus and John, shown in 2010

Stomach fixed: ‘Finally, after all these years. They ripped it open, the twins just ripped it,’ Julia said of her stomach surgery referencing her 13-year-old sons Gus and John, shown in 2010

‘Finally, after all these years. They ripped it open, the twins just ripped it,’ she said referencing her 13-year-old sons Gus and John.

‘And I said, ”As soon as Modern Family is done …I’ll get it fixed.” But it was 11 years! So 11 years later, we wrapped on Friday and Monday they went in and they do you like a sneaker,’ Julie said.

Sunny gave Julie her approval.

‘You look snatched! You look good,’ Sunny told her.

Opening up: The 52-year-old actress, who portrayed Claire Dunphy on the ABC sitcom from 2009 to 2020, opened up on Wednesday on The View after being inspired by host Sunny Hostin, 54, who recently spoke about her own plastic surgery to destigmatize it

Opening up: The 52-year-old actress, who portrayed Claire Dunphy on the ABC sitcom from 2009 to 2020, opened up on Wednesday on The View after being inspired by host Sunny Hostin, 54, who recently spoke about her own plastic surgery to destigmatize it

‘Thank you. …I think?,’ Julie replied.

Julie earlier noted that she was age 39 and pregnant with twins when she filmed the pilot episode of Modern Family.

The actress also has 15-year-old son Oliver with her ex-husband Scott Phillips.

Julie and Scott got married in September 2004 and she filed for divorce in February 2018 and it was finalized in September 2018.

Critical acclaim: Julie is shown with Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Ty Burrell and Nolan Gould in  2009 promo still for Modern Family

Critical acclaim: Julie is shown with Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Ty Burrell and Nolan Gould in  2009 promo still for Modern Family



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