Fights behind the scenes. Cheryl Burke said that she struggles with body dysmorphia, and she doesn’t think that the time spent in “Dancing with the Stars” helped her.
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“I have body dysmorphia because I’m a dancer,” the 38—year-old ballroom dancing professional said during the recent release of the HypcondriActor podcast with Sean Hayes and Dr. Priyanka Vali. “I mean, name me at least one dancer who doesn’t do it.”
The California native said the condition makes her see herself differently than other people, no matter how much she weighs or how she looks. “When I look at myself in the mirror and someone says, ‘Oh, you look amazing,’ I see someone overweight,” she explained. “Both in my eyes and in the way I judge myself, there is nothing surprising, regardless of how I look.”
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Burke explained that she first discovered she had a “problem” when she was “watching old seasons” of DWTS and remembered how uncomfortable she felt in her costumes. “I was pretty skinny, but I still gave us trouble in the wardrobe,” she recalled. “It’s not meant to bother them, but rather to say, “Oh, I feel like shit” or “Oh, my God, look at my fat roll.” It’s so funny, isn’t it?”
The Dance Moms graduate also couldn’t ignore criticism from viewers and trolls on social media, and sometimes people on the set of DWTS. “It was like, ‘Cheryl is too fat for television,'” the dancer recalled. “And then a couple of my colleagues kicked my ass too. I would wake up, for example, [Los Angeles radio station] KTLA [would say], “Cheryl is too fat.”
Burke went on to say that she knows that working on the ABC reality show has worsened her symptoms, but she thinks they may disappear when she decides to leave the show. However, at the moment she has included dance in her therapeutic procedures.
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“I know that dancing saved my life,” she explained.
The I Can Do It graduate, who split from husband Matthew Lawrence in January after nearly three years of marriage, previously spoke about her body image issues in a YouTube video posted in November 2020. “I used to obsessively weigh myself,” she recalled in the post. “When I went on trips, I took scales with me. ‘Is she too thin? Is she dying?” I think no one has ever been really happy. You are in the public eye, and it makes you shy.”
Burke added that she will probably have to leave the entertainment industry completely to forget about her body dysmorphia. “The trauma of shaking my ass live in front of millions of people doesn’t help,” she explained.