Alyson Stoner Privately Battles Eating Disorders to 'Put Legitimate Healing First'

Opening up about her mental health issues, the 'Cheaper By the Dozen' star also explains what is represented in her act of shaving her head in 'Stripped Bare' music video.

AceShowbiz - Actress and dancer Alyson Stoner has shaved her head in a bid to rid herself of her struggles with eating disorders and mental health issues.

The "Cheaper By the Dozen" star, who danced in Missy Elliott's "Work It" video, has battled health problems related to stress, and in 2011, she checked into rehab after her struggles with anorexia nervosa, exercise bulimia, and binge-eating took control of her life.

"Some people are complimentary of me when it comes to maybe not acting out in ways that they see other child stars behaving," she tells People magazine. "I was acting out, but I chose vices that were societally acceptable and praiseworthy."

While she was in the hospital, Stoner was also diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, tendencies and emotional disorder alexithymia.

"I chose to keep the process private in order to put legitimate healing first...," she says. "I still have my hospital gown, binder, and letters from other patients tucked in a drawer as a reminder of one of the best choices I've made for my health."

The 25-year-old has since taken control of her career and her public image and last year she announced she is "attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways".

She has also taken a leap of faith as a musician, releasing new track "Stripped Bare". In the video accompanying the song she shaves off her hair.

"Shaving my head is an act of mental health and confidence, not self-destruction," she says. "I can't tell you how many beliefs and opinions and insecurities fell to the floor with every tuft of hair, and I'm leaving them there. I'm shedding one era and rising as a new being in real time."

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