Dancing with the Stars star Julianne Hough has come under fire for saying she has found great success in treating her endometriosis by “delayering” the stress in her life. Here’s why her advice is far from credible and perpetuates the harmful narrative that has ensnared women’s health issues.
Endometriosis is an incredibly painful disease that results from the build-up of endometrial tissue on the outside of the uterus. Around 7.6 million women are estimated to suffer from endometriosis in the United States.
Hough’s official quote on the self-treatment of her endometriosis claims that she hasn’t had symptoms because “of the love and kindness I’m giving to my body”. While there is research to suggest that both giving yourself plenty of love and kindness and avoiding stress can help you to lead a better, healthier life, love and kindness cannot be your only treatment for such a debilitating disease as endometriosis.
If you suffer from endometriosis, you are unfortunately familiar with the pain and suffering that comes with the disease. The situation for those who suffer from endometriosis is especially dire now. In the US, the government has cut funding for endometriosis research. In the UK, women have been struggling to receive a consistent supply of birth control, which is sometimes taken as a treatment for endometriosis.
Because of the struggles associated with getting proper treatment for endometriosis, it might be tempting for sufferers to consider following Hough’s example and attempt to treat themselves with some TLC and self-love. The reality though is that Hough’s brand of pseudoscience pushes a treatment that is sure to fail and heaps the blame onto those that don’t find the same success as Hough in “de-layering” the “stress, shame, guilt, and suppression of female energy that’s associated with endometriosis”.
Hough’s celebrity status furthers the insidious nature of her advice. Of course, everyone deals with chronic illness in their own, personal ways, but touting such personal methods as a definitive treatment and cure is incredibly dangerous and completely irresponsible.
Featured Image by Walt Disney Television on Flickr