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Lauren Alaina Opens Up About Her Struggle With Bulimia in New Song, ‘Pretty’

lauren alaina
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Lauren Alaina‘s sophomore album, Road Less Traveled, includes quite a few vulnerable songs about the singer’s personal life, including her struggle with an eating disorder. Alaina recently sat down with Taste of Country to talk about one such song: the personal yet empowering track “Pretty.”

Much like her new album’s first single, “Road Less Traveled,” “Pretty” packs a strong, positive, full-of-girl-power message, but the track is extra special to Alaina because it relates to her battle with bulimia, a struggle she’s recently been transparent about with her fans and the media alike. After years of fighting her eating disorder in private, the singer says that it was her mother (along with a team of doctors and supporters) who helped the most.

“My mom made me look in the mirror every day and say three things that I loved about myself,” Alaina explains. “At first, I couldn’t name anything. It was so sad. When my mom made me do that, I looked in the mirror, and I literally couldn’t name one thing that I loved about myself.”

Alaina’s journey to health and a positive self-image comes full circle in “Pretty.” The song encourages listeners to look to their internal attributes, instead of external traits, for validation.

“Pretty is not the amount of makeup on your face or the shirt you’re wearing or the size of your pants — That is false,” Alaina says. “People are pretty because they’re nice and they care about other people and they have a good heart … That’s what makes you pretty, and I didn’t know that at one point in my life.”

Ultimately, despite all of the negative comments that affected her life and exacerbated her struggle with bulimia, Alaina says that she’s a stronger and more confident person after having gone through that experience.

“I’m happier and I’m in a better place, so [negative comments] don’t affect me as much as they used to, and that’s a hard place to get to. It took me a while to get there,” she admits. “”Pretty” is that whole journey.”

Alaina’s Road Less Traveled is available on iTunes and Amazon. Click here to watch her full interview with Taste of Country.

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