Olivia Munn, the gorgeous lady you've probably seen on "The Daily Show" or the new runaway hit "The Newsroom", has an odd habit when she feels anxiety coming on: she rips out her eyelashes.
"I don't bite my nails, but I rip out my eyelashes," the 32-year-old actress said. "It doesn't hurt, but it's really annoying. Every time I run out of the house, I have to stop and pick up a whole set of fake eyelashes."
It's called trichotillomania, and while it's not as uncommon as you may think, it's rare enough for her to be embarrassed about it. Munn says she's dealt with anxiety for years, after coming from a family with an abusive patriarch and learning to internalize everything.
"I had a very abusive stepfather, so there was a lot of bad sh-t in my family," she said. "I found a picture of myself the day [my mom remarried]. Everybody else is all dressed up and smiling, and I’m just staring into the camera. It’s like I knew, This is not going to be good. I learned to have a good appearance on the outside, and then deep down inside just live with it … That experience made me very resilient. So right now there’s nobody holding me down, and I want to do everything I can."
Anxiety is a pretty common thing, and everyone deals with it in a different way. For Munn, who grew up in a military family that moved around a lot, some of it came from always being the new girl. She recently wrote an autobiographical book and says she hopes it will help other young girls who are coming from the same place.
"I want young girls who read it to feel empowered that there’s somebody who went through all of this and made it out on the other end. I was disliked because I was the new girl in every school I went to," she said. "I know it’s cool [for celebrities] to say, “Oh, I don’t care about being popular.” Well, I cared. I get that it’s important in that moment, if not in the grand scheme of life."
Image credit: Playboy