Jackie says: 'Growing up in the spotlight, being a kid, being surrounded by all of these adult women who are beautiful and slender and tall was really difficult for me because I wanted to be that and I wasn't'. Jackie also says: 'And then I started to hit puberty and I got my womanly curves and everything. It was just, for lack of a better word, triggering. It was really difficult for me to accept. There wasn't a day that went by where it wasn't in my head. Anytime I saw my reflection, not only was it distorted, but I was sitting there telling myself: That's disgusting. Having an eating disorder is like having another you inside your head screaming all the worst things that you can hear about yourself ... 'You are ugly, fat, stupid, all that stuff. I won't be able to see what my reflection actually is because whatever it is in my head is distorting it. And it's just every time you look in the mirror you see something that's not there'.
Jackie said she had been able to hide her eating disorder from her family for two years but eventually, her parents noticed she was skipping meals and not eating for days at a time. They persuaded her to seek help and she went through treatment. Evancho said that she also struggles with 'body dysmorphia' as well.
Jackie added that she is being open about her struggles now in order to be a better role model for other girls and young women. 'I really wanted to be that perfect role model, and as time goes on and all these issues are coming to front, I'm starting to realize that being a perfect role model means also showing people that you are not perfect', "Because that means that they can be like you even if you're not perfect'. Jackie added.
On January 23, Evancho had posted a Facebook message
about the hardships she faced after being named runner-up on America's Got Talent in 2010.
Jackie says: 'Throughout my childhood I was also facing another reality - that there were men out there who wanted to hurt me'. Some even went to the extreme of claiming they were priests There was an instance where a priest asked me to sit on his lap while backstage, and I'm so thankful I was smart enough to say, 'I am not comfortable with that,' she added.