Cheryl “Salt” Wray: “I Felt Like The Least Pretty One”

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Cheryl “Salt” Wray, one-third of the veteran hip-hop group, Salt ‘n Pepa, has had a career that has spanned over 20 years with hits such as “Shoop,” the HIV/AIDS informational song, “Let’s Talk S-E-X,” and the classic “Push It.”

Her Battle With Bulimia
Even becoming a rap star in her 20s didn’t reverse the slide in her self-esteem. “I felt like the least pretty one. Dee Dee was called the beautiful one, Pepa the super sexy one. What am I?” One day, out for pancakes with a friend who seemed able to eat anything without gaining weight, Salt overate, then went into the rest room and made herself throw up for the first time. “I remember feeling euphoric, satisfied and relieved afterwards,” she says.

From then on, she had three goals in life: keep the eating disorder hidden, win a Grammy Award and weigh 115 lbs. She accomplished all of them, but by then the bulimia was out of her control. “It was at its worst when I was alone. My mind would go to, ‘What can I eat that is sinful?'” Usually pizza, fries, pasta and chocolate cake in “outrageous portions.” Then she would vomit. Because James, who is 5’2″, never became painfully thin, no one noticed she had a problem.