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Portraying Anorexia In Film: Netflix’s ‘To The Bone’ Sparks Controversy

Lily Collins Responded To Backlash And Highlighted The Intention Of The Film

Netflix’s new film ‘To The Bone’ starring Lily Collins is amid a controversy since some people think it glamorizes eating disorders and could be triggering.

The film explores the complicated process of recovering from an eating disorder. Lily Collins responded to backlash and highlighted the film’s intention to bring awareness over mental health.

Yet another controversy for Netflix

Following the criticism surrounding the Netflix series ‘13 Reasons Why‘ Netflix is wrapped in another controversy. This time regarding its newest film, ‘To The Bone,’ which premiered on Friday.

‘To The Bone’ follows the story of Ellen, played by Lily Collins, an artistic young woman whose anorexia is hurling her toward rock bottom.

She’s forced to see a new doctor and follows his unconventional methods. She ends up in a house with seven young people tended by a no-nonsense house manager.

The movie is quite graphic and doesn’t shy away in hiding the graphic side of the eating disorder. For the role, Lily Collins lost 20 pounds and it’s quite shocking seeing her so thin.

The premiere of the film has surfaced the debate about eating disorders onscreen once again.

Many are worried that ‘To the Bone’ might not portray mental health in a positive way and that glamorizes eating disorders.

An online petition demanding the film to be taken down by Netflix was made as people fear the film could trigger those who experienced an eating disorder.

According to Dr. Melissa Nishawala, the clinical director of the Eating Disorders Service at NYU Langone’s Child Study Center:

“Because individuals struggling with anorexia nervosa often have an extreme drive to the superlative—to be the best student, to feel the most valued, and to become the thinnest—any film depicting anorexia nervosa risks igniting the quest towards starvation.”

It’s not the first time the film it’s wrapped in a controversy. When the trailer for ‘To The Bone’ was released, it prompted a flood of critiques noting that the film appeared to contain many images and scenes that could be triggering to recovering anorexics.

Via Vox

Raw portrayal of a difficult reality

‘To The Bone ‘ is the directional film debut of Martin Noxon. Whom has long TV career as a writer and executive producer on shows ‘UnREAL’ and ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer.’

For Noxon, it’s a really personal issue, as she drew on her own battle with anorexia. It’s also personal for the star, Lily Collins, who has previously spoken about her own past with eating disorder.

Reliving those experiences served as another kind of recovery for Collins, and exorcising some lingering demons for Noxon as they have claimed.

Their own past eating disorder battles inspired them to portray the battle in a realistic way. Contemplating the whole picture including the relationships surrounding Ellen.

There are the obsessive patterns, the insistence that everything’s fine when it obviously isn’t. There are the furtive attempts to pass along “tricks” and contraband substances to help others with eating disorders slowly make themselves disappear.

And there’s the band of family and friends who, while trying to help and to assuage their own guilt, only make things worse. Even those who haven’t directly experienced anorexia will feel their hackles raise at these well-intentioned misfires.

While the film portrays in a raw way the disorder, even being difficult at times to watch it. It also shows the other side, the possibility of health and the determination to get better.

It shows the road to Ellen’s recovery, which is a much-needed story to tell, and it does it not in a miraculously way, but a more realistic one that has no glamor.

Via Vox

Important representation of reality

The movie has its flaws, naturally, and some might even think it keeps with the popular narrative of the white girl with divorced parents played by a Barbie.

However, it brings an important issue to the table. And is that eating disorders are not getting as much attention as they should.

Though eating disorders are a rampant issue in America. Nearly 10 percent of the population experience it.

To make it even worse, eating disorders receive pitifully little when it comes to researching who struggles with it, and why.

Lily Collins addressed the controversy focusing on how important is to have a conversation regarding eating disorders.

“This was something that I needed to talk about and bring to the attention of more people and go through for myself. When I read it, it struck me as such an important subject matter to bring to the attention of people.”

She went on defending why she felt it important to take on the script.

“It is still considered quite taboo to talk about, and yet it’s becoming more and more prevalent within today’s society. Not just with women. If not now, when?”

Eating disorders make very little sense to people who haven’t experienced them firsthand. It’s important to highlight that they’re linked directly to mental health.

Which is why is so important to bring awareness over the issue and also represent them.

Via Vox

 

 

 

 

 

Source: The Atlantic

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