I’ve struggled with some sort of eating disorder for the better part of my life so let’s just say I was intrigued when I first heard Netflix was set to release To The Bone, a semi-autobiographical film both written and directed by Marti Noxon and starring Lily Collins who recently spoke about her own experiences with an eating disorder.
I will say, I am withholding my full judgement until I can see the entire movie but so far a lot of the critiques of the trailer point out that eating disorders don’t always result in the shockingly thin body type of Collins’ (notably caucasian) character. While I 100% agree I think it’s also important to note that this is a story, moreover, this is based on Marti’s story. I believe that representation is super important but I also believe that sharing your own story can change lives in a way that a fictionalized story can’t no matter how inclusive you make it.
I’ll be honest, the way people just throw out the word triggered makes me rage, but I suppose thats a different blog post. But this is for those expecting trigger warnings before the trailer: WHY?! If you knowingly clicked the trailer for a movie about a girl suffering with an eating disorder expect some potentially upsetting content to follow just like someone who is upset by violence would be cautious when watching a trailer for a war biopic. This is just common sense.
The biggest concern I’ve read about by far is the fact that this movie has the potential to spread the disease rather than awareness. I seem to have an unpopular opinion among those in the mental health community but I think this is highly unlikely. Don’t get me wrong, there were some graphic clips in the trailer where Collins’ character depicts some of the frightening effects of an eating disorder along with mentions of numbers and demonstrations of behaviors. Does watching these things give you an eating disorder? C’mon. But, if you have an eating disorder or are in an already vulnerable place could that be upsetting? Absolutely. So don’t watch it. If you are so worried about your children seeing it, stop protesting about it on Twitter and Facebook and use this as an opportunity to have a conversation with your kids about eating disorders and mental illness.
All in all, despite all of the concerns flying around the interwebs after the release of the trailer, I remain optimistic that this film will serve as more of a conversation starter than anything else.