First it was 13 Reasons Why, and now Netflix has come out with To The Bone. I'm very into these kinds of shows and movies, considering there is still such a stigma around mental illness. In our generation, there should be no reason to not talk about these subjects openly. However, some people think otherwise.
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As soon as the movie trailer came out, people got talking about how controversial the subject would be. Coming from someone who has not suffered from an eating disorder, I can only imagine how hard it would be. However, I don't think we should not talk about subjects just because they're hard to understand.
If you haven't heard of the movie, To the Bone is about a 20-year-old named Ellen who is anorexic and has been for a while. No matter what rehab facilitation she goes to, she comes out weighing less. Her parents decide to send her to a group home for youths hoping that it will be different this time. Ellen, who is portrayed by Lily Collins, is helped by a non-traditional doctor and the rules at the group home are nothing like she is used to.
In this movie, you see Collins had to lose a lot of weight for the role. She has stated in multiple interviews that she seeked help from a nutritionist as well as the director to make sure it was done in the healthiest way possible. Since she has suffered from an eating disorder before, she was doing everything to make sure she didn't slip back into her old ways. Her thin body in the movie really gets you invested into the movie, since it seems so real and raw.
Personally, I loved this movie. I don't believe these topics are ever talked about in the right way, but To the Bone seemed to get it. It not only showed Ellen's side of things, but it showed how her entire family struggled through it as well. Her stepmom was the overbearing one, always needing to know everything. Her dad was always absent, and her sister felt like her life was ruined because it was always about her sister. And her mom and her wife moved far away to get away from everything and to become spiritual. It's evident that Ellen had lost all of her friends, only leaving her to talk to the people in the group home who are going through the same thing as she is.
I loved this movie because it felt so real. With 13 Reasons Why, it was unbelievably sad but it seemed unrealistic. To the Bone touches on the subject gently and perfectly, while making sure no one would be offended. There is one part at the end that gave me chills, and this movie shows the consequences of having an eating disorder. The real consequences, not the ones we make up in our head.
I admire this movie for not glamourizing anorexia like other medias have. I also believe no one could have played Ellen better. The sarcastic, stubborn girl who is suffering deeply inside is always shown with dark bags under her eyes and baggy clothes. This is the reality of eating disorders, and To the Bone didn't make it seem like it was fun and trendy to have one.
By the end of the movie, Ellen has gone on a journey of wanting to get better and not wanting to get better. And it's shown throughout the movie what her friends at the group home have to deal with. Miscarriages because of bulimia, joint problems, etc. You'd think by the end of the movie she's cured and free to go? Nope. And that's way more realistic than any other ending.
If I were you, I would watch the movie to learn about the consequences of anorexia. It's a hard topic to talk about and an even harder topic to live through, and I think we should all be educated somehow or another. To the Bone does not glamourize anorexia at all, in fact the movie felt a little too real at some parts. Netflix also got it right when they didn't just show young women in the group home. There was a young man, a woman of colour, and a few others who don't look like they would fit the stereotype. It truly showed that it can affect everyone.
Lily Collins was amazing in the film, and didn't shy away from the hard emotions of what it's like to actually live with an eating disorder. By the end of the movie, she has gone through so many trials and errors in a few months span, which is normal for those with mental illness. To the Bone shows that no journey is perfect, and you'll always go through waves but it's always worth it to stick it out.
If you are easily triggered by this subject, I would not suggest watching it.
If you are struggling with this topic or any other mental illness, please click here to get the help you deserve.