Netflix’s “To The Bone” Needs A Serious Reality Check About What Anorexia Really Is

Netflix’s new controversial movie “To The Bone” has received major criticism (and some praise) since it was released on Friday. People can’t stop talking about why they fell in love or completely hated it. So with all the chatter, I had to see the film for myself.

“To The Bone” is about a young woman named Ellen who is battling anorexia. The film follows her as she moves to a house with seven other people who are also battling eating disorders, as they try to help each other recover.

Although I wasn’t a fan of this movie overall, there are parts that really did move me. Lily Collins is a great actress who clearly put hard work into her role. Also, at the end of the day, this film sparked conversation about an issue we would otherwise not even be thinking about, which is a victory in and of itself.

The rest of “To The Bone,” however, was a little fucked up.

First of all, the movie completely stereotyped anorexia. The movie showed Ellen constantly doing sit-ups, running a depressing Tumblr blog and counting calories obsessively. That was basically it. Anorexia is much more than those things, but that is unfortunately all the film showed.

The producers could’ve also added more depth to the story by explaining how she developed an eating disorder or adding a back story, but they just dived right into showing Ellen trying to recover. It felt like they just rushed through her story and the whole time we never really get to know the main character.

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Okay, if you’re planning on watching the movie, stop reading now because I’m totally about to give away the ending…

Still here? Awesome. Anyways, “To The Bone” ends with Ellen climbing some random mountain in the middle of the night, passing out and waking up with realizing that life may be worth another shot after having a bad dream.

The whole thing just seemed too unrealistic. Does anyone really wake up and feel instantly cured of whatever sadness or depression they were fighting after a nightmare? I sure don’t think so.

Shortly before the film was released on Netflix, Collins admitted that she battled an eating disorder in real life when she was only a teenager. Although that probably helped her dive into her character more, she had to lose an obscene amount of weight for the role. She was literally down to the bone. I thought that was unfair for someone to ask her to do.

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I know eating disorders are a touchy subject to talk about, trust me, I get it. But that’s why I wish they did a better job with this film. There are other movies and films out there tackling equally challenging conversations about sensitive topics, but the difference is that they are actually doing a better job of portraying them accurately.

I guess I was just looking for something different.



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