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Netflix's To the Bone: Helpful or Harmful?


Posted on Friday, July 07, 2017 8:35 AM

I just watched the trailer for the coming film, "To The Bone" about a teenage girl with anorexia nervosa. As an eating disorder specialist, I am more concerned than encouraged about this movie. While we need to raise awareness about eating disorders, i fear the triggers will harm more than help. I am also aware that individuals with eating disorders, even restricting types like anorexia, come in all genders, colors, shapes and sizes. The lead actress, however, depicts, once again, the typical stereotype of a white, middle class anorexic female.Visual images of bones protruding and numbers being touted, (as in the trailer) are BIG triggers for those struggling with eating disorders. I also suspect that since this IS television, they are going to need to wrap it up within a certain amount of time and that leaves a potential to trivialize it. Eating disorders are LONG and ARDUOUS and emotionally PAINFUL illnesses. There is not much that is heartwarming, humorous, or easily fixed. I will reserve my full opinion until I watch the actual movie, but this morning, I am cautiously pessimistic.

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