No eating disorder movie is helpful

I got 20 minutes into watching Netflix’s new movie  ‘To the Bone’ and turned it off (and here’s why you shouldn’t watch it either*).

I don’t need a movie to tell me what it’s like having an eating disorder, because I’ve been there done that. To anyone out there who has suffered or is suffering, potentially triggering yourself isn’t worth it. You don’t need to have every symptom portrayed in a movie in order to be a ‘good anorexic’, because the only way to be a good anorexic is to be dead.

Maybe the movie is in fact a good portrayal, unlike many already out there that can act us ‘how to’ guides to young people, or not (I wouldn’t know. I haven’t watched it). But that’s not really the point.

The point is, I don’t think I will get any benefit out of this movie and I don’t think that anyone else who has experienced an ed will either. And more than that, I’m sick of eating disorders. They are BORING. You hear the same thing over and over. One day someone is fine or maybe it’s gradual but then suddenly ‘boom’ and there’s the ed. The lucky people recover the first time. Some never do and most of us spend years in bouts of recovery and relapse. There’s nothing interesting about starving yourself or ending up in hospital.

I’ve had my share of supervised toilet and shower use and I’m not a fan. I didn’t enjoy being forced to eat and swallow when I didn’t want to, and sometimes wasn’t allowed the luxury of tasting my food. Where’s the joy in that? I’m sick of being weighed and pricked by needles. Of never feeling beautiful no matter what any number says. I’m sick of never feeling ‘enough’.

It’s true that the worst day in recovery is better than the best day in a relapse. I’ don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be choosing what I eat because I enjoy it and not because I have to have it. I like that I can spend my days doing things; waking up when I want, going on adventures and spending time socialising and having a life. I like that my cat sleeps on my bed and I look forward to preparing breakfast each morning.

I hope that soon I won’t have to associate with the word recovery because the eating disorder just won’t be in my life.

Don’t watch the movie. You don’t need it to tell you how difficult things have been or how strong and brave you are being for fighting. You don’t need to hear that because you’ve lived it.

A movie won’t tell you that you are beautiful and amazing and so worthy of life and love, but I am. You are wonderful because you are alive, with a beating heart inside your warm chest and not a character in a movie that only exists inside a screen.

You are you and that’s more than enough.

For more information about eating disorder please refer to the National Eating Disorders Website or visit the Butterfly Foundation.  You can also check out Headspace or contact the national eating disorders hotline on 1800 33 4673.

* this is especially important if you are or have suffered from an eating disorder in the past, or if you happen to be a teenage girl between the ages of 11 and 18 (adolescent girls are most at risk of developing an ed).


One thought on “No eating disorder movie is helpful

  1. Too late now but I wish I would have waited and read posts like yours. It triggered me terribly. I have finally sorted my thoughts after posting what I wrote. (sorted thoughts in the comments section) but there was very little of it based on reality. I’m anorexic, no not that, rather – I have anorexia despite my going on and on in that post. Despite how I look, I can’t deny my clothes, right? They portrayed her having conversations and when I, and others, were at a critical level, conversations didn’t happen because our brain didn’t work. The program she was in allowed them to eat however they want. Seriously? I mean really? I voluntarily put myself into treatment. The movies portrayal will probably keep people out of treatment. They clearly don’t understand that seeing how she looked is a motivation not deterrent for those of us who are suffering and new to recovery.

    I am adamantly against banning media (books, etc) but this movie should be removed. Perhaps not banned since that will motivate people to find and watch it, but just remove it. As far as I am concerned there is nothing good about it. It set me back quite a bit, it will set others back.

    As far as your being tired of the entire topic, I can understand having experience in something else. I am covered with tattoos, like 60% of my body. Well, one tattoo – a mural. I can’t even express how bored I am of tattoo conversations. Talking about the weather ranks far higher than that, for example. I think my increasing like for winter is because I’m covered up and seen as, you know, just a person. Ugh.


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