When the trailer for To The Bone landed, it was met with two extremes from most viewers – it was either hailed as a film that needs to be seen or criticized as one that sets out to glamorize an eating disorder/mental illness. There were people in the grey area, definitely not as many, who would wait to see the film before deciding, but any large amount of negativity towards a project immediately gets noticed.
So, when we watched the trailer, we knew that there had been a large amount of backlash, but personally, we didn’t feel that the film was glamorizing it. There are moments in the trailer where she praises herself for remembering the calories in certain food, and where she sees a doctor who tells her she could die – and she doesn’t change. She also gets so ill and is so thin that she passes out as well.
Honestly, it is hard to see, it’s painful to know that children through adults deal with body image issues so overwhelmingly that they literally starve their bodies of necessary nutrients, but it happens…it happens more than we may want to realize.
There are moments in the throws of an eating disorder where you are glad to know the calorie count of foods so you don’t have to look at menus and try to add them up, where you try to joke about not eating so those around you don’t worry as much. The moments in the trailer for To The Bone do happen in the lives of those struggling with an eating disorder.
Lily Collins, star of the film, struggled with an eating disorder herself, as did the woman who wrote and directed To The Bone – so they’re not aiming to glamorize it at all, instead, they want to start conversations that are hard to have.
‘I nor Martin nor anyone on the cast would ever set out to make a film that would glamorize or encourage a disorder that I, and Marti, personally went through, that was so negative.’
Lily had this to say about the timing of the film showing up when she had been writing about her ED for a book.
‘For me, it was a sign from the world saying, ‘This is probably something that is actually bigger than you. There’s a larger thing in play here and both are going to be able to better inform one another. When you have your life’s mission and the mission of a project merge like this so beautifully, that’s like total magic.’
Some also spoke of their concern for Lily, having suffered an eating disorder, taking on a role like this one. In an interview earlier this year she described that she took control of her weight with the help of a nutritionist and trained professionals.
‘It caused me to have to emotionally go there, but in a way that was the most safe, healthy way possible with a nutritionist, and really to physically go there but also emotionally. It did require a different set of emotional skills, to kind of go back in time for me, with you know, my experiences.’
To The Bone debuts on July 14th on Netflix.
‘…but I knew him’