‘To the Bone’ is a new movie that’s coming out on Netflix, and I must say that I have mixed feelings, very mixed feelings. It’s hard to show what an eating disorder looks like, but I listened to an interview with the main actress, Lily, who said that they were not intending to glamorize eating disorders at all. I actually do not doubt that, but I don’t think that I would say that the movie is the best representation of what an ED is.
(One of the qualms I had with it, that made me uncomfortable was the use of the ‘F’ word throughout the trailer) Yet let’s get to the deeper issues I have with it.
‘To The Bone’ shows a young girl in the trailer who is counting calories, who just can’t get thin enough. I agree that this is so often the motivation. We want to be thin, skinny; and we start to get a twisted sense of beautiful in our heads. We are trying to work our bodies to the bone, just to be loved, just to be accepted.
But. . . one place that the movie fails?
It didn’t represent that you don’t have to be skinny to have an ED or even struggle with ED thoughts.
You might not think that you need help if you aren’t skinny or thin enough, but I was never super ‘skinny’ or thin. My body never went below 100 pounds, and I’m not a tall girl. I’m about 5’3″, but I had SO many of those idolatrous, obsessive, controlling ED thoughts and actions.
I overexercised, but I wasn’t skin and bones.
I thought about food morning, noon, and night, but I wasn’t 75 pounds.
I am so thankful that my parents knew me well enough to see that there was something going on beyond the surface. They actually didn’t say that I was too thin to begin with, but they asked me why I wanted to lose weight (they had seen my internet searches on ‘how to lose weight.’). It wasn’t until they told me that they didn’t think I needed to lose weight that it begin to dawn on me how unhealthy and idolatrous my obsession had become.
Mind you though. I wasn’t wearing an XS or a 0-2.
To the outside world, I didn’t look like I had an ED.
I wanted to dig deeper here, because I know the Lord looks beyond our outsides, and He sees what’s in the depths of our hearts. He sees that the fundamentally wrong ED thoughts come from our hearts, and it doesn’t matter whether we are 100 pounds, 80 pounds, or 180 pounds or more (or less.)
Psalm 139:23-24, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.’
Jeremiah 17:10 “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.’
1 Chronicles 28:9, ‘“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.’
God tested my heart, and He revealed to me that the problem with me went deeper than the size I was. And I think that ‘To the Bone’ is a bit one sided. It doesn’t show that you can be:
and the list literally goes on and on
and still have an eating disorder.
However, I have not seen the whole movie. (so please take this with a grain of salt.) I watched several videos from people responding to the movies to those who had made the movie talking about it.
I’m skeptical, but I’m hopeful that maybe we can continue to bring the darkness of ED to the light. I know that when God brought me to the light it revealed the darkness, the sin that I was holding onto, and that was the BEST thing to happen to me.
What actually sparked this post was when Megan from Run Whole Nutrition talked about the movie coming out on Netflix a few weeks ago. I was intrigued by what she said as Megan is a really balanced anti-diet RD to be who loves to promote intuitive exercise, self-care, and eating donuts and salad.
Instead of just sharing my opinion, I also wanted to talk to Megan about her thoughts. She was gracious, thoughtful, and serious about EDs, and we talked about:
How This Movie Could Show That There’s Only One Type of ED
The Fact That People Don’t Always ‘Look’ Like They Have An ED (when they do)
Giving Hope to Those With An ED
Why Zooming Out to the Bigger Picture Really Helps Those in Recovery
I’m linking up with Amanda to share these thoughts so we can continue a discussion about this movie! 🙂
Have you seen the ‘To the Bone’ movie trailer?
Would it be helpful for someone with an ED or to raise awareness?
What do you think is the best way to bring light to what eating disorders are like?