Hey My lovelies!
Long time no see, I’ve missed you guys!
So I’ve had a lot of requests to do a more detailed article on my opinion on the Netflix original “To the bone” staring Lilly Collins. Although I am very keen to do this article, I know this blog could be extremely triggering, depending on where you are at right now. I will try my best to minimise the amount of graphic details and behaviours as I know it’s not helpful BUT TW for this whole blog, just as a precaution.
I personally believe that although TTB is inaccurate in quite a few ways, I found it to ring true in many ways. So if you want to stick around to hear my outlook on this film, please feel welcomed here my lovely.
I am going to be highlighting the good, the bad of the film from both perspectives to give this blog more depth. I will be exploring different themes or scenes separately so there will be Spoilers.
Competition within sufferers-
Although I hate to admit it, Anorexia, Bulimia ect is a very competitive illness and I have constantly compared myself to other people with regards to my Anorexia, as I’m sure many others of you have too. I personally commend the cast for tackling this theme with such maturity and in such a true light. In a scene where Elen and another patient are discussing how many times they have been in an Inpatient facility. Anna always tops elens lowest weight or times IP. The other people in the group setting are sitting with them at the table, and the conversation clearly made them uncomfortable. As much as I’d like to pretend that competition like this does not happen, YES IT DOES! it freaking does and it sometimes gets nasty. I appreciate the script writer for adding this in as I believe it not only shows competition but also how much unnecessary triggering details are discussed in recovery.
The bottle feeding scene-
In the film, there is a particular scene in which Elen’s mother feeds her with a bottle when she stays with her in Phoenix, showing the closeness that has been lost due to the Eating Disorder and the attempt at re mothering that Judy attempted. This scene really got to both me and my mum and it can easily make an ED sufferer cry, as it did me (embarrassingly). In my opinion, this is one of the most poignant moments in the film.
Portrayal of the disordered behaviours (trigger Warning)
Although some people would find the behavioural portrayal in the film too glamorised, I personally believe that the portrayal is extremely cleverly done and makes a point of the sheer behaviour that goes on behind closed doors. It can be triggering as they discuss behaviours such as S*****e, laxative abuse, water loading, making yourself S***K and more. As much as I did find some of the mentions of behaviours to be triggering, I applaud the actresses and actors for the level of realness and how raw the portrayal is. Just be warned, it is not sugar coated at all so be ready for emotion hell aha.
There is a particular scene involving Anna and her P******g and exercise behaviours and her miscarriage of her baby. Although this is incredibly hard hitting and bloody, it truly shows the devastating effects of an Ed and can deter people from going down the same road.
resistance and push away from loved ones-
Ok, So again, We do not really want to admit that we, as sufferers do this, but it rings very true. When you have an Ed, we are likely to push people away and resist treatment. Something that I loved about this film is that the director did not shy away from this very insightful concept. Personally, I believe that this was an extremely intelligent and well thought out point to make.
individual therapy and family therapy;
Another thing I appreciated about TTB was that they actually show a family therapy session, a over dramatized scene for some I’m sure but some of you gals and guys have vv turbulent therapy sessions dadada you get what I mean. It is unusual to see such a breakdown of families due to Anorexia ect but I think it is so poignant yet harrowing and shows a broken reality of many family dynamics.
No nonsense doctors and therapists-
I personally loved how take no shizzle the Doctor was. It was clear from the very beginning that he was not messing around and took everything seriously. He also did not make light of anything the patients were going through, a different approach to many doctors or therapists out there. If my therapist is reading this heyyyyyy you’re not one of these people aha.
Although this treatment may not work for everyone, I personally find this approach helpful. I was really glad that the director touched on this.
some of the quotes in this film are incredibly hard hitting and powerful and really touched me. I am gonna include some here for you lovely people. Hopefully these won’t be triggering.
- “Be good, but not too good, not perfect…. Susan
- I’m sorry I’m not a person anymore- just a problem…. Elen.
- Only you can decide it’s good to be alive…. Doctor Beckham
- I want you to understand that this is no ones fault, nobodies on trial here… DB
There were more things I appreciated but I need to move on otherwise this blog is gonna be so so long so lets move on to the not so amazing points of the film angels.
Elens stereotypical Eating Disorder-
As much as I love that BED, OSFED, AN and Bulimia ect are all covered in this movie, I was disappointed that Elen’s Eating disorder was the stereotypical Anorexia Case. As much as I am not belittling anyone disorder, There are a thousand different ways you can show someone is suffering with an Ed regardless of the way you look and portraying Elen as a stereotypical skeletal Anorexic girl just increases and enforces stigma. I am gonna get so annoyed at this so I’mma move on now lol.
The Eli &Luke romance-
OK, so before anyone gets at me saying, “It’s cute, it gives people hope”This is my opinion. I personally believe that there was no real necessity to make Eli fall in love with Luke. Yes, it is sweet, but what is the point if you are just going to drag storylines that have no real relevance (my opinion). To the Bone is supposed to be showing the harrowing details and give people reality yet optimism. Shoving a romance in the middle, enforces the view inpatient treatment is a holiday camp and you find love. Ok, I see you, you gals that fancy the boy with Anxiety and depression at your unit, but it doesn’t really happen. Well, to some people oof.
In the film, Eli and Luke are portrayed as recovering for each other, a cliche concept. You need to recover for YOURSELF and I just thought that this detail was cheesy and not needed. It does not focus on the real, raw subject matter and I really did not like it.
Lily Collins Weight Loss-
ok, again, controversial, but why in the world would you make the lead actress who had previously suffered with a restrictive disorder lose weight for a role? It confuses me so much and it could be downright dangerous. I really expected better from both the actress, director and the full cast. Having all struggled with an ED themselves, they know how triggering losing weight and restriction is. I thought we now knew better as sufferers. Apparently not. So for now I am gonna try not to get a bee in my bonnet about this.
I have so many more points I could raise so if you want a part 2, HMU.
Stay strong my angels,