Is this new Netflix show the ’13 Reasons Why’ of eating disorders?


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Is this new Netflix show the ’13 Reasons Why’ of eating disorders?

Here we go again

Netflix just released the first trailer for To the Bone, Lilly Collins’ new film about a 20-year-old battling an eating disorder, and I already have a lot of questions.

The film, written and directed by Marti Noxon, is based off Noxon’s own experiences with anorexia and bulimia from the ages of 14 – 24.

Similar to 13 Reasons Why, this Netflix original is interested in “tackling bigger issues,” but with girls of all ages only a click away, it’s important to consider the content Netflix is hosting, and how it might affect younger women.

Collins recently opened up at the Sundance Film Festival, for the first time, about her own struggles with an eating disorder as a teen.

While many fans are glad there’s a woman who’s struggled with an ED playing the role, others are concerned about how she had to lose weight for the role — something that could be triggering, especially for someone who hasn’t overcome a disorder.

Collins, now 28, says she no longer struggles, but many young women and girls have not yet escaped the grasp of learning to accept their constantly changing bodies.

The bodies of adult women are more consistent, and though it’d be outrageous to claim older women don’t suffer from eating disorders, the longer you’ve dealt with one, perhaps, the better you become at managing it — the less impressionable you are.

The trailer opens with Collins counting calories she has the numbers memorized for, and her friend complimenting her achievement. Later she finds love, and friendship, in a home she’s sent to to overcome the disorder.

Despite being true to Noxon, the film, in a way, glamorizes something very tragic for many young girls. It’d be hard to grasp in 90 minutes the atrocities that come from struggling alone with something so serious — hair loss, mood swings, feeding tubes, self harm.

  • “Engaging, funny and humane,” says Vanity Fair. Eating disorders are very serious, and deserve to have a light shined on them, but I’m not convinced this is the way.