I would prefer it to have caused more of a stir in people who have no experience of eating disorders but are they going to be the people who watch it?!
It’s so hard that so often, when trying to raise awareness of mental illness, we end up preaching to the converted and it ends up being more about whether it’s been a typical representation or whether anyone’s offended or triggered by it.
What I want is for people who do not know anything about eating disorders to watching this film. It doesn’t show the whole recovery story but it does show the difficulty coming to terms with needing treatment.
People within the eating disorder world are putting people off from watching it, this is probably their aim. I’m not quite sure why other people think their story “better portrays” anorexia or why it’s ok to deliberately trigger yourself and then lash out at the film’s leading lady or director.
By it’s nature Hollywood is glamorous and stories are simplified for entertainment purposes. If we want to use a widely accepted form of media to raise awareness, we have to accept these compromises.
This film will do more to get conversations going than any blog writer and I’m happy to thank them for doing it.
Please don’t watch it if you think you may be triggered, it really is that simple. I know it may not be easy as in recovery we’re all ambivalent but it is a simple yes/no desision about whether to watch it. Maybe shut off social media for a few days to let the hype die down and every time you’re tempted to click yet another To The Bone link, say “no”.
Read more about my thoughts on my Metro blog