I watched To The Bone last night. This makes me a hypocrite because I said I wouldn’t, but I couldn’t sleep so I did. #lifechoices
Anyway, obviously I have an opinion on it because I am an annoyingly opinionated person.
I would (and will) argue, however, that it’s not fair for anybody to have an opinion on the treatment provided, or the behaviour of the people with anorexia in the film. People’s experiences of treatment are very different – I’ve read a lot of reviews, and heard a lot of people say, that it’s unrealistic that the patients should be celebrating with coloured straws in their Fortisips/Ensures (etc.) but I’m not sure what gives people the right to make that judgement. When I was in hospital, a friend and I got bitten by a parrot. I’m sure if that had made it into a film, lots of people would have judged that to be ridiculous, but it happened. We also got very drunk on vodka in the Day Room one August night. Not very realistic? You might think so, but it happened.
I thought To The Bone was very emotionally accurate, although obviously that is only because it mirrored my own feelings, and those of the people I’ve watched attempt recovery.
The only part that I did, however, not particularly like was the ‘revelation’ at the end when Eli had a vision and suddenly knew she had to go back into treatment. Yes, I hallucinated when I was very poorly at the beginning of my admission but, unfortunately, it was mainly that Lee was standing at the door of the Sluice Room shouting. Not very revelatory.
Yes, for some people, they may have an experience which tells them that they’ve got to get better, but for most people the decision to recovery comes at the end of gruelling weight restoration prompted and supported by others.
As for being triggering, I was lucky enough not to find it so, although I am fairly well established in the recovery mindset. However, I would say that it does somewhat glamorise eating disorders in that it makes inpatient treatment look like a ‘fun’ alternative. Whilst, for me, inpatient treatment was a series of crashing highs and lows, I am sure it was not anything I couldn’t and wouldn’t have experienced in the outside world if I hadn’t had the experience – I’m definitely sure that nobody is ‘missing out’ on anything but I can understand that that might be a triggering aspect to the film. Mainly inpatient was very, very, very, very, very boring and it made me very aware of what I was missing out on.
The most surprising part for me was that I watched parts of the film and my brain wanted to give ‘tips’ to the protagonist on how to lose weight ‘better’. Obviously, that’s something I need to address because I am still struggling, to some extent, with a mindset which apparently views weight loss as a positive.
Anyway, I’m sure nobody will have got this far but, if you think you can cope with it, I would say that To The Bone is a really interesting take on something which is usually misrepresented or viewed as a ‘secret’ and ‘shameful’. If you’ve got views, I clearly have a need to talk a lot, so let me know what you thought/think.
PS. If you finish this review, let me know and I will post you chocolate…