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Critics say trailer for Netflix’s new film glorifies anorexia
Are mental illnesses meant to be portrayed in a comedic light?
Netflix recently dropped a trailer for its new film about a 20-year-old woman with anorexia—and the internet already foresees problems with the soon-to-be-released dark comedy.
The trailer for To the Bone introduces viewers to Ellen, a somewhat dark-humored young woman, who enters a group home. In one scene, upbeat music is played while a doctor moves his hand along Ellen’s protruding backbone, which viewers say could glorify anorexia for younger viewers and trigger those who already have the eating disorder.
At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder, and 0.9 percent of American women suffer from anorexia. Anorexia is classified as a mental illness, which has people quick to compare To the Bone with Netflix’s already-controversial original series 13 Reasons Why, which many say glorified suicide and downplayed mental illness.
my dads response to 13 Reasons Why and To The Bone pic.twitter.com/CTZ2oW92Ab— jackson (@soongrowtired) June 22, 2017
First 13 reasons why, now to the bone, can't netflix stop triggering those with mental health problems and go back to lesbians in prison?— Chloe (@clodurrant) June 21, 2017
13 reasons why and to the bone are not realistic portrayals of mental illness. it is not edgy or sarcastic or romantic don't even @ me— Molly Clarke (@Mollsballs33) June 27, 2017
Netflix's 'to the bone' is just a massive trigger to anyone with mental health problems or any form of eating disorder, it is not helpful— morgan (@mxrganmc) June 20, 2017
Hoping "To The Bone" will be eye opening and helpful rather than triggering and glamourising anorexia— ells (@EllaChaston) June 21, 2017
However, some argue that the subject matter is being handled by women who’ve had experience with eating disorders and we should trust that they’ve done a good job with the film, which none of the Twitter critics have seen yet.
To The Bone was written by a woman who was anorexic & stars Lily Collins who overcame ED. This is NOT a 13rw case. pic.twitter.com/EKoEY9iGko— Ariel (@fIoraIprints) June 20, 2017
before y'all go off about to the bone maybe do your research it's written and directed by someone who had an eating disorder— n | was rhaegardied (@JEONSBEGlN) June 20, 2017
people with no mental illness: we need mental illness rep!!!— heroin chic (@raskolnovich) June 20, 2017
to the bone: hello
people: omg ur glorifying mental illness get out
Marti Noxon, the director of the film, spent much of her teen and young adult life in and out of the hospital with an eating disorder. Lilly Collins, who portrays Ellen, also struggled with an eating disorder as a teenager.
In reference to the show, Collins said, “This would be an amazing way for me to … face a fear and go through it again … and to really open up a conversation between young girls and guys.”
To the Bone will premiere on Netflix July 14.
Vanna Vasquez is a former intern at the Daily Dot whose work focused on viral news, politics, and YouTube. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, she has also published bylines with BuzzFeed.