It’s Easter weekend and I was short on time and didn’t have much to write a new post. I am publishing a post that I previously posted on my old blog. It is my personal opinion on the film, Thin.
Thin is a film that premiered on HBO and was directed by Lauren Greenfield. It included an in-depth look at women and girls receiving treatment at the Renfrew Center, a well-known group of eating disorder treatment centers, in Florida.
I, surprisingly, first saw the film as a Sophomore in high-school in my health class.
First, let me state how inappropriate this movie is to be shown to fourteen and fifteen year old girls.
Second, it was extremely triggering to me at the time when I was just beginning to spiral into my eating disorder. I had no idea that I was shortly going to experience a similar situation to what these women were going through, however, I did notice myself relating to almost everything they said. I knew I had heard it somewhere before and I realized it was in my own head. Did I believe I had an eating disorder? No way, but I certainly saw myself in these women. The film intrigued me. By no means was it the reason I developed an eating disorder, but it definitely contributed to “the perfect storm.”
The documentary often contradicts itself in my mind. On one hand, it is an accurate portrayal of inpatient eating disorder treatment, but on the other it isn’t.
Yes, inpatient treatment includes 6 AM weigh-ins.
Yes, inpatient treatment consists of countless group therapy sessions.
Yes, inpatient treatment includes family sessions through the phone.
Yes, inpatient treatment includes girls who look like they are on their deathbeds.
But what it also includes is young women and girls who are motivated to be in recovery. It also includes amazing staff that may frustrate you, but are ultimately there to help you and that’s what they do. I just wish I saw more of that in this film.
I know the purpose of this documentary was to scare young girls and prevent them from developing eating disorders, but I’ve learned, through my own experience, this method doesn’t work. When you are sick, you don’t care if you faint while walking down the hall, you don’t care if you develop countless health problems due to your eating disorder, and you don’t care if you lose your life. You have tunnel vision to what your eating disorder wants and you don’t care what happens in the process.
In order to combat eating disorder, we need to educate girls factually but also teach them how to love themselves. If they are already dealing with similar issues, show them that there is hope to recover because there is and I know it. No, not everyone recovers because anorexia does possess a twenty-percent mortality rate, but that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. No one is every “too sick” to recover.
That is what this movie needed to show. Yes, maybe they should’ve portrayed a few women who were very sick and unmotivated, but, also, it should’ve included women ready and willing to recover. It would’ve given someone like me, already struggling, hope.
So, please don’t watch this if you are sick or if you are someone struggling with body image issues. Honestly, just don’t watch this film.
Then what eating disorder recovery films should you watch instead? Scroll to the bottom of my Recovery Resources page to see my recommendations.