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Trailer for 'To the Bone,' Netflix's New Movie, Met With Criticism

On Tuesday, Netflix released a trailer for the movie, “To the Bone,” staring Lily Collins as Ellen, a woman whose struggle with an eating disorder lands her in a treatment program. The film is loosely based on the experience of its director, Marti Noxon, who dealt with anorexia herself.

Collins, who’s open about her own history with an eating disorder, said in an interview with Refinery 29 that taking on this role was a scary process:

When I got the script, it wasn’t something that I was talking about yet. It was this fear being placed right in front of me, and doing the film meant that I would have to face it head-on… It was something that I thought is risky, because there’s a fine line between facing something head-on and succeeding, or falling back into it. But I knew that, this time, I would be held accountable for it. I would be [losing weight] under the supervision of a nutritionist and surrounded by all these amazing women on set. So, I knew that I would be in a safe environment to explore this.

The trailer was met with some criticism, though. Some called it “triggering” for people who live with eating disorders. The trailer shows images of a much thinner Collins, despite media guidelines that suggest against showing “graphic images or descriptions of the bodies.” In its Responsible Media Coverage of Eating Disorder guidelines, the National Eating Disorder Association states, “Research proves that coverage dramatizing dangerous thinness can provoke a ‘race to the bottom’ among other sufferers, i.e., ‘She is thinner than I am and she’s still alive. I should lose more weight.’”

To prepare for the role, Collins told Refinery 29 she visited an Anorexic Anonymous group and met with the head of the LA Clinic for Eating Disorders. The movie is also partnering with Project HEAL, an organization that delivers treatment financing and recovery support for people who live with eating disorders.

Project HEAL c0-founder Liana Rosenman told The Mighty:

It’s a challenge to make a truthful movie about eating disorders that sheds light on their severity and complexity — capturing the patient and family experience of this real mental disorder — without glamorizing the disease ‘To the Bone’ tows this line beautifully. While the movie has the possibility to be triggering to some, I strongly believe that it will make a huge difference of raising public awareness of this silenced disorder.

The movie, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year, will be released on Netflix July 14.

Watch the trailer below:

Editor’s note: If you live with an eating disorder, the “To the Bone” trailer could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741-741.

The Mighty has reached out to Netflix for comment but has yet to hear back.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

Screenshot via Netflix

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