I was scrolling through Facebook the other day when I came across an article about why the film To the Bone fell short and wasn’t “true to the nature that is anorexia nervosa.” A similar thing happened when the first season of 13 Reasons Why premiered. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a show that depicts why a young high school girl committed suicide.
Now follow me along as I critique the critics.
Film and music dominate our culture and many others. The fact that more mainstream production companies are even broaching these topics is a step in the right direction. We need awareness more than ever on topics such as mental health, eating disorders (which kinda fall under mental health), suicide (ditto, kinda)… you get the picture.
Another thought and feeling I have is not everyone’s experience(s) with these conditions is going to be the same. There has to be room for perception.
For example, I have Bipolar Disorder. I don’t know anyone in my life who has it so I sometimes get in the mood to read a memoir of someone who does. Am I going to cast aside their experiences and feelings because I cannot relate? Simply because it’s not my own perception of what I experience living with the disorder?
The biggest word thrown around lately is spectrum. Autism spectrum, Gender spectrum, Bipolar disorder spectrum (well maybe not attached in particular, but there is Bipolar 1, 2, and Cyclothymia[3?])
Why can’t there be spectrums for everything? Everything fluid and changing and possibly sometimes evolving?
There’s a chance that movies and shows like To the Bone and 13 Reasons Why can make a difference to someone who’s going through that, or even to people who know someone going through that. Maybe it will help open their eyes and see what it is like for the person suffering. Maybe, just maybe it will start an awareness in the mainstream. Then possibly the stigmas against these conditions like eating disorders, mental illness, and suicidal ideation will begin to dissipate.