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The "To The Bone" Trailer Has Started A Complicated Discussion About Eating Disorders

The movie, which debuts on Netflix next month, stars Lily Collins as a 20-year-old woman with anorexia.

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On Tuesday, Netflix released the trailer for To the Bone, a comedy-drama whose main character Ellen (Lily Collins) has anorexia.

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In addition to Collins, the film stars Keanu Reeves as Ellen's doctor, William Beckham; Carrie Preston as Ellen's stepmother, Susan; and Lilly Taylor as Ellen's mother, Judy.

The trailer for To the Bone, which will launch on Netflix on July 14, has started a conversation online about how the mainstream media portrays mental health and eating disorders.

Support and opposition toward the trailer were relatively even. While some people thought it was "great"...

To the bone is great, I mean there is an "happy ending" in a movie about anorexia, and I feel it's very important BC THERE IS A WAY THROUGH

...others felt "it is not helpful."

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

Some Twitter users said the film could be "triggering" for "impressionable" audiences...

Seriously fuck Netflix for making To the Bone. Even the trailer is triggering. What do you think it'll do to its impressionable viewers?

...calling it "a prime example of companies exploiting severe mental health illnesses..."

Netflix's To The Bone is a prime example of companies exploiting severe mental illnesses, using the same old white manic pixie trope.

...and an example of the "romanticisation of eating disorders."

It's another romanticisation of eating disorders that'll act as pro-ana porn and spur on people with existing eating disorders.

There were concerns about how To the Bone would affect those who have eating disorders.

beyond triggered from the trailer for To The Bone, dread to think what effect it'll have on sufferers who haven't recovered from their ED

And that the film's images could be used in an unhealthy way by people with eating disorders as "thinspo," slang for "thin inspiration."

i bet you lily collins at her normal weight was already being exalted on “thinspiration” websites. now ppl have pics of her even thinner.

Some have likened the criticism of the To the Bone trailer to the response to Netflix's 13 Reasons Why, which told the story of a teen girl who kills herself after being raped.

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?

But there are others who don't think To the Bone will be another 13 Reasons Why.

To The Bone was written by a woman who was anorexic & stars Lily Collins who overcame ED. This is NOT a 13rw case.

There seems to be a fine line: some people want mental health and eating disorders to be represented on TV and in film, but when it is, it's sometimes conflated with "glorifying" these subjects.

people with no mental illness: we need mental illness rep!!! to the bone: hello people: omg ur glorifying mental illness get out

In defense of To the Bone, Twitter users pointed out that Marti Noxon, who wrote and directed the film and whose real life serves as the inspiration for Ellen's, had an eating disorder in her early teens and twenties.

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

Some pointed out that Collins has also spoken about her own experience with an eating disorder.

DO YOUR RESEARCH. Before calling To the Bone, "misrepresentation" and saying that the actors have no idea what ED v… https://t.co/eUqUAE8iEU

In December 2016, Collins told People she thinks To the Bone "has the potential to make a difference and promote open conversation about a topic so often considered too taboo to discuss."

A month later, she told Vanity Fair that signing on for the project did make her pause for a moment as she feared relapsing, but that she ultimately decided she could do the part justice with the help of Noxon, who is known for her work in television (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, and Unreal). "It’s a conversation that you need to help start among young people—males and females—because it is becoming more and more prevalent for both now," Collins told the magazine.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to representatives for Noxon and Collins for further comment.

To the Bone premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017, and reviews were generally positive.

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The Hollywood Reporter said the film was "occasionally harrowing but sometimes also surprisingly warm," while Variety remarked on how it "never crosses into that toxically self-indulgent zone of therapy-through-filmmaking," saying that "it feels as if Noxon has long since worked out these issues herself, and now she’s paying it forward."

In May, Collins and Noxon were honored by Project Heal, a non-profit started by two women who met as teens while being treated for anorexia.

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The organization raises money for people who have eating disorders and who want to get better, but don't have the monetary means to do so.

"I wouldn't be here if it weren't for Marti writing this script," Collins said to attendees of the Project Heal gala. "That allowed me to insert my story into this character ... in a way that forced me to deal with fact as opposed to this fiction I'd created in my head."

The cast of To the Bone also recorded a video for World Eating Disorders Action Day, raising awareness through facts many people may not have known about eating disorders.

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BuzzFeed News has also reached out to Netflix for comment on the response to the To the Bone trailer.

UPDATE: On Thursday night, Noxon issued a statement about the controversy surrounding the trailer for To the Bone via her Twitter account. Read Noxon's full statement below:

"Having struggled with anorexia and bulimia well into my 20s, I know firsthand the struggle, isolation and shame a person feels when they are in the grips of this illness. In an effort to tell this story as responsibly as we could, we spoke with other survivors and worked with Project Heal throughout production in the hopes of being truthful in a way that wasn't exploitive. That said, it's important to remember that each person's battle with EDs is unique and To The Bone is just one of the millions of ED stories that could be told in the US at this very moment. My goal with the film was not to glamorize EDs, but to serve as a conversation starter about an issue that is too often clouded by secrecy and misconceptions. I hope that by casting a little light into the darkness of this disease we can achieve greater understanding and guide people to help if they need it."