Thin (2006)
★★★★ / ★★★★

One of my professors in a psychology course about psychological disorders stated that a person with an eating disorder will always have an eating disorder. I took a lot of useful information from that class but I think that statement is the one I’ll remember the most for two reasons: I was very shocked when she said it and though I don’t want to accept it, I know deep inside that I agree with her. In “Thin,” directed by Lauren Greenfield, we get a chance to follow four women with varying ages and backgrounds concerning their treatment in Renfrew Center in Florida. I don’t want to mention the four women’s names because I believe it’s their right to remain anonymous especially with an illness like anorexia and/or bulemia. What I loved about this film was it really managed to cover a range of symptoms of different kinds eating disorders without sugarcoating anything. The documentary showed us how their families eventually became tired of their daughters because being committed in a facility was not foreign to their children, especially when it costs a lot of money. The documentary also showed us the neglect of insurance companies for these people; I know that insurance companies are driven by money but I can’t help but get angry whenever they decide to not cover a girl’s treatment just when she shows signs of getting better. The therapy sessions were heartbreaking for me because the girls were really honest about their feelings–feelings about their fear of disappointing their families and the people that they live with in the treatment facility. Oddly enough, not many of them admitted to being afraid of disappointing themselves. Certain things they said really got to me such as when one of the girls said that she’s so willing to be skinny to the point where death wouldn’t stop her from achieving her goal. That irrational belief to want to be skinny really stood out to me because I sometimes forget about the importance of that adjective. It solidifies the fact that these girls not only need help when it comes to getting food in their bodies but also to change the way they think. I get so upset whenever I hear friends or read posts from message boards that people who have eating disorders are just vain or that they just lack motivation. To be quite frank, when people say those things, they really show their ignorance. Have a little sensitivity and try to do a little research before you judge someone with a really serious illness. Most of the time, being irrational is out of one’s control. I thought this movie was exemplary even though it did lose focus for fifteen to twenty minutes somewhere in the middle. Everything about it was fascinating. Considering that a lot of people have body issues, I think watching this movie will help a lot of people who have friends or family who might have an eating disorder to spot the symptoms and how to provide invaluable support.

3 replies »

  1. Your professor was right. Without getting too personal, I was anorexic in my early teens; I went through therapy and gained back the weight. But having an eating disorder is like having a drug addiction — you can live without it, you know you’re better without and know it’s unhealthy, but it’s always in the back of your mind. I continue to have issues with food and struggle against the compulsion to starve myself if I see I’ve gained weight.

    Whoa … that was way more than you ever needed to know, but I’m not sorry I said it. People should know.

    And that’s NOT why I posted on this! I wanted to tell you that I love your site and I chose you to participate in this little blog forward (it’s fun, I swear) going around. Visit my site for more info:

    • Thank you for sharing that part of your life. I appreciate it, especially from someone who actually went through it. :)

      I love your site as well; there’s so many to see AND you update pretty much every day. I’ve actually taken a look around before but didn’t get around to commenting. It’s one of those moments that went, “Okay, I’ll just back later” but I never got to do it because I’m so scatter-brained. I’ll add your link to the right for sure.

      • I’m glad you weren’t weirded out by the share, which I thought later might be “overshare.” But sometimes you watch a movie and you can be object about it, and sometimes your personal experience gets in the way (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

        Thanks for the compliments, and do keep coming by the site — comments are always welcome, be they good, bad or indifferent! You’ve got a great site here, and I hope I can push some readers and bloggers your way.

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