Monday, November 13, 2006


Tomorrow night at 9pm ET, HBO airs Thin, a documentary on eating disorders by filmmaker Lauren Greenfield. Click here here for an interview with Ms. Greenfield.


Haley-O said...

Oy, I don't know if I'll be able to stomach it (pun sort of intended...). I'll look forward to your commentary in any case. :)

PalmTreeChick said...

I can't wait to see it. I watched a clip of it. It's going to be really good. Although it does come on while the Dancing with the stars finally is on. ;)

flowerchild said...

I watched the show. It took a while for me to come up with something to say because basically I have lived the whole thing and it hit home like a sucker punch.
First I was struck by how very important the support of other women is. In treatment, the women were surrounded by each other and created bonds that helped sustain them. Our ED is such an isolating thing. It puts up walls between us and other people. I don't have people in my life. I think it is something I have chosen, but I hate it anyway.
Second, after watching the women and their struggles, it made me see that our ED keeps us from being who God made us to be. It keeps us from giving to the world the remarkable gifts we have to make it a better place. Consequentally, it keeps us from who we are.
My ED has kept me in a self-imposed prison of mediocrity and fear with a bunch of "if onlies" to keep my company. It is probably the saddest thing about my ED (I guess beside the possibility of death which I hope is farther away).

drstaceyny said...


ptc--was it what you expected?

fc--your thoughts are compelling. Yes, the support can be v. helpful. The prison metaphor is a remarkably accurate one, and I appreciate the notion of an ED keeping "us from who we are." Not being who you are (or who you were intended to be) is a v. sad concept, indeed.

PalmTreeChick said...

I'm not sure what I expected, Drstacey. I thought it was a well done documentary. I was surprised by a few things:

The fact that they didn't weigh all the girls backwards so they couldn't see their weight.

Though it was very prison-like, they also had more freedom that I expected. Their bathrooms weren't locked, which shocked me.

I felt bad for those girls in two different ways. I felt bad that they were so unhealthy and were having such a difficult time with recovery. But, I also felt bad that they were in that position where they had to eat things they didn't want to eat and drink that Resource supplement. I felt so bad for Polly when she had to eat that cupcake. I'm not nearly in the state these girls are in but I can't imagine being forced to eat these meals. It freaks me out to think about.

The whole group therapy thing was weird too. Weird meaning that I can't imagine having to sit there talking about everything and telling people how you really feel about yourself and about them.

I wish they could get better! I know I wouldn't want to be in their shoes. I wish it was easier for them to just recover!

PalmTreeChick said...

Oh yeah, it also made me think that recovery doesn't really exist.

Jackie said...

I disagree with Lauren Greenfield's opinon, that "It has nothing to do with mainstream concerns and media pressure." when it comes to eating disorders.

I think this is a rather ignorant view, for someone like her to have. Of course eating disorders are linked to society's constant scapegoating of fat people.

I'm sure the constant daily toll of being told, you will die unless you become thin, is a huge cause in a majority of eating disorders. I'm very disappointed to see that Lauren did not see this as an important enough issue to discuss in her film. It seems more like she's just regurgitating old statements about those who are eating disordered.

Seems she really isn't doing much to help the campaign for health at any size at all. I don't really see how positive, or how Thin is a breakthrough documentary. When it's the same old, claims of "The either were abused, or trumatized" How about the girl who said "She just wanted to be thin". I

sn't that more disturbing, than someone who is reacting to abuse or truma..that our society creates women who become Anorexic, from a constant barrage of statements, saying if you're not thin you're trash?

There could've been alot more done with this documentary. Unfortuntely it seems to perpetuate the same tired assumptions, about anyone who isn't at an "healthy" size. Like, someone told my mom she heard that fat people are fat because they were abused.

First of all, why should it be any of their buisness if something is going on in my family. Secondly, to accuse someone of abuse, based only on the basis that the children are fat is beyond ignorant.

I think Thin is only going to perpetuate assumptions like this. Meaning more counselors, will assume that if someone is too fat or too thin, they're being abused..and need to be rescued from their home. They don't talk about the children, like me, who were terrified of being taken away from a loving home based on a black and white basis for who's in trouble.

I used to cut myself, which was more why the school counselors thought I was in trouble. When most of the abuse I suffered was not at home, but at the school. Of course, nobody at the schools want to admit to that.

More fat people afraid to go to school, thinking they'll be carried off to foster care, because they're assuming their parents aren't abusive, by not participating in the all-American pastime of starving your child to remain a "healthy" weight.

I think this so-called documentary will do more harm than good. If I wanted to hear about something based on little more than a regurgitation of facts, from different sources..rather than actual experience. I'd read a high schooler's school report on the subject.

I can't belive that what equates to a shabby premise that a high school report would be based on, makes a good idea for a documentary. I guess as long as there are plenty of thin people to look at, anything goes.

drstaceyny said...

ptc--by the time someone ends up inpatient, there are likely serious medical concerns that the treatment is trying to avert--thus, the "force-feeding." The group therapy portion can be difficult if you're not used to this type of sharing, but it also can be remarkably helpful for those who open up to feedback and help.

Recovery IS possible, though can be difficult. Renfre issued a statement suggesting that the recovery process was not accurately depicted by the film.

jackie--thanks for your comment. I agree that a number of factors may have been overlooked, though I wouldn't figure Greenfield's intentions would be the same as mine. You point out the assumptions we have abt people based on weight--assuming that someone who is heavy or thin or who has an eating-disorder diagnosis has been abused is just that, an assumption, and doesn't seem to be very helpful in this discourse.

PalmTreeChick said...

You're right. Usually the person needs to get physically stablalized in order to even begin the mental aspects of treatment. The body needs to get nutrients in it in order for the brain to be able to function correctly and for the person to be able to begin treatment.