Eating disorder issues are finally made into a movie called "thin", which debuted on Nov 14. The documentary examines the issues of girl culture of being stick-skinny and its devastating mental and physical effects. It depicts the lives of four women with eating disorders and their experiences.
The issues examined by the documentary are pretty real. It follows the various ups and downs that these women go through in their bid to become skinny. It also examines the social impact to those with eating disorders. For instance in one scene, a parent finds it hard to see why his daugther has difficulty stopping her eating disorder. In another scene, one of the women brings her own food to a family Thanksgiving dinner.
The documentary carries the message that people with eating disorders do actually have emotional illness. It is not a simple case of snapping out of the extreme eating behavior. The mental state of an eating disorder sufferer is complex and not easy to fully comprehend.
Then, with the woman who would prefer to eat her own food at Thanksgiving, she is undertaking isolating behavior. This scene depicts a real example as eating disorders can cause someone to withdraw altogether from company.
The "thin" documentary is timely. Already, there are many concerns about eating disorders becoming a very common problem. Many young girls nowdays are increasingly focusing on their external appearance. They would base their sense of worth on how they look. Succumbing to peer pressure is also prevalent. Initial thoughts of going on a diet can soon become an obsession and then turn into an eating disorder.
Many point an accusing finger at the media for causing this trend. Young girls in their preteens and in their teens are being fed on a diet of media messages that depict models looking thin. On almost every major newspaper, there are many advertisements by slimming centers, depicting before pictures (not desired body figures) to after pictures (desired body figures). These media messages about how an attractive female body should look like create a huge impact on the minds of impressionable girls and young women.
However, eating disorders all boil down to this. Those at the greatest risk of developing eating disorders are invariably those who do not have a sense of strong self esteem and confidence. Good family support and values also place an important role.
Many people with little understanding of this condition, see eating disorders as a socialization issue. It is much more than that. It is an illness that requires medical attention and an issue that warrants plenty of attention.
Lives of even bright and intelligent people with eating disorders can be destroyed. Those with this mental illness will go to great lengths to ensure that they look stick thin. Thankfully, there are more and more treatment centers being set up for inpatient care and to offer psycological help for those with eating disorders.