Summer is a great time to take off from our busy work schedules, relax, reflect and learn. I have been enjoying some fantastic books and movies lately, one of which really struck a chord with me. “To The Bone”, featuring Lily Collins, is a movie I had been highly anticipating this summer, especially after having read the actress’ recent autobiography, “Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me”.
The movie brings to light the critical and too often neglected topics of eating disorders, mental health and body image. The story follows Ellen/Eli’s (Lily Collins) battle through anorexia with insights into the deeply complex layers of eating disorders and eventually, her path towards self-acceptance.
What affected me more than the movie itself was Lily Collins’ bravery in portraying Eli, especially after – as is revealed in her autobiography – having struggled through anorexia herself. Recovery from any mental illness can often be a long and turbulent process and the thought of putting yourself back in those shoes, even when acting, would be terrifying to most. As a young female in the performing arts who has, like so many others, experienced bullying about body image and had to deal with its implications, I found it inspiring to witness a beautiful, talented, accomplished young woman fearlessly exposing her battle scars and raising awareness for such an important cause: reminding us that the best way to conquer our fears is to face them.