Netflix’s To the Bone has yet to even be released, but already, it’s the center of some major controversy. Its leading lady, Lily Collins, has been candidly brave about her own disordered eating in her younger days: The actress said that in taking on the role, she felt she was confronting her anorexia head on in the hopes of giving others a voice.
With many speaking out with concerns over the film’s brutally honest depiction of eating disorders, fearing that it could be triggering for those with such issues, its star is now opening up about the problematic reaction she received for her own dramatic weight loss while prepping for the role with a nutritionist.
In an interview with The Edit, Collins admits that her extreme transformation didn’t seem to bother everyone, recalling a specific incident in which her mother’s friend actually praised her for it, commenting on how great the 28-year-old’s super-thin body looked. “I was leaving my apartment one day and someone I’ve known for a long time, my mom’s age, said to me, ‘Oh, wow, look at you!'” the actress said. “I tried to explain [I had lost weight for a role] and she goes, ‘No! I want to know what you’re doing, you look great!'”
For the actress, it was yet another reminder of the cultural bias our society still has regarding our bodies, and the dangerous consequences it can lead to. “I got into the car with my mom and said, ‘That is why the problem exists.'”
The problem that Collins refers to is, of course, the unhealthy eating disorders that can result from society’s obsession with obtaining an “ideal” shape. While there are those that are naturally petite, cultural pressures to fit one particular body type can oftentimes lead to skewed perceptions of our own bodies, creating potentially life-threatening health issues.
With more focus on body positivity (which celebrates all body types, both big and small), and a greater focus on individual health and self love, having an actress like Collins be so forthcoming about her struggles with her form is certainly a step in the right direction toward reconciling one ideal with another’s truth.
If you are struggling with your body or diet, help is available.
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(h/t Teen Vogue; photo via Jason Kempin/Getty + Netflix)