NETFLIX released the film To The Bone on 14 July. Since the release of the program, the Australian and International mental health sector has raised major concerns regarding the content and depiction of eating disorders. The film follows the journey of a 20 year old female who is living with anorexia nervosa. Please see below some information and tips that have been put together by the Butterfly Foundation to encourage safe viewing and help seeking. Young people are encouraged to speak to their parents about the film before viewing, as well as parents speaking to their children. If it is decided that you will watch the film, watching it together may be helpful to discuss any issues or concerns that may arise when viewing.

Starting Conversations

Having appropriate conversations around the seriousness of eating disorders, and the importance of reaching out for help is vital.

  • Be aware - the most important thing you can do is to be prepared and educate yourself as much as possible about eating disorders, to understand the complexity of the illness, signs to look out for and associated behaviours.
  • Approaching someone – if you are concerned about someone, letting them know that you care about them and that you are there for support, is key. For advice on how to approach someone you are concerned about, see our Fact Sheet.

Safe Viewing

Butterfly is aware that Netflix’s To the Bone could be triggering and raise concerns for those who have an eating disorder, are at risk of an eating disorder, or have previously had an eating disorder. Here are a few things that we would like you to consider:

  • Should I watch the film? – if you are experiencing an eating disorder, we encourage you to speak with your health professional or support networks before viewing, to see if this is suitable. If after viewing the trailer, you feel overwhelmed, it is advised that you do not watch the film and speak with your support person. If you are really unsure about whether you should view the film and wish to speak to someone, you can call Butterfly’s National Helpline on 1800 33 4673.
  • Parental supervision – we encourage young people to speak to their parents about the film before viewing, as well as parents to speak to their children. If it is decided that you will watch the film, watching it together may be helpful to discuss any issues or concerns that may arise when viewing.
  • Self-care – viewing the film may raise complex feelings and emotions. Debriefing with someone you trust, can assist in working through your emotions, and identify whether you should seek additional support.

Help Seeking Information

If this film raises concerns for you or someone you know, we encourage you to reach out for support. Key national support services include:

Jen Jarrett | Director of Student Wellbeing Pre-K to 12