The Thin Documentary Analysis: Eating Disorder

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Updated: Apr 30, 2024
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The Thin Documentary Analysis: Eating Disorder

This essay will analyze the documentary “Thin,” which focuses on the lives of individuals struggling with eating disorders. It will discuss how the documentary portrays the complexities of eating disorders, the challenges in treatment, and the societal factors contributing to these conditions. The piece will examine the documentary’s approach to presenting the personal stories of the subjects and its effectiveness in raising awareness about mental health and body image issues. PapersOwl showcases more free essays that are examples of Analysis.

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Thin documentary is a film that follows four women at the Renfrew facility in Florida who are undergoing treatment for eating disorders. These women include Polly, Shelly, Brittany, and Alisa who range from 15 to 30 years old. The film follows them as they interact with their therapists, nurses, staff, other patients and with one another. Indeed, the documentary exploration regarding the struggles these anorexic women face in this institution in their attempt to improve and live a positive life. The documentary gives an insight into politics as well as the poor running of the facility.

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Nonetheless, there are some positive aspects concerning the Renfrew facility through the discussions of the four protagonists.

The juxtapositions of the women experiences and the staff responses from the facility casts Renfrew in a negative perspective. Rather than the facility having the best interest of the patients at heart, the documentary shows the Renfrew’s staff and nurses engaging in cruel gossips concerning the patients, trying to prove their authority over them and making jokes in private concerning their weight gain and loss (Msali16). These scenes display a high level of unprofessionalism as well as being unethical. Anorexic or bulimic patients require great support because their disorders are psychological.

Additionally, the documentary shows that the system that they use is not work well. The four women never got healthy after spending so much money in the facility. Instead, Brittany and Polly were forcefully evicted from the center where the former had to leave because of the depletion of her insurance coverage. In the end, the documentary informs the viewer using texts displayed under the four characters concerning their lives after Renfrew. Brittany relapse an had to move in with her mother, Alisa attempted suicide, Shelly went for an electric shock treatment due to depression caused by her weight loss and Polly continue struggling with her weight (Msali16). These are shreds of evidence that the Renfrew treatment facility never influenced their lives positively. One or two of the four women relapsing after leaving the treatment center would have shown the facility was effective in treating eating disorders. However, all of them regressed, which shows the ineffectiveness of such centers in America.

Nonetheless, the film also has some positive aspects to the audience, especially to parents. The characters in the documentary discuss on matters relating to purging, binging, and ways to avoid eating (Msali16). Although some people might argue that such content might teach young people how to be anorexic or bulimic, the information is essential for parents to identify such warning signs early from their children. In doing so, parents may take early preventive measures or action to prevent the condition from getting worse. Furthermore, the four young women portrayed in the film are displayed having mental anguish, stomach tubes, and shots of purging, private discussions, and suicide talks. These scenes enable the viewer to empathize with them and understand the struggles of an anorexic person. and, the film helps to eradicate the misconceptions perceived by numerous people concerning anorexia or bulimia. The film shows that any person can be anorexic by showing a 15-year-old young girl like Brittany having an eating disorder and Alice, a 30-year-old divorced woman having two children with the disorder (Msali16). Such information is essential to prevent people from judging each other.

The documentary is a true insight into the cruelty that happens in the treatment centers. On paper, the centers might look like a positive and safe place for treating disordered eating among the women in America. However, the reality is they are bureaucratic and flawed considerably. Girls and women are chased out of the Renfrew treatment facility when their insurance cover runs out. They are depicted to strict rules, which play no role in helping them lose weight or lead joyful lives. Nonetheless, the film has numerous teachings to the audience regarding the medical consequences, psychology, and pathology of eating disorders.

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The Thin Documentary Analysis: Eating Disorder. (2022, Jun 24). Retrieved from