This emotionally charged 2006 documentary explores the lives of four girls (Shelly, Alisa, Brittany and Polly) as they struggle to recover from eating disorders at The Renfrew Centre in Florida.
All those at Renfrew suffer from severe anorexia or bulimia and the centre has a strong focus on the role of body image. Director Lauren Greenfield has long been involved in the exploration of body image and makes a clear decision to present us with the consequences of America’s obsession with body image.
One of the biggest issues associated with eating disorders, as depicted by Greenfield, is the inevitable link with depression. We see how shame and confusion surrounding their disorder directly causes depression which only serves to continue the cycle of skipped meal or purging.
Greenfield presents a tragic issue in western society that needs to be explored and despite the focus on Renfrew, ‘Thin’ is as much an exploration of the dangers of body image idealization than the treatment of anorexia.