It is an important subject that needs to be talked about. And, here are some shows and films that managed to do it.
1. Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui
The film addresses the emotional turmoil that comes with 'eating too much' or 'too little', when someone deals with eating disorders. Ayushmann Khurrana's character, Manu talks about the struggle that he went through after the death of his mother - he stopped eating for a day or two and then used to eat a lot. This led to changes in his body that he was bullied about. The film brings about an important discussion which is hardly ever talked about in Bollywood films - where body shaming is used for comic relief.
2. The Crown
The show that revolves around the royal family, also puts light on the life of Princess Diana and her story. This also includes her battle with bulimia. In a scene from an episode, Diana is seen overwhelmed by the treatment that she recieves in the royal family and also her equation with Charles. She then binges on desserts and the scene ends with her in the bathroom. The scene is not an easy watch, but the show intends on showcasing the entirety of the struggle Diana went through and later, also talked about.
3. Dil Dhadakne Do
Dil Dhadakne Do managed to mock its own characters, while keenly talking about superficiality and failing relationships. However, there's a scene from the film that remains strong despite having any dialogue. Shefali Shah's character is seen struggling with her body, while also dealing with taunts from the society and her husband on how she 'looks'. When she observes her husband's behaviour towards her, she binges on food, while crying and thinking about it. She's unbothered by her diet in the moment, and the scene shows food as her only escape.
4. This Is Us
The show is all about emotions and the need to address them - even the kind we can't process. But, it also highlights some important topics and issues. For instance, in an episode, Madison calls Kate after she faints at her place after purging, because she had binged on frozen yogurt. She opens up about how people do not understand why she does it. Right then, Kate also shares about her struggle with her body and her relationship with food. The scene not only addresses eating disorders, but also the emotional triggers associated with them.
5. Hip Hip Hurray
While its major theme revolved around friendship, the show explored topics such as eating disorders, substance abuse, exam stress and domestic troubles. There's an episode in the show where Kiran talks about the issues concerning her body with a therapist. The therapist then goes on and tells her about anorexia and how it's common and not anything to be ashamed about. The scene highlights the need to take help and seek therapy, while also openly talking about things.
6. To The Bone
To The Bone revolves around anorexia and the battle of the protagonist with the eating disorder. The film addresses the emotional and physical struggles associated with it, which not many films and shows have been able to do. In a scene from the film, Ellen is sitting with the other patients who are part of the program, and she talks about the calories in the drip. The therapist asks her not to talk about numbers because they can create a feeling of not 'doing good enough'. The scene focuses on the need to talk about the issues and victories involved with eating disorders.
7. Wake Up Sid
There's no denying that every 20-something related with the film or at least one of the characters. It is about what we feel when it seems like we have to figure out everything in our lives. There's a scene in the film where Shikha Talsania's character, Laxmi opens up about wanting to change her eating habits and failing at it everyday. While it doesn't address any eating disorder directly, it still manages to throw light on the body images issues that people deal with because of our society. And, their impact on our eating habits.
The mini web-series revolves around the protagonist's struggle with bulimia. In a scene from the pilot episode, the protagonist is confronted by a doctor about her eating disorder, which she avoids talking about. The scene is light yet impactful because it addresses bulimia while ticking boxes on a list, which gives us a picture of what the disorder is all about. It also puts emphasis on the importance of seeking help while dealing with it.
Shaandaar did some things right when it came to addressing mental health and body positivity. In a scene from the film, Isha's to-be husband laughs about her lehenga getting ripped during the wedding ceremony. And, as a come-back she asks him to face her for who she is, because that's how she loves herself. Again, the film doesn't talk about an eating disorder, but it does address the unhealthy beauty standards set by society and the idea of 'fitting in' specific sizes. Isha also talks about her relationship with food and leaves us with actual goals of loving oneself.
Times are changing and there's hope that the conversation around the subject will grow.