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Disfigured

Cast
Laurie O'Brien, Ryan C. Benson, Staci Lawrence, Elizabeth Sampson
Released
2008
Blog entry

Could a woman with anorexia nervosa get an obese woman to lose weight? Could an obese woman get a woman with anorexia nervosa to gain weight. This film reveals the complexity of the barriers and the personal clashes with self image and cultural expectations.

An unlikely friendship develops when Darcy, a woman with anorexia nervosa, tries unsuccessfully to join a support (?) group for overweight women (0:06) because to herself she looks overweight, leading her to frustrated attempts to lend her experience in weight loss strategies to an obese woman, Lydia, ("I want anorexia lessons." 0:40) who attempts to return the favor by helping her slender friend gain weight.

Darcy reveals elements of her anorexia when she admits to starving herself (0:09) and exams her body in a mirror (0:21). Tension develops when her parents ask her about eating and dating (0:26) and whether she is "seeing" Dr. S. We see her purging or spitting out food in a bathroom alone (028).

Darcy argues that she, unlike Lydia, is sick ("I have an eating disorder" 0:41) as evidenced by treatment by "four therapists in twelve years." She seems more inclined toward seeking professional help again as the story unfolds, talking about psychotherapy (1:11) and calling Dr. S (1:17, 1:28). Just how much do these two eating problems have in common?

Irony abounds: An overweight man admits to Lydia that he wants bariatric surgery but later admits he wants to gain a few pounds in order to qualify.

The two women admit their desperation as they hint at thoughts of suicide and even homicide (1:07).