Black Swan: Beautiful Public Appearance and Ugly Secret Body Destruction (1-8)


The Black Swan artistic creative team bring the anorexic lived experience to the screen. Women with a history of bulimia and compulsive overeating identify with part of Nina’s experience, especially the confusion between fantasy and reality.  But the person with severe anorexia is described meticulously.

In the film you see what looks like the fragile and delicate vulnerability of Nina. The film catches the seemingly exquisite spiritual quality of the anorexic woman that is a facade for the dark and powerful destructive elements within her. 

Through close ups you see body energy, life force energy, pounding so hard against Nina’s pale skin you believe that she is on the verge of splitting open.  It seems that she can’t possibly contain all that energy within her pale, delicate membrane.  And sure enough, you see through her reality and her fantasy, skin cutting, tearing and peeling open to give her relief and provide fascination. Cutting and visual distortions are often part of anorexia.

The scenes of skin tearing and peeling show Nina enthralled as she watches as if her body were an object separate from her mind, her identify and her life. She experiences her body as something she owns and controls rather than her living home that is inseparable from her being.  

When she goes too far in hurting her body and realizes that her physical damage might be visible to other people, she panics and does what she can to hide what she has done. You see her fear as she powders and hides the scratch marks on her back.

The spread of those scratch marks and the involvement of her mother in hiding them is a theme to watch as the film progresses. Often a woman with anorexia or bulimia will seek or naturally have someone in her life who colludes with the symptoms of the disorder by supporting symptoms, not recovery.

Living with secrets is an aspect of anorexia and most eating disorders.I n the film Nina feels shock and fear, as if her body betrays her by exhibiting physical consequences of abuse. Her body, by bleeding and showing self inflicted scratch marks, reveals secrets Nina needs to protect.  

Women with anorexia and other eating disorders often feel dismayed and betrayed when they have gone too far in hurting themselves.  Going too far means that they will have to cope with consequences out of their control. The consequences can be illness, weakness, public exposure and possible shaming or being pressed to get medical or psychological help or being ejected from an activity that is consuming to them and from which they get their sense of self.

They live with terrible, unrelenting stress behind a facade they hope appears beautiful and serene. They often choose to people please and give to others in order to avoid feeling their internal agonies or revealing those agonies to others.


Black Swan: Beautiful Public Appearance and Ugly Secret Body Destruction (1-8)

Black Swan: Narrow Life Obsession (2-8)

Black Swan: Mother/Daughter Control Issues and Sexuality (3-8)

Black Swan: Stealing (4-8)

Black Swan: Violence and Danger (5-8)

Black Swan: Danger to Others (6-8)

Black Swan: End of the Film and Beyond (7-8)

Black Swan: Is Help Possible for Nina? (8-8)




0 # You did an excellent job describing thisKymL 2011-01-10 21:42
You did an excellent job describing this movie which seems to have captured the pain in the Ed mind! Your writing makes me even more excited for your book to come out! I'm excited that this painful side of ED's is being presented to the public and I hope it will stop pro-ana interest. I had been debating if I should see the movie and thanks to you, I now know that I'm not ready.....but thanks for letting me know what the movie presents in a safe, non-trigging fashion.

I look forward to the day that I'm strong enough to see this movie (as a rental I'm sure) and I'm pleased that I'm wise enough to know I'm not ready today!
0 # It's a sign of healing and healthy maturpinkjoanna 2011-01-11 01:45
It's a sign of healing and healthy maturity when you can recognize your limits and make wise decisions for your well being. I'm glad my writings on the Black Swan helped you in making a self caring plan.

The movie is brilliant and powerful. You are right. If a person is vulnerable they need to be prepared.

The women caught in the pro ana and pro mia currents may be oblivious to their vulnerability. Their highly selected and distorted points of view disregard the cautionary tale and focus on what seems to reinforce their illness.

The fact that you can debate with yourself means that you are aware of different sides of your inner conflicts. That's vital for being able to make wise choices. Well done!
Rebecca Parker
0 # Being the Best - Dance, Music, AmbitionRebecca Parker 2011-02-23 12:41

Being the Best - Dance, Music, Ambition = exceedinly strong determination & will-power - good or bad / healthy or unhealthy??? Highly recommended to anyone suffering with / those who know anyone who is or might be suffering from any kind of psychological struggle - particularly severe eating disorders including severe anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating...

Totally thrilled to have finally found such an honest account written first-hand and from a sufferers point of view. Allowing the world to join in a journey searching for understanding into personal debilitating psychological distresses here shows inate courage and bravery.

The author's increasing insight into these dreadful illnessess has clearly been gained through absolute love and determination and offers such hope, positivity, enlightenment in many subtle ways that is bound to touch many, many lives.

I am recommending this to my freinds and family. It is an incredibly feel-good, rounded, refreshing read. Angel-Just Rights, by Rebecca Parker ISBN 9781849914000

0 # Dear Rebecca, Thank you for posting ypinkjoanna 2011-02-23 16:54
Dear Rebecca,

Thank you for posting your recommendation of "Being the Best." I'm glad finding my post gave you the opportunity to leave this valuable information for readers.

Are you or have you been a ballerina?


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