[Valid Atom 1.0] Life With Cake: Eating Disorder Blog: Jan 13, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Natalie Portman and the Black Swan: A Perfect Performance of Insanity

Recently I saw the movie Black Swan. Besides the buzz around it, because I’m a former professional dancer, in recovery for eating disorders, and a therapist, I thought it would be the perfect movie for me to see. Yes, there was a slue of self-destruction. Yes, it portrayed the perfection requisite to a ballet career. So what?

Well, what I thought was kind of genius about the movie was how the director eternally depicted what goes on inside the unbalanced, perfectionist, eating-disordered mind. The duality of the White Swan and Black Swan characters Natalie Portman played in The Black Swan symbolized an exaggeration of the “good” and “bad” mindset I spoke about in my first post.

What I liked is that it gave the audience a real look into the mindset of self-destruction. While not everyone can relate to such a severe level of self-hatred and insanity, people do have internal battles to a lesser degree, which makes Portman’s character all the more relatable. The timing of the movie is interesting. Like the many reality shows concerning addiction and mental health on TV today, I think the fact that a movie (even if not in reality) is portraying the complete mental insanity that occurs in the perfect world of ballet, illustrates that the stigma around mental health issues are slowing diminishing. All of which is refreshing.

I’m going to see the movie again to completely wrap my brain around it.