Congratulations to Natalie Portman on her Oscar. I found the film thought-provoking in terms of its parallels to disordered eating.
(Semi-spoiler alert - don't read if you haven't seen the movie): In addition to the character's perfectionism, which many people can relate to, I was struck by her struggle between different parts of herself and how difficult it was to integrate them. She could not hold both the sweet, dependent (white swan) part along with the feisty, independent, sexual (black swan) part of herself. It was a battle of which self would kill off the other, rather than a bringing together of disparate aspects of "self". I view the end as a symbolic soul murder; she did not actually die, but killed off the part of herself she could no longer tolerate, a girlish part that she had outgrown and wanted to get rid of, just as she got rid of her stuffed animals.
So often people struggling with disordered eating are unconsciously trying to lose the perceived bad parts of themselves by losing weight. They may by symbolically trying to get rid of uncomfortable feelings by purging food. This is only one aspect of eating disorders, but it's an aspect I thought the film captured well.
Self-acceptance suggests that we accept all parts of ourselves - the aspects we like, as well as those we don't like. We all have a black swan part of ourselves, as well as a white swan part (and hopefully a rainbow of parts between the black and white).
Accept yourself today and every day!
And a small comment about the Academy Awards. Many viewers love watching the stars parade down the red carpet. They see slender, gorgeous people dressed in beautiful - or sometimes tasteless! - gowns and tuxedos. Most of these stars spend weeks or months on diets, being botoxed, highlighted, and spanxed by an army of trainers, stylists, doctors, hairdressers, and estheticians. Keep in mind that's not what real people (and stars are real people) actually look like!
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