Fionnuala Kennedy, who teaches at the £18,000-a-year Wimbledon High School, felt compelled to write to students’ families after watching Netflix drama To The Bone
A teacher has warned parents about the danger of talking about wanting to lose weight in front of their teenage daughters.
The deputy head said it was the responsibility of parents to counter ‘toxic’ messages surrounding the importance of being thin.
Fionnuala Kennedy, who teaches at the £18,000-a-year Wimbledon High School, felt compelled to write to students’ families after watching Netflix drama To The Bone.
The film, starring Lily Collins and Keanu Reeves, follows a young woman as she attempts to battle anorexia.
Ms Kennedy labelled the drama as ‘irresponsible’, claiming it emphasizes eating disorders as ‘an act of rebellion’.
In a letter to parents, she said: ‘Role model as effectively as you can.
‘It’s difficult to advocate a rounded, healthy diet for your teen if you’ve cut out carbs and dairy yourself, or frequently refer to your desire to lose weight.’
She told the Evening Standard: ‘We are all a bit culpable; it’s quite a middle-class thing talking about cutting out food groups and clean eating.
‘As a teacher when you come back from holiday and speak to your colleagues, one of the first things middle-aged women will say to each other is, ‘You look fantastic — have you lost weight?’
‘It’s ingrained in us as women, so we have to be really careful because these messages are picked up all the time.’
Critics of To The Bone said Miss Collins, 28, looked ‘alarmingly frail’ and ‘skeletal’ in the film.
There were fears her appearance could cause a new wave of cases, after pro-anorexia websites labelled the actress a ‘thinspiration’.
Some sufferers said the portrayal of her character, Ellen, as beautiful, cool and well-dressed, could make eating disorders seem appealing.
Critics of To The Bone said Miss Collins, 28, looked ‘alarmingly frail’ and ‘skeletal’ in the film