Make It or Break It Takes on Eating Disorders

The return of Make It or Break It exceeded expectations! Not only did we get some intense dance-offs and mean girl banter between The Rock girls and The Denver Elite, but we also saw Kaylie still denying that she has a problem.

Kaylie at the treatment facility for her eating disorder. Photo: The TV Chick

[Spoiler Alert] Not only did Kaylie fight treatment at every stage — refusing to partake in group therapy and admitting something’s wrong — but she also found a friend in her roommate at the treatment center: an anorexic teen model ready to fake recovery for the fourth time rather than getting better! Oh and she’s showing Kaylie how to do the same!

Make It or Break It isn’t the first teen show to tackle eating disorders, but it’s giving them more attention than I can recall from any other show. Whether you go back to Lizzie McGuire or Full Housewhich I applaud for bringing the issue up at all — typically eating disorders are presented and cured in the course of just one episode.

Miranda stops eating to lose weight and by episode’s end she’s sought help and recovered.

Or in the case of Blair’s Bulimia on Gossip Girl, an episode hints at a disorder before burying it in the story line in favor of sex and drama.

This is the first and last time GG brings up Blair’s eating disorder.

This is understandable — because it’s television — but it’s also unrealistic because eating disorders don’t spring up one night and disappear the following day.

I have to admit I’m glad to see Make It or Break It giving us a look at Kaylie battling this. Not just because it’s a serious improvement in acting for Josie Loren or a nice break from the silly antics and boy drama, but also because it’s a better portrayal of the struggle many girls face.

In an interview, Josie Loren spoke about playing Kaylie. Not only did she mention doing research on the topic but said,” I just want people to understand that it’s such a prevalent issue. Girls everywhere are dealing with it. They’re not alone. Anorexia comes from a feeling that you have of inadequacy, that you’re not enough, and girls all around the world at all different ages experience that feeling. It’s just so important for them to know they’re not alone. And also to see what anorexia can do to you and all of the negative consequences that can come from that.”

Well said! It will be interesting to see how/when Kaylie realizes she’s seriously doing harm to her body and needs help. Right now she’s just acting her way out of rehab so she can get back to her sport.

What did you think of last night’s Make It or Break It? Do you like how the show is handling Kaylie’s struggle with anorexia? Prefer another show’s representation? Tell me in the comments!


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