Photo: Director of Little Miss Perfect, Marlee Roberts
Photo Credit: Charlé Moore
Movies about eating disorders are stereotypically the story of a young white girl suffering from anorexia or bulimia because of their troubled homes and pressures of school. However, Little Miss Perfect’s writer and director, Marlee Roberts, expressed that her film offers a different perspective on a deeper connection and underlying message.
“I wrote a story that gives a three-dimensional conflict. It is more than just about a life of a troubled teen.” Roberts told LAEntNews at the LA premiere’s TCL Chinese Theater.
Roberts added that her film shows everything that is going on surrounding troubled teens and what other people could have done if they chose to get involved in others’ burdens.
“We all have insecurities and sometimes feel that we are not good enough. In this film, how a white teen girl handles vulnerabilities in an unhealthy way is one example of a common social issue.”
Roberts shared about her personal struggle with having a strange family dynamic and pressures of academics that inspired her to write this film. Then she explained the problem that sometimes leads up to eating disorders.
“The problem is we don’t tell each other that we are proud of each other enough. This idea of there is always something we could have done better. We could be taller. We could be shorter. No one is ever happy.”
Roberts had no problem with showing how happy and proud she is of her little 16-year-old sister, Karlee Roberts, whom she directs in the film as the lead actress, ‘Anabellle.’
Photo: Little Miss Perfect’s lead character, Karlee Roberts
Photo Credit: Charlé Moore
Roberts’ film does not reinvent the wheel. Interestingly, Little Miss Perfect has a similar protagonist to the 1981’s movie, ‘The Best Little Girl in the World.’ Both feature young white teen girls suffering from anorexia and struggling with pressures at home and in school.
Still Roberts thinks her story has the ember to ignite more useful discussions. According to Global Market Insite Study, four out of ten individuals have either personally experienced an eating disorder or know someone.
“I think this film starts a discussion, which is the first step towards a solution. Also, we [producers] have launched a social media campaign called “Face Your Beast.” We want people to open up and overcome their internal struggle by talking to others.
The most common behavior that will lead to an eating disorder is dieting. Thus, Roberts pleads,
“Anorexia is a mental illness that fuels itself on isolation and secrecy. The more someone hides it, the more they will continue in it [eating disorders]. If we [society] just creates a discussion, it will go a long way,” (Roberts).
Joining Roberts on the red carpet and crusade to overcome stigmas or stereotypes on eating disorders was ‘Stuck in the Middle’ actress, Cerina Vincent.
“I came to the premiere to show my support because I struggled like many women with eating disorders and trying to be perfect, (Vincent).
Vincent expressed further to LAEntNews,
“All women no matter how old we are still are trying to figure it out and battle those internal demons.”
“Young white teen girls raised in upper-middle-class families are not the only demographic affected by eating disorders. Eating disorders does not discriminate. Men are affected by it, and they are least likely to talk about it. Older people even face it.”