Taryn Brumfitt is on a mission to change the way women view themselves. Fed up with the media’s inaccurate portrayal of the ideal female body, she set off on a world tour talking to women around the globe about body image issues, and henceforth creating the recently released documentary Embrace.
This all started in early 2013 when Taryn was considering getting a boob job and a tummy tuck, before she had this epiphany:
“How am I ever going to teach Mikaela [daughter] to love her body as it is if her Mummy can’t do the same? How am I ever going to encourage her to accept and love the parts of her body that she doesn’t like without being a walking contradiction?”
She then made the conscious decision to love her body and encourage other women and girls to do the same. After years of agonising about her weight and appearance, Taryn focused on the more important things in life and felt much happier for it. She posted the image below on Facebook and it went viral, soon viewed 100 million times worldwide, and led to thousands of requests for interviews.
It was clear that this resonated with women all around the globe so Taryn decided to found the ‘Body Image Movement’ to “harness and facilitate positive body image activism by encouraging women to be more accepting of who they are, to use positive language regarding their bodies and others, and to prioritise health before beauty”.
The Body Image Movement is built on the following guidelines:
Say no to…
- Excessive “Photoshopping” of body images in the media
- Being programmed by the media and corporations into accepting unrealistic body images
- Prescribing to the notion that being a certain weight determines whether you’re healthy
- Sexualisation of girls in the media and modern culture
- The objectification of women
- Society and advertising preying on women’s insecurities
And say yes to…
- Body diversity and embracing all body types, shapes, sizes, colours and revelling in the beauty of the human form
- Celebrating the journey our bodies have been on
- Giving an alternative to cosmetic surgery, and learning to live and love your body
- Growing old, and acknowledging the privilege to do so
- Women focusing on things that are important, rather than comparing ourselves to others
- Teaching women that their body is not an ornament, but a vehicle to their dreams
- Teaching women to arm themselves with the skills which will make them resilient and unshakable when bombarded with negative body image in the media
- Being healthy at every weight
The must-see documentary Embrace is hitting screens in Australia on August 4th. Unfortunately the film might not be available to those who need to hear its message the most; teenage girls. The Classification Board has rated the film MA15+ due to a brief sequence in the film that shows close up images of vaginas. This scene simply aims to highlight different body types and encourage body acceptance, but by classifying it as ‘inappropriate’ the Board is achieving the exact opposite and shaming women’s bodies.
As she’s hoping to spread the message of body positivity to as many people as possible, Taryn is outraged at this outcome, stating that “the only way these images can be harmful is if they continue to be censored”. According to the documentary 70% of girls are dissatisfied by their own body, and 50% of 5-12-year-old girls want to lose weight. This film could improve those statistics dramatically, if it’s given the chance. Girls need to see this film.
Embrace has everything you could want in a film; body positivity, diversity, inspiration, empowerment, and the heart warming recount of women supporting women. For too long women have felt the pressure from society to fulfill unrealistic expectations about their appearance. Taryn Brumfitt and the Body Image Movement team are determined to change that. Make sure you check out the film!
Taryn will also be a guest speaker at Breakthrough in November – an unprecedented event providing real discussion about how to achieve gender equality, hosted by Victorian Women’s Trust.
Image by Birdsnest. Birdsnest have created an entire EMBRACE range of Tees, Sweaters and Embracelet jewellery. The best thing about the EMBRACE range is 100% OF PROCEEDS go directly to the Body Image Movement education and social outreach program. Find out more.
This article originally appeared on the Rosie Blog and was written by Maddy Crehan. Maddy regularly writes for Rosie, and is passionate about music, history, art and gender equality. View the original post.