Embrace is a film that every woman should see. (And quite a few men as well!)
It is a powerful, forceful and thought provoking documentary – debunking the myth of how women “should” look. Having worked in the image industry for over 25 years and knowing all that I know, there were definitely uncomfortable moments for me during the film.
The film follows the story of Australian photographer, Taryn Brumfitt who hated her post pregnancy body so much that she was preparing for surgery, before she decided to get extremely fit and enter a body building competition! Within a few months she was on stage parading her toned and perfect bikini clad body but she was incredibly unhappy. She was so disappointed when she reached this supposed nirvana, realising the effort that would be needed to maintain this “perfect body” and how all the other contestants were obsessed with their bodies – finding fault with the tiniest thing.
So she went back to her family, ate normally, kept running and felt great. Her world was then turned upside down after she posted an unconventional before and after photo on Facebook (the before photo being the one when she was on stage in her bikini!) The post went viral and she gained global attention and publicity – so the Embrace idea was born.
91% of women hate their bodies
The film explores the idea that for years society has been telling women to be beautiful, as if that is the most important thing that they can be and that this beauty should look a certain way. Taryn quotes a shocking statistic that 91% of women hate their bodies – this is incredibly high and a terrible legacy to leave with our daughters.
We all have our moments of self-doubt when standing in a fitting room, but to actually hate your body…. We should be celebrating our bodies as they are incredible machines. We need to teach women how to dress so that they feel comfortable with their bodies no matter what their size or shape – just think how boring it would be if we all looked the same….
Now I’m not advocating that we should sit in the corner and eat chocolate biscuits all day! But we can rejoice in what our bodies can do and not be obsessed with looking like someone in a magazine (who has probably been airbrushed anyway!)
Embrace, got me thinking back to a comment that a (soon to be ex!) boyfriend once said to me, when he suggested that I lost some weight to look more “athletic”. Even back then in my 20s I knew that no matter how much dieting or exercise I did, my body physiology would never allow me to be “athletic”. Unfortunately many women don’t realise this and end up starving themselves for no good reason because an off the cuff, hurtful comment like this could haunt them for life.
What we can do…
Therefore, it is really important as image consultants that we work with our clients to build their confidence and see the beauty in their bodies. One of the reasons that Taryn made the film was to empower her daughter so that she wouldn’t be fixated on her body as the only way to be seen as beautiful – a very powerful message.
Go and see this film – it will challenge you, but it will also make you laugh, cry and rage with anger…..
There are still screenings happening across the UK – click the link below to find the closest cinema to you:
To find out more about Taryn: