Wow. It’s fair to say that my last post (Weight Loss vs Body Positivity: Why I Left Slimming World) had quite a response. So many people sent me lovely, supportive words that I sooooo needed, but an overwhelming number also contacted me to say they feel exactly the same. Thank you if you read it, commented, messaged me, gave up halfway through… whatever. Thank you.
About 10 minutes after I posted the blog, my friend Jasmin messaged me about something that I hadn’t come across before: the Body Image Movement, and a groundbreaking documentary called Embrace. She actually invited me to speak at a screening of the film this Friday, but unfortunately I am unable to make it. However, I did promise to tell as many people as possible about this incredible documentary. So here I am!
Embrace: The Union Project
“For years, society has been telling women to be beautiful, as if that’s the most important thing they can be.”
Did you know that 9 out of 10 British girls are ‘unhappy’ with their bodies? And that’s girls. Bright, bubbly, beautiful young girls. I spent most of my childhood feeling exactly the same, focusing more on what I looked like than anything else, despite being funny, creative, clever, and so many other positive things. Sadly, as women, we’re forced into this way of thinking from the minute we’re born.
Embrace, a full-length feature documentary film promoting the positive body image movement, was created and directed by Australian activist Taryn Brumfitt. After posting a rather unconventional ‘before and after’ picture in 2013, Taryn became the focus of a media frenzy and her photograph was seen over 100 million times.
Once perfectly toned with defined muscles and a washboard stomach, Taryn’s body had changed into something softer, with stretch marks and tummy rolls bared for all to see. The huge reaction to the image sparked a fire inside of Taryn, and she started a Kickstarter fund to raise over 300,000 AUD. Embrace became Australia’s most successful crowd-funded documentary film, and went on to take the top spot at the box office in Germany, pipping Guardians of the Galaxy to the post. Evidently, she was on to something.
The Ultimate Goal
If Embrace & The Body Image Movement can raise enough funds, they will create the Embrace Education Study Guide; a resource to inspire life-changing body image conversation both in and outside the classroom. The guides will be provided free of charge to every secondary school in the UK, providing an invaluable resource for young men and women at a time when self image is so vulnerable.
How can you get involved?
Find a local screening
Schools and community centres around the UK (the world, in fact!) are hosting screenings of Embrace for parents, teachers, and members of the local community. If you’re in Brighton, there’s a screening on Friday 17th November at West Hove Primary School. Tickets are £8 and include a glass of fizz. Email Claudine at email@example.com to book!
Organise a screening
Perhaps you, or someone you know, works in a school or is involved in a local group? If so, visit the Body Image Movement website to find out how to organise a screening for your community.
Spread the word
If, like me, you’re unable to make or organise a screening, just share the project with everyone you can! You can connect with the movement on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube, and use #ihaveembraced to show your support.
Teach body positivity
This one is pretty simple, and is something that you can put into practice throughout your every day life. Celebrate bodies of all shapes and sizes, appreciate beauty at every shape, size, colour, ability and identity. Train yourself to think positively and to abandon stereotypes (this isn’t always easy, but keep trying!), and teach the young women (and men!) in your life to feel good about themselves.
Oh, and if you haven’t already, you can watch the trailer below!