Dear friends, let’s talk about our bodies. Last Friday I had an opportunity to view an amazing documentary about body image. My awesome friend and Lularoe consultant Cyndy is doing some amazing things with her boutique that are beyond just a pair of leggings or a shirt. She’s on a mission to help her customers love their bodies and find clothing that makes them feel good. She’s been calling this journey Positively BeYOUtiful. She had a chance to watch this documentary last year and knew it would be a great opportunity for her group, so she invited a bunch of us over to watch it (and then shop her stuff after of course!)
In Embrace, a body activist from Australia named Taryn Brumfitt sets out on a mission to discuss body image and why we have such poor views of our bodies. Surveys have found 90% of women are dissatisfied with their bodies in some way. Taryn was inspired to create this documentary after she posted a photo that went viral in 2013. It was a before and after picture, but not your typical before and after picture. The before was Taryn at her lowest weight when she had worked to get in shape for a body building competition. The after was a picture of Taryn after she gained some weight – but she looked very happy. She said she realized at that lower weight that she wasn’t truly happy. It was too much work and not terribly rewarding (bells went off in my head here, this is something I just talked about in my Eat the Donut post in August- I wasn’t happy at a super low weight either.) The viral video captured the attention of the world and after countless interviews and appearances, Taryn decided to travel the world and talk with various people about body image issues.
Throughout the 86 minute video we are introduced to several folks – a plus sized model, a women who suffers anorexia, talk show host Ricki Lake, another woman who suffers from such extreme PCOS that she has severe facial hair issues (and has embraced her beard) and they all share their stories and thoughts on body image and learning to love ourselves. One scene that gets frustrating is Taryn’s visit to a plastic surgeon just to see what he would say about her body – and all the things he claimed she “needed” to have done. I may have been flicking off the television at this point.
Taryn participates in a photo shoot with women of all different sizes and colors that shows all bodies are beautiful. She also participates in a “naked swim” where again, body shape, size, whatever doesn’t matter. She witnesses a sweet moment where two women who had mastectomies connect with each other when they realize they each only have one breast. Some of these scenes were some of my favorites. Some of the other scenes are a bit hard to watch at times. I will caution that there is a fair amount of nudity in this film, but it is done in a tasteful way to explain things.
The interviews are inspiring and a bit emotional at times. The overall message is fantastic. My only complaint is that I feel like there is more. I think there is more discussion to be had and that there needs to be a bit of a “where do we go from here.” But, this movie is a perfect starting point. We need to talk about body image. I highly recommend this film, it will definitely make you stop and think and reflect. I know I’ll be thinking about it for quite some time to come. Embrace is available on Netflix.
I may not be 100% there as far as loving my body, but I’m getting dang close. My body is beautiful. All bodies are beautiful. Stop the self hate. Spread the love.
This is my beautiful friend Cyndy. I realized she is likely my oldest friend at this point, we met 30 years ago in kindergarten (now I feel old!). I’m proud of her for all she is doing to spread body love and positive vibes and I’m proud to call her friend. Her beautiful spirit shines inside and out. Thank you Cyndy for all you’re doing for all of us!