- Marissa Gold
Have you Embraced? Seen the movie, Embrace, that is?
In 2013, mom and Body Image Activist, Taryn Brumfitt posted an unconventional photo of herself, online. The images went viral and were seen by over 100 million people. It sparked an international media frenzy. Following the posting, Taryn was moved to travel the world, talking to men and women, exploring the global issues of body loathing and where it comes from. Taryn's goal is to change the way we feel about ourselves and more importantly, how we think about our own bodies.
Taryn’s journey led to the birth of the Body Image Movement and the release of the documentary, Embrace. The Body Image movement’s goal is to educate and empower women into acceptance of all body types; to transform our body shaming and body loathing into body loving.
If you are a woman, a parent, teacher, Administrator, Social Worker, School Counselor, Psychologist...this movie is a MUST SEE. If you have a daughter who is in 8th grade or older, you are encouraged to bring her. That said, this movie is not for children who are more sensitive or easily scared.
Embrace addresses and shares sensitive themes and issues with its audience. Following my first viewing, my immediate reaction was that I would not be bringing my daughter to the December viewing. I felt the issues might be difficult to understand for her 11-year-old brain and might even introduce ideas that could scare, overwhelm or shock her.
After some solid soul-searching about my real reasons for getting behind Embrace and the Body Image movement, I’ve decided I will be bringing my 11-year-old daughter, after all. However, before we go, we’re going to have a very candid conversation about the tougher segments and if you’re bringing your daughter, I urge you to do the same. Here’s what we’ll be discussing Monday night:
1. This movie is about how girls and women view themselves and often, you’ll learn, that as girls turn into women, they don’t like the way their bodies look, anymore. This movie starts to look at the reasons for this and further, tries to understand how we can start to change this so that all girls and women are healthy and think about their bodies in positive ways.
2. You will see a woman, in Embrace, who suffers from an eating disorder, called Anorexia. This means that she doesn’t make good choices about food and eating. There are many types of eating disorders and they can create many health problems for the body. You will see that the woman in the film looks very thin – in fact, unhealthy – because she has made poor decisions about the food that does or does not go into her body. The woman in the film will talk about her experience with this disease and we will talk more about it after the film.
3. Embrace’s main mission is for ALL girls and women – regardless of what their bodies look like – to learn to really love their bodies and allow it to be a vehicle for doing great things. You will see a woman in the movie who is a star athlete and a very pretty girl. She goes through a life-changing accident where her entire body is burned. You will hear her speak about this transformation and what it was like to go from being a beautiful, star athlete to a burn “victim”. I will look forward to hearing how you think she’s doing now. (Spoiler alert for those reading this: She is more successful and happier than before.)
4. Finally, you’re going to see vaginas! Lots and lots of vaginas…and the reason for this is to show you that all bodies are not made the same. In fact, we are VERY, VERY different from one another.
Parents: I truly applaud you if you’re going to bring your daughters to this screening. That said, it’s important to me that you are able to manage your child’s expectations about what they will be seeing and that you have realistic expectations of how they may react to Embrace. I encourage you to have this conversation before the movie. I also hope you’ll stay for the panel discussion following, where we’ll be breaking down some of the bigger themes presented by Embrace and talking about concrete NEXT STEPS.
As both a mom and a Parent Educator, I believe it is imperative that we start having these tough conversations, with our children and students, at young ages. Of course, how we have these conversations is equally as important as when and why. What is most important is that we meet our children at their level and answer their questions appropriately and honestly. This film, while dealing with very sensitive subject matter, is an entrée for this discussion with your peers, and most importantly, your children and students.
Don’t ignore it. Talk about it. I have EMBRACED. Will you?
Join me on Tuesday, December 6th. Get your tickets NOW!!