After Australian photographer and mom Taryn Brumfitt's refreshing take on the went viral, she became inspired to make a film on the epidemic of body-shaming and the harmful effects of the impossibly aspirational Photoshopped images of women that we see daily. She cut the trailer and named it EMBRACE, and it quickly exceeded its $200,000 fundraising goal on . Brumfitt told me about the project, her inspiration, and the message behind it.
Women, moms especially, are given such a hard time about their bodies. We are constantly being told to be something other than what we are and our insecurities are preyed upon so large corporations can line their pockets with our money. It stinks. Could you imagine what would happen if all women woke up tomorrow and loved their bodies — the anarchy it would create!
I receive hundreds of emails and messages a week from parents who are worried, sad, and concerned about how their children are feeling about their bodies. Girls who are 3 and think they are fat, and 17-year-old girls describing themselves on Instagram as #broken because they . It is so very sad. There is a body-hating and body-shaming epidemic going on in the world and I want to change that. Alone I can't; together we can.
Women need to feel empowered. Women need to know that they are not alone. Women are always being told to change or be different — lose weight, fight aging, smooth your skin, get rid of cellulite. I mean really, women are such amazing and dynamic creatures; can we please change the conversation from this bullshit to something with a little more substance?
In regards to moms, they are the most vulnerable to developing poor body image, because we have such unhelpful messaging for them — "Bounce back," "Get a flat stomach in two weeks," "Drop your baby weight fast." The headlines are a disgrace. I often joke to the mums I speak to when I talk about my boobs, I say, "My boobs provided over 4,000 meals to my children. Of course, they look different, and I am totally OK with that!" There are very few people out there advocating for new mums to accept, love, and nurture their bodies, so I felt compelled to share some of my very personal stories in the hope that I could prevent women from feeling about their bodies the way I did mine.
When I loathed my body I felt so anchored down in life. Learning to love my body was such a liberating and joyous experience, and it has allowed me to be the person, the leader, the wife, and the mother that I wanted to be. I believe when women think about themselves less they are able to think about others more. It doesn't help that celebrities grace the covers of magazines telling us how fabulous motherhood is. I agree it is a beautiful thing, but can't we hear more home truths? Like weakened pelvic floor muscles or nipples the size of dinner plates? We are a society that is obsessed with looking "perfect." How can you be something that isn't real?
I am so happy with the body I have now. It does everything I need it to do, it's healthy, it's happy — I am in such an amazing place! Sometimes I find it hard to even believe that I am the same person I was just a few short years ago. I want women to understand, appreciate, and recognize the value and power of loving their bodies from the inside out. Honestly, I feel unstoppable.
Watch a preview of Embrace:
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