This week’s Body Love Tip is for anyone and everyone (even men!) who’s ever had a negative thought about their body:
Watch ‘Embrace’, the documentary
A Global Movement
The documentary Embrace is currently taking North America by storm. And I couldn’t be more pleased that this message is reaching a population that seems to have been one of the most affected by negative body image – evident in the 55 billion dollar weight loss industry in the US alone, as well as its #1 ranking amongst countries for cosmetic procedures.
Since I first heard of its release, I’ve been patiently awaiting the arrival of Embrace in Canada, which happened this past Valentine’s Day. I knew that this was going to be a critical message for all women, and one that I would want to promote whole-heartedly to my community.
Though I had pre-ordered it and had it at my disposal on that exact day, I didn’t actually get to watching it until this past weekend. I had a number of legit reasons of course, but now that I’ve seen it, I’m sorry that I didn’t hit ‘play’ the moment in appeared in my iTunes library!
Because in the work that I do, I have a responsibility to you, my community, to ensure that you have access to all the best possible Body Love tools in your tool belt. And I take that responsibility very seriously, which is why, after seeing this film, I’m now shouting from the cyber-rooftops:
WATCH THIS FILM. ASAP. You won’t regret it.
Embrace is honestly one of the best tools you could possibly have in your Body Love tool belt!
Written and directed by Taryn Brumfitt, founder of the Body Image Movement, this film and movement was sparked by an “unconventional” before-and-after photo that Taryn had shared on social media to encourage her friends to love their bodies: one that hit a nerve for millions of people as it went viral. Though she posted it initially in 2013, I remember first seeing it in spring of 2014 and feeling the excitement it spurred in me. I became an instant cheerleader of Taryn’s tireless efforts to grow this movement on a much larger scale.
If you haven’t yet heard of it, here’s the official Embrace trailer:
I knew it would be fantastic, but I had no idea of the range of emotions I would experience while watching – tears, goosebumps, laughter, shock and anger…and all this, from someone who has mostly overcome her negative body image issues (I have a plethora of tools in my own belt to keep me in the right head space – which I’ll be sharing soon with the release of my forthcoming book, Finding Your Forever Body)! I can only imagine the emotions – and possible breakthroughs – I would have had, if I’d seen this film 20 years ago.
Here are 3 important reasons why I believe that everyone needs to watch Embrace – as soon as it’s available in your area:
1) It gives us comfort knowing we’re not alone
And I’m not talking in a ‘misery loves company’ sort of way. It’s more like a ‘what the f*ck have we been doing to ourselves?!’ kind of way.
When you see women in this film of all shapes, sizes and colours, revealing their worst inner critics – and not a single one being happy with her body, a real lightbulb goes off. A lightbulb which highlights that maybe it’s not us, or our bodies, that are the real problem: that maybe the real problem is bigger than us, and that together, we can actually bond in the process of creating change.
There’s an instant sense of community that gets formed when we see other women who are perfectly beautiful in our eyes (especially when they speak authentically and reveal the true beauty that lies within), but who are so hard on themselves. This film ignites a deep desire to lift each other up, and support each other on our journeys towards embracing and loving our bodies – and more importantly, ourselves.
The propensity for comparison, judgement and criticism just melts away, and is instantly replaced with compassion, empathy and love – for others, and ourselves. Uniting in our uniqueness, rather than competing in our quests for perfection, helps to shed the barriers that can keep us from truly connecting with each other.
And I love how Taryn holds a loving space for breaking down the barriers and creating that connection with women throughout the entire film.
2) It exposes our blind spots (what we didn’t know we didn’t know)
Documentaries are brilliant ways to expose our blind spots. They show us the things that we didn’t know we didn’t know.
Most of us go through life seeking to learn the things that we know we don’t know, through formal education, books, courses, coaching and training, so that we can improve our lives through increased knowledge. But when we have blind spots, it’s really difficult to improve our lives in those blind spot areas because if we’re not aware of our lack of knowledge, we don’t seek to change it.
And ignorance is definitely not bliss, especially when it comes to our body- and self-image. Many of us have a lot of blind spots in this area, and they keep us stuck: stuck in the vicious diet cycle, stuck in the rut of body shame and negative self-talk, and stuck in comparisons and perfection-obsession that hold us back.
Have you ever stopped to think of why you don’t like certain things about your body? Do you know where these thoughts originated from? Chances are, they’ve developed so subtly and subconsciously that you didn’t even know it was happening. Social conditioning and media influences have created generally-accepted standards and metrics that most of us have felt the need to meet and measure ourselves (and our worth!) by. And you may not even be aware that you’ve adopted them.
It’s a huge blind spot for so many women, and this film shines a bright light on it for us. Embrace is the eye-opener we didn’t even know we all needed.
3) It empowers us to influence change
With awareness, we can become conscious consumers. Companies want to sell us their products, and so they will give us what we demand. Up until this point though, they’ve actually been subtly creating our demand (due to our old blind spots…).
We’ve been buying magazines with photo-shopped models, featuring the next best weight loss plans, and we’re given more of that because we’ve bought them.
We’ve been shopping at stores with waif-like mannequins in their displays, and they continue to be planted where we can prominently see them because they’ve drawn us into the stores.
We’ve watched fashion shows where women have starved themselves to strut down the runway, and the industry continues to demand rail-thin models because they’ve successfully sold designer’s fashion trends.
Up until now, we’ve been subconsciously buying into the (unrealistic) standards set by the beauty, fashion and weight-loss industries, which has allowed them continue these practices. But when we unveil our blind spots, we can collectively demand change: we have the power to take over the reins, with our wallets.
If companies’ sales drop, they will change their approach. They’ll give us what we’re asking for: real bodies, real women, real beauty. And we NEED to see changes in the standards, if we’re to see a global change in how women (and men, and children!) feel about their bodies. It’s our responsibility to ourselves, and to our future generations.
By becoming aware, we become empowered.
I truly feel that Embrace is the beginning of a global shift. It’s time for change, it’s time for us to link arms and support – instead of judge – each other through our life’s journey’s. Taryn Brumfitt is a beacon of self-love and acceptance, and is lighting the way for women everywhere to love themselves for who they are and value their bodies as the vehicles that will allow them to live out their dreams.
So what are you waiting for? Watch, embrace, and share away! Let’s make negative body image a thing of the past.
“Darling girl, don’t waste a single day being at war with your body. Just embrace it.”
Have you embraced yet?
Please share in the comments any “aha” moments, insights and/or breakthroughs you’ve had after watching the film!
Want to embrace your body but don’t know how?
Truthfully, there’s no overnight solution, but you can certainly kick-start your embrace process with a Self-Talk Detox. Then simply continue to add more Body Love tools to your tool belt as you go!
And if you want to receive more tips and tools directly to your inbox, you can also join my Body Love email community by signing up for your free report on The Top 7 Reasons Diets Don’t Work (and what you can do about it!) – a chapter from my book Finding Your Forever Body.
Enjoy the journey, beautiful!
Remember: When you shine your gifts, you define your beauty.