The other day, my mum, sister and I went to this one time screening of a movie called Embrace. I’d heard about it through my supervisor at my internship, and she raved about how good it was for women and really makes you realise how messed up the media is when it comes to the portrayal of women. It was once I heard this (and realised that there was a screening in the cinema just up the road from me) that I sent my sister about ten texts in a row, urging her to watch the trailer.
The movie, which is set in a style of a documentary, follows one woman’s journey as she tries to learn to love her body after having children. Taryn Brumfitt, who is the woman whose story we’re following, tries to love herself after having a child, but realises that nothing is making her happy. Brumfitt throws herself into the world of women’s bodybuilding, and it was once that she had attained the ‘ideal’ body that many women strive for, she realised that she still wasn’t happy. Therefore, the idea came forward that something needs to change. She uploaded a ‘before’ and ‘after’ photo to Facebook, showing the differences between her body after she had children and highlighted that she loves both photos of her body. Naturally, it went viral.
Source: Embrace the Documentary
Watching the movie makes you realise that there is so much pressure on women to be perfect or one way and that the idea of the ‘perfect woman’ is really only one specific kind of woman. The idea of the ‘perfect woman’ fails to take into account that there are a whole variety of women that are out in the world, just being their awesome selves, that do not look like that one specific woman at all. The media pushes forward the idea of this woman so much so that other women actually feel bad if they don’t look like that. Why wouldn’t they? They’ve only seen one kind of woman portrayed in the media their entire lives and they don’t look like that.
There were powerful interviews with a variety of different woman, ranging from an anorexia survivor, a woman suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which causes her to grow facial hair and a German actress who talked about the issues of being famous and how that has impacted her body image. She was my favourite. She was so real about the media and how they slander her and just generally try to make her feel bad for being herself.
Source: Embrace the Documentary
I came out of the film feeling really positive that Brumfitt has made it her mission to spread body positivity around the globe, and that her presence has impacted on so many people (myself included). I guess after a whole two hours of women pointing out that it’s not actually in our heads, it’s the media making us feel inadequate for who we are and that we should do our best to change it left an impact on me or something.
It was definitely a good idea to take my younger sister to the film as well. Although she’s 17, there is definitely a lot of pressure on younger girls especially to feel like they have to be this perfect girl all the time, with the best lighting so that they can get that ideal selfie and rake up those likes. There’s nothing wrong with that, I just wish that others would realise that they do not have to be ‘on’ all the time. It’s exhausting.
Anyway, it’s definitely a film I would recommend to women who want to learn more about body positivity or want a good girls’ night out! If you’re interested in seeing it, check here for your local viewings.