Hope your week is going well!
I wasn’t planning on doing an extra post this week, but after watching the Embrace Documentary last night, I felt compelled to share what I learned with you guys. If you’re not familiar with Embrace, throughout the film, Body image activist Taryn Brumfitt explores the global issue of body loathing. It was moving, inspiring, motivating and beautiful all at the same time. I had seen a few fellow bloggers’ response to the film, so I thought I would check it out.
I would say I had a general idea of how common body shame/ hatred is, considering I’m a senior in high school and the disordered eating/ restricting/ negative body image is extremely prevelant. I can confidently say a day does not go by where I don’t overhear someone saying something negative about themselves. It is really, really tough to hear.
I also know that I myself have had my fair share of it, on a personal level. For years, it took over my life. I was consumed with looking a certain way… replicating what I idolized on social media or TV or magazines. I still have my days, but I can easily say I am at the best place I’ve ever been with myself. Through a lot of hard work, prayer and support from my sweet family and friends, I’m making it out on the other side, feeling more empowered than ever. The toughest time in my life has made me the strongest. I completely believe God put those trials in my life to help me see just how precious life/ our bodies are. I now, more than ever, am passionate about spreading this message and hopefully positively affect those around me. So, back to the real reason I’m here… the documentary!!
What really initially struck me was the title. “Embrace”. Something so simple, yet comforting and a perfect summary of what the film is all about. Taryn, a mom of three, one day decided she was unhappy with her body. She had stretch marks, weight from carrying a baby… all things that society sees as “wrong”. After many months going back and forth on weather she was going to proceed with weight loss surgery, she considered what message this would send her young daughter. What would she think if I felt the need to reconstruct my body, because it wasn’t what society considered “good enough” or “ideal”…? In the months following, she began training for a women’s body building competition, eventally competing. “Standing on the stage, in my perfect bikini body, I was just thinking, ‘Oh no, I can’t do this beyond tonight.’ “. She realized a life obsessing over what she ate or how many miles she ran was not ever going to be worth it. She was missing life around her being caught up in her own body.
She decided it was time for a change. For 9 weeks, she traveled around the world in search of why women feel so poorly about themselves and how we can all band together to bring it to an end. She talked to hundreds of women, all ranging in size, race, sexual orientation, etc. While they were all unique in many ways, one thing that remained constant throughout was the overall sense of body shame. Over and over and over again. She asked the simple question of “how do you feel about your body?” And over and over, the response was negative. “I’m too fat”, “I need to lose a few pounds”, “I want to change ____ about myself”. It was both disheartening and shocking. I was immedietly intrigued. By the end of the film, she had completely made her point. By realizing most people around the world like the idea of being completely at ease with ones body, she is working everyday to make that possible. While it may seem impossible to totally change the social standard of the “right body”, we can sure as heck come a lot closer if we try our best. By pledging to start loving our bodies for what they really are, unique masterpieces that keep us alive, we can start living this life like it’s supposed to be lived.
Think about it… our bodies breathe on their own, they carry us from point A to point B, they allow us to love, they create human beings! How insane is that? And how insane is it that as women, we often spend so much of our time degrading and restricting and punishing them for doing what…? For being a body? For having basic human needs? Seems pretty crazy to me. And following Embrace, I feel more empowered than ever to love this body. To truly LOVE this incredible unit that I get to do life in. You only get one, so why damage it? It is our job to live this life, to nourish and take care of our bodies. And by take care of, I don’t mean workout 4 hours a day and eat a lot of kale. While kale is great, so is queso… and chocolate… and pasta… and so is time with family and friends and laying in bed all day, unapologetically, watching Netflix. Each of those things is part of what makes this life beautiful, what makes it truly a gift.
Embrace challenged me to see life in a whole new way. I no longer want to deprive, punish, over work or talk down to this body. I will love it and honor it and nourish it and live the life I was born to. I hope I can inspire you to do the same. Life is wayyy to short to waste any more time worrying what others think of you, especially your body. Live this life for you and for those you love, not in pursuit of a “perfect body”
I hope you all have the opportunity to check out the Embrace Documentary and learn a little more about Taryn. Wishing you all a lovely, warm, body-loving day filled with all the good food your heart desires. Lets go kick body shame’s butt.