The Shameful Business of Body ShamingOctober 7, 2016
Recently, I had the opportunity to see Embrace, a stunning documentary by Australian filmmaker Taryn Brumfitt. After the births of her three children, Ms. Brumfitt posted a “before and after” shot of herself as she transitioned from a bikini-clad body builder to a lovely, but not quite so skinny, young mom. The internet went crazy. Thousands of emails and 100 million views later, Ms. Brumfitt went on a road trip, interviewing women around the world about why 90% of us report being “highly dissatisfied” with our bodies. Having seen some of the heartbreaking messages she received (women wrote to say that they felt “disgusting,” that they couldn’t stand to look at themselves, that they were even considering suicide) I applaud her for making the trip.
There’s a lot to absorb in Embrace. It exposes extreme “photoshopping” of body images in the media, and objects to social brainwashing that pronounces only certain body types attractive. The film calls out the objectification of women and sexualization of little girls in the media, and points an accusing finger at advertising that preys on women’s insecurities about their looks.
The weight loss, cosmetics and fashion industries make billions every year by persuading women to loathe themselves. Their advertising is based on the notion that women’s looks are what matter most, and that almost nobody looks the way she should. Meanwhile, too many women waste money, time and emotional energy trying to measure up to an impossible standard. All of those things could be better spent on building their careers, strengthening their communities, supporting social causes, or just enjoying the lives through which our bodies carry us so well.
Ms. Brumfitt says she’s learned to love her body. That may be more than many women will ever be able to say. But I have to agree that women were never created to be purely ornamental, and that our bodies are infinitely precious regardless of how they look. Unless tasteful nudity in a good cause offends you, I urge you to watch Embrace. It could just change your life.
For more information about Embrace, click here: https://bodyimagemovement.com/embrace-the-documentary/
This entry was posted in Personal Ethics, Social Ethics. Bookmark the permalink. ← What Do Looks Have to Do with It? Hope Is a Choice →