Embracing Your Body and Your Life: An Interview with Taryn Brumfitt
Before and After
Following the explosive success of Embrace, The Documentary, Annie, Jen and Lauren interviewed Taryn Brumfitt on Balance365 Life Radio. Taryn shared with JAL her journey from photographer to prominent body positive advocate after a photograph that went viral amplified the innermost frustrations of women about how bodies are portrayed in the media. She went on to crowdfund and produce Embrace, The Documentary and is actively working to fund the companion version of the documentary for kids. More than just a feel-good movie, Embrace is making a real difference in the lives of the women who watch it.
DID YOU KNOW?
Women who have seen Embrace have much higher body appreciation and lower levels of body shame, self-objectification and dieting. They’re also less likely to treat their body as an object to believe that they should be thin or to be ashamed of their bodies.
Vehicles Not Ornaments
Part of what comes from not being ashamed of one’s body is being able to use it in a variety of different ways that might have seemed unreachable before. For example, Taryn recently completed a marathon, shaving an hour off her last time. She is an advocate for joyful movement and moving in a way that your body needs regardless of what it looks like. Exercise can be so helpful for reducing stress, bringing calm or building inner resolve to overcome hard things. “I’ve decided that I’m only going to get fitter and faster as I get older. That’s my new challenge,” Taryn explains.
Does body positivity promote obesity?
This is something Taryn gets asked all the time and she says, “No, thank you for asking me because I love to deliver the answer. And that is we can’t look after something that you don’t love.”
More Lightbulb Moments of Self-Love
When Taryn’s photograph went viral, she was inundated with thousands of emails. These weren’t all necessarily positive; women were expressing their pain about hating their bodies. The need for a cultural shift became clear. Taryn had some tips on how we can contribute to a more body positive culture.
- Re-frame toxic body talk when you hear it. For example, Taryn recommends, “when we hear our friends having a conversation about losing weight because they’re going on a holiday and they want to look good in their bikini, we need to say, ‘Hey, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. Let’s think about the fact that you’re going on a holiday with your family or with your girlfriends and just go and experience that joy.'”
- Share Embrace The Documentary with a friend and check out Embrace You, the 4-week course that Taryn offers. Read her book, Embrace Yourself.
- Re-frame the conversations with our kids. “If your daughter comes to you and says, ‘Mommy, do I look pretty in this dress?’ you need to turn around and say, ‘Oh, I just want to know what are you going to do in that dress?'” Taryn suggests.
- Increase media literacy. Make sure your kids understand how companies market and what their motivations are. She suggests Celeste Barber as the antidote for toxic body messaging.
- Model positive body image behavior for our kids. Taryn explains, “We are Kings and Queens to our kids and they are getting all of their information from us. Yes, from other places too. But the majority from us, they’re sponges. They’re looking at us.”
A Perspective Shift
“It was not my soul’s purpose to spend my life hating and being at war with myself…I refuse to talk about my cellulite or my wobbly tummy or my jiggly arms when there are children and men dying every three seconds from not having food.” Taryn has issued a call to action to focus on gratitude and to put self-hatred in perspective by recognizing where there is privilege. She challenges women to consider what will be important to women at the end of their lives and to focus on those things. She explained how self-love might not feel like an achievable goal, but even neutrality is better than self-hatred and striving for neutrality is valid.
More than just focusing on gratitude, Taryn calls for women to enjoy the freedom that comes from accepting your body. “This is the joy of embracing your body. It’s so powerful. It’s not just about the body, it’s about your life. Like it transcends everything. You’re more confident, you’re more loving, you have deeper connections with people. You don’t buy into the rules. And when you don’t buy into the rules, that’s when you have this real, delicious is the only way I can describe it, sense of freedom and joy and magic in your life.”
The Balance365 team is so excited about the upcoming Embrace documentary geared to kids that they are donating 10% of the next week’s sales to help make this movie happen. You can make purchases in support of Embrace HERE.
Download a copy of this episode’s transcript here.