The It List: Screening of Positive Body Image Documentary, ‘Embrace’
In celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8), popular UK blogger Susan Weaver of So Happy in Town will be hosting a screening of the positive body image film, Embrace, on Thursday 8th March at 6:00 pm at the Richmond Odeon in London. We talk with Susan about the message behind the film, and her motivation to share it with others.
Tell us about the film ‘Embrace’, what was your initial experience of it, and what made you want to host this screening? I don’t know any woman who hasn’t wanted to change her body at some point in her life. I spent my 20’s longing to look like the supermodels in magazines and thinking everything in my life would be perfect if I had skinny legs, a tiny bum and a flat tum. But I wish now I hadn’t wasted time wanting to look like Cindy Crawford instead of embracing my own body and accepting who I am.
“I don’t know any woman who hasn’t wanted to change her body at some point in her life.”
The film follows Taryn Brumfitt’s journey from body lover to body loather by exploring the serious issue of negative body image. I felt determined after seeing it to pass on a positive message to my children: to make sure they know they are beautiful just as they are. But I realised it starts with me first. It’s my responsibility to be a good role model for them by appreciating how amazing my body is for everything it has given me. I felt so inspired after watching the film that I wanted as many other women to see it and start loving themselves.
Also, Embrace: The Union Project are seeking 2000 people to purchase a public licence to screen Embrace and when the mission is accomplished, The Body Image Movement will make the Embrace Education Study Guide accessible to every secondary school across the UK for free. How great would that be?
How do you work at modeling and encouraging body confidence in your children, and does this approach differ between boys and girls? My husband and I are very careful never to talk about diets or weight in our house. What we do talk about is fitness and health and how important it is to look after our bodies. I tell my children how amazing and strong their bodies are and we encourage exercise because it makes us all feel good. I am very careful to remind them that they are beautiful because of who they are, rather than how they look. I have two daughters and a son but we don’t treat them any differently when it comes to body confidence. It’s just as important for my son to feel confident in his own skin as it is for my girls, and for them all to realize that we must embrace everyone for who they are, rather than their appearance.
“I felt determined after seeing it to pass on a positive message to my children: to make sure they know they are beautiful just as they are.”
How has our internal body shaming been influenced by social media? How can we overcome false images of beauty and gain an inner strength? We are all bombarded with images of ‘perfect’ toned bodies on social media and it’s impossible not to compare our own bodies with these models and celebrities. They’re everywhere. As adults it’s hard not to feel pressured to conform to this stereotype of ‘beauty,’ so I can only imagine the pressure teenagers and young people feel to fit into this unrealistic stereotype.
All we can do is learn to embrace our own bodies and remind ourselves that these images on social media are not real. Trying to look like them will not make us happy, but loving ourselves will. I’m not saying it’s easy, it’s not, and there are still days when I still think that looking like Cindy Crawford would make everything OK.
To you, what makes someone truly beautiful? Someone who shows compassion, love and respect to others. It’s that simple.
As International Women’s Day approaches, how can we as women encourage the beauty within ourselves and each other? We can think about the journey our bodies have been on, from newborns to where we are now. Think of all the amazing things our bodies have achieved and how important it is to nurture and look after ourselves. There is no such thing as perfect, we are all unique and should embrace ourselves and others for who we are. If I heard one of my friends say she hated her body and how she looked, I’d immediately give her a huge hug and remind her of all her wonderful qualities. And that’s exactly what we should do to ourselves.
What are the details in regards to the upcoming screening? Embrace is being screened at 6:30pm on Thursday 8th March at the Richmond Odeon in London.