When former bikini model competitor Taryn Brumfitt posted a before and after picture in 2013, it sparked an international social media frenzy. Over 100 million people from all parts of the world have now seen the image, which, unlike typical transformation pictures, shows Taryn flaunting a curvier figure in the ‘after’ image.
After receiving more than 7000 emails and messages from people all over the world, mum-of-three Taryn realised there was a global body-hating epidemic and felt compelled to find answers. Her solution was to direct a social impact documentary called EMBRACE – a feat which took 24 months of scouring the globe and talking to experts, women in the street, and well-known personalities about the alarming rates of body image issues that are seen in people of all body types. In the UK, a shocking nine out of ten teenage girls are unhappy with their body. More than a quarter of the teens had also dabbled with diet pills. Hardly surprising, then, that more than 6 per cent of people in the UK will battle with disordered eating habits at any one time.
Taryn’s documentary, which could clearly not come at a better time, was made possible by a Kickstarter campaign. The 2014 trailer attracted over 25 million views and nearly 9000 Kickstarter pledgers. ” I soon realized how restrictive 4-minute TV interviews, 800-word articles and 140 characters on Twitter can be,” explained Taryn,”this issue needed a louder voice on a bigger platform, so the idea of creating the documentary EMBRACE was born.”
What does Taryn hope audiences will take away from EMBRACE? She said: “The media and advertisers so often present one singular body type as being the standard. In truth, hardly any person on the planet looks like that and the images are often digitally manipulated anyway. But so many perfectly healthy normal people are left feeling inadequate. We should all be empowered to just not buy into it.
“I want people to walk away after watching EMBRACE believing that they can embrace and love their bodies unconditionally. I know from travelling around the world that this is a real problem that’s affecting people’s lives every single day. I hope the film will start a more positive conversation about body image and that audiences will be inspired by the stories they’ll hear, and the people they’ll meet through the film.”
The critically-acclaimed documentary will be shown at Brighton Odeon at 3 pm this Sunday (5 March). To reserve tickets for the Brighton screening, click here. The Dome Cinema in nearby Worthing will also be showing EMBRACE at 6:30 pm on Tuesday 11 April. To reserve tickets for the Worthing screening, click here.