With nine out of ten British girls unhappy with their bodies and a third of adolescent boys wishing they were bigger, body image is one of the main concerns for young people in the UK.
Australian body image activist, Taryn Brumfitt wrote, produced and directed Embrace after posting online an unconventional ‘before and after’ photo of her own body in 2013. The photo was seen over 100 million times and sparked international media frenzy.
Now Embrace: The Union Project brings the film to the UK through licensing to individuals, businesses and organisations. Once 2000 screenings have been reached a team of experts will compile a study guide made free to all UK secondary schools.
Friends of West Hove Infant School (FOWHIS) will screen the film to help raise awareness of the body image movement, but also to support the campaign to introduce the film as part of the UK school curriculum. The aim is for the film to be shown to both boys and girls in Years 9 and 10, helping young people feel more confident and worry less about conforming to media stereotypes.
Claudine Nightingill-Rane, parent to two pupils at West Hove Infant School and FOWHIS volunteer, brought the idea to the school after hosting a screening of the film at her home. She said, “I feel so passionately about getting as many people as possible to watch this film. It’s made me feel so much better about myself and I want to pass on the message to my children. Life is too short to spend it being at war with your body. It’s vital viewing for every woman, man and teenager to counter the toxic messages we’re surrounded by and that we compare ourselves to every day.”
Embrace is told from the point of view of Taryn as she traverses the globe 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. She interviews Ricki Lake, Amanda de Cadenet, Jeffrey Madoff, Dr Linda Bacon and Mia Freedman, among others.
Taryn says “I felt really compelled to make the film because so many people
had reached out to me. When I read those 7000 emails it wasn’t just females from 35 to 45 years of age that wrote to me, it was people from all walks of life sharing their stories of body image issues.
“This isn’t a fluffy, body image piece that gets tacked on to the end of a news segment, this is an issue that’s affecting millions of people every single day.”
The initial funds for Embrace were raised via crowd funding website Kickstarter, resulting in almost 9000 pledgers donating over $300,000 (AUD). Embrace became Australia’s most successful crowd-funded documentary campaign in Kickstarter history. It then went on to take top spot at the box office in Germany, with more than 50,000 people turning out to see the film in one evening, beating Guardians of the Galaxy and King Arthur opening nights.
Embrace has a 12A rating and will be screened at West Hove Infant School, School Road, Hove on Friday 17 November 8-10pm including an interval. Doors will open at 7.30pm and there will be a bar and refreshments available on the night.
As well as supporting the positive body image movement, proceeds from the evening will help FOWHIS support children’s learning at West Hove Infant School.
Tickets are £8 including a complimentary glass of bubbles, beer or soft drink. To book email Claudine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Official Embrace trailer https://bodyimagemovement.com/embrace/about-the-film/
For more information visit https://bodyimagemovement.com/embracetheunionproject/