‘Embrace’ Documentary Kicks Off Eating Disorder Awareness Week in Freeman Auditorium
As part of Penn State’s awareness week for body disorders, the Freeman Auditorium hosted the showing of a documentary “Embrace”. This documentary highlighted the struggles of women and body dissatisfaction.
The woman who constructed the documentary is named Taryn, and she gave birth to three children. After the birth of her children, her body’s resilience was very quick. She bounced back very fast and shed pounds easily. Taryn even competed in competitions where women were judged on the their thin bodies.
Even then, Taryn noticed that these women were still dissatisfied with their bodies. Frankly, so was she. This happened to be a turning point in her life when she stopped being obsessed with a thin body, and began focusing on a healthy body.
Initially, Taryn considered getting surgery to make it easier to shed pounds. She soon thought of what kind of example it would set for her daughter, Mikayla. She wanted her daughter to know that, “You’re perfect no matter what you look like.” Taryn said, “I was still left in a body that I hated…I was stuck in this hideous body for the rest of my life.” She wanted to get healthy on her own terms, and instead of worrying about calories she decided to enjoy nature more while she exercised outside.
The main focus of the documentary is analyzing the backlash and positive feedback of the pictures that Taryn took of her body. The before picture was of her thin body at the contest. The after picture was her normal weight, after the birth of her third child. Taryn traveled around the world to speak to different women who struggled with loving their bodies at one point in their life.
The youngest editor of the Cosmopolitan magazine strives to tackle the issues of body image. She started by getting rid of the diet sections, and added more models of different shapes and sizes. Body diversity being prevalent in magazines is important, because a reader will begin to think there is only one type of woman in the world.
The documentary cited that 70% of girls are dissatisfied with their bodies. Iran is the nose job capital of the world. One in five women have plastic surgery in South Korea. Being inclusive of everyone’s body type, especially in media and society, can help lower these percentages.
When Taryn spoke to Jess Baker about dieting, Baker said, “Diets are mostly unsuccessful and soul draining…it caused a lot of emotional and physical suffering in my life.”
Taryn’s journey all over the world to speak to several different women proved to be a success. She was able to share many women’s stories through this vessel of a documentary.
Once the floor was opened at the end of the documentary, audience members shared their favorite and most interesting parts of the movie. Once audience member talked about the absurdity of the negative comments left by men on Taryn’s before and after pictures. Being that men can’t bear children, it was interesting to see the negative comments being posted by them. Men tend to believe that women’s bodies are solely for their own pleasure.
Possible solutions for dealing with body dissatisfaction in girls starts with talking positively about yourself. Helping someone that might be at risk for dealing with body dissatisfaction can start with being nonjudgmental, being resourceful, being open, going to workshops with them, and even referring them to a therapist, doctor, or nutritionist. The approach of a person with body dissatisfaction is equally as important. Make sure to always have a positive tone instead of a inquiring one. It’s better to ask, “Are you okay? I’ve noticed you haven’t been out with us in a while?” instead of saying, “What’s wrong with you? What aren’t you eating?”
#ihaveembraced will you?