On Thursday over 47.000 people were in the cinemas to watch the film »Embrace – Du bist schön« (You are beautiful). In around 180 cinemas there was at 8pm the opportunity to engage with the message: »You are beautiful the way you are.«
The documentary film from Taryn Brumfitt and Nora Tschirner broaches the issue of the dangerous illusion of beauty in our society. Taryn herself hated her body. With the help of a personal trainer she trained and trained until she could present it with other body builders on stage. But she was’t happy in this moment. After her pregnancies she felt really uncomfortable in her own skin so she had a concrete plan for a beauty surgery. But then she couldn’t and didn’t wanted it anymore. Because: How could she be a role model for her little daughter when she can’t accept herself by herself? How could her daughter be able to do this then?
When Taryn noticed how big the topic bodyshaming is for her friends and in society, she posted a before and after photo on Facebook. it was not a typical one which we see everywhere. The before photo showed Taryn in a bikini with her apparantly »perfect« body, the after photo with a well-fed body. Pretty fast this photo was shared millions of times in the whole world. And that’s how the idea for the film »Embrace« arised and Taryn started to travel around the world to approach this topic.
In the film she meets different people and their personal stories – for example a woman who got burned during a fire. You can also see an anorexic woman who speaks about her relation to food and under tears she advises everybody: »Please, never stop to eat.« Another woman in the film is one which has an illness and because of that her grows a beard. She tells about how she wanted to end her life but then she put all her negative energy together to confront the fight to accept herself the way she is.
Every single story was really touching. For an overall laugher arranged one scene in which Taryn went to a plastic surgeon to get to know what he would change on her body. Among other things he said: »We can put away some fat here and put something of in in your lips because one half is a little bit smaller than the other.« Derisory.
But there is also the question if he only said this because it is his job and he makes his money with it. Because nobody on earth would notice this and more than ever nobody would care about it. Hopefully.
Generally I really liked the message of this film and it is a good project to call attention to the wrong and dangerous beauty ideals in today’s society. One negative thing, which I’ve read several times now is, that especially the reference to the eating disorders is illustrated not that good. Because this is not only about the fight against the body, the real problems are the thoughts in the head.
But I think this shouldn’t be the topic in the film. The focus was more generally and how the media influences the people to fell uncomfortable in their bodies.
In this relation I think these three conclusions are very important. They were also accentuated in the Facebook live video on the day after the cinema:
1. No body should be banned on the catwalks. There should be a diversity so that every human can relocate somewhere and feel accepted.
2. Health is not only a physical thing, it’s also emotional and mental. So nobody can judge the health and happiness of someone else just the way his or her body looks like.
3. The film should help to look into this subject and to come to the decision to start working on self-acceptance.
Because: Every human is beautiful just the way he/she is and it’s the personal qualities which count.