Darling girl, don't waste a single day of your life being at war with your body, just embrace it.
That's the message behind the documentary from Taryn Brumfitt, screening in Canberra on August 18. Embrace is Brumfitt's personal story. How she's transformed her life and the lives of others. In 2012, she was considering plastic surgery after her third baby, but had an epiphany and realised she would be sending her own daughter the wrong message. She got fit, training as a bodybuilder for 15 weeks and eventually competing in a contest. But she was still unhappy.
So she decided to embrace her own body. Faults and all and was soon in a much better place.
She posted before and after shots online and they went viral, receiving more than 100 million views worldwide. Her after shot, soft and rounded, was what won us all over.
I remember the initial post. I was buoyed by it. Buoyed by the whole concept of her Body Image Movement.
And buoyed too that just last week my daughter and her friends decided we should all go and see the documentary when online women's fashion store Birdnest brings it to town.
We were talking about it over the kitchen bench, watching the trailer for the documentary. I was probably eating cheese. My daughter's not one to dwell on her body shape, at least she doesn't express her concerns, if she does have them, to her mother. She has friends, all strong, healthy, beautiful, smart and funny young women, of all shapes and sizes. But something about the trailer has moved her and she's keen to see the documentary.
When Brumfitt says the line about her darling girl, I said to my darling girl, that's so true Blossie, don't waste a single day.
I'm kind of proud that I've always maintained a fairly healthy body image, through thick and thin, and more recently thick again. My body is strong and solid and does, for the most part, what I need it to do. I don't think she's ever seen me look at myself in mirror and heard me say anything negative about what is looking back at me.
I am proud of the fact that she watches me go off to play sport, that she sees me enjoying food, that I enjoy a walk with girlfriends because it's a chance to catch up and not because we're thinking about burning calories or registering distance.
Sure, there are moments where I grab the layer of fat that seems to have settled around my middle and wonder what it would be like if I just took a sharp knife to it. Or have it vacuumed out of me like that fantastic ad for Dyson vacuum cleaners. But I never let her see me do it.
And I don't hate my body when I do that, more I hate the idea that maybe I'm too lazy to do anything about it. Lazy is bad. Round is not bad.
Indeed, round is kind of good. I like curvy. I like my soft skin. I like specific parts too. Sometimes I actually feel comforted by my own body. Knowing that she protects me. I can feel the strength in her. Knowing that while sometimes I feel vulnerable and afraid, she will always protect me.
But I agree with the premise of Embrace. That for years society has been telling women to be beautiful because that's the most important thing they can be. And that's just wrong.
It's important to be kind and generous and smart and funny. All those things you already are beautiful girls.
Don't get caught up by what you look like. What other's look like. Sure, and let's all be honest, part of life will always be based on first impressions. But the people who stick around because you capture their minds and hearts, and not just their eyes, will be the ones that matter.
Stay healthy, that's the important message. And the lazy, vulnerable me, knows that all of my problems are to do with health, not image.
Love your body. It will do amazing things. Things you never thought possible.
Tickets for the August 18 screening of Embrace at Palace Electric can be ordered here. Taryn Brumfitt will be hosting a Q&A session after the film.