November 30, 2017

"Embrace" the Revolution...and Fuck the Rest!

It took a while, but I finally sat down to watch "Embrace", a fabulous and inspiring documentary on body image and acceptance by activist and social media celebrity, Taryn Brumfit.  You can find this doc on Netflix and follow her on Facebook.  Based upon my 25+ years of watching documentaries on eating disorders and body hate, I have come to expect the same old, same old. Yes, we know girls and women (not to mention boys and men) hate their bodies. Yes, we know the media has something to do with that. I wasn't expecting anything different from "Embrace".

I don't know if it was Brumfit's painfully honest, in your face, approach to this subject matter or I am at a place in my life where I am really ready to allow it to absorb into my DNA, but something happened.  I felt sad, angry, and above all united with so many others (women) in the world. At the end, I was committed to the revolution of body acceptance and appreciation and anything else was abruptly rejected.  You want to sell me a diet or exercise program? Fuck off! You want to talk the latest in food combining for weight loss? Fuck off! You want to know the best way to loose the last 10 pounds? Fuck off!

One of the most impactful messages I picked up and have integrated into my life is the notion of supporting women (instead of berating or judging them).  Instead of wondering why she wore that blouse with those pants, I support and appreciate that woman. Instead of balking at a women's hard core approach to exercise and diet in pursuit of perfection, I will understand and support her (while feeling sad that she is practicing exercises in body hate). I will exercise more compassion and less judgment. I will understand that, for most of us, we continue to be imprisoned by the beliefs of a pro-anorexic society.
...and just think of all the problems
that could be solved in the world.

Unfortunately, now that my blinders have completely been removed, I see pro-anorexia everywhere.  I hear it in the lunchrooms, on the street, in the clothing stores, in the fitness centres, and all the advertisements and social media messaging.  It's so prevalent it isn't noticed by many.  In fact, these constant messages of imperfection and offerings of solutions to fix our problematic bodies have normalized the belief that if we aren't working towards body perfection, we are giving up on ourselves or losing control.  Fuck that.

I am now officially a bitch on purpose. I refuse to enable these behaviours but try to offer alternative ways of being in the world (in a support, kind, and non-judgmental manner).  I won't sit and listen to pro-anorexic talk or be exposed to messages that push eating and exercise disorders.  I may be the most unpopular health promoter in the town or on the committee, but I'm certain that others will join in this revolution and soon, very soon, we will see real change....

....and then we can start focusing our energy on contributing to our communities versus how we look in our jeans.

We may not love our bodies over night, but we can certainly work towards appreciating what they do for us.


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