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Q&A: Taryn Brumfitt, founder of The Body Image Movement

#IWillEmbraceSummer

Writer, speaker and founder of The Body Image Movement, Taryn Brumfitt is an internationally recognised positive body image activist.

While contemplating impending plastic surgery to improve her appearance post-pregnancy, Taryn had a body image epiphany. A mother of three beautiful children, she wondered how on earth she could teach them the fundamental human right of accepting and loving one’s body if she was uncomfortable in her very own.

We are so proud to be partnering with Taryn & The Body Image Movement for our Embrace Summer campaign. We will contribute $10 from every entrant to the Body Image Movement's 'Education and Social Outreach Program'. To find out more on how to enter click here.

 
When did your journey for all things body positivity begin? Was there a turning point?

When I was on stage competing in a body building competition I remember thinking… “here I am in my ‘perfect’ body, flat stomach and toned arms and I am still not happy!” This was the turning point, it was in this moment that I realised that having the perfect body wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. For me to sustain that body took too much time and obsession.

What made you want to start the Body Image Movement?

When I learned to love my body, it felt like winning the golden ticket. I felt so happy, so free and it was this feeling of joy that I wanted every woman on the planet to experience. When I posted my nontraditional before and after photograph, I received over 7000 emails from women (and some men) all around the world sharing their heartbreaking stories about how they treated their bodies and the disdain and hatred they felt for their bodies. I knew something needed to be done, so I started speaking to about 10 people in the local hall and posting on social media and it just grew and grew. I never set out to create a global movement but that’s what the universe had in store and I feel absolutely honoured to lead this movement. Oh, and I’m surrounded by fabulous and fierce women – what more could a girl want?

Taryn Before & After

How did you learn to love yourself and embrace your body? Did you always have the confidence you do now?

It was a process and it certainly didn’t happen overnight, it took time! I started practicing the art of gratitude more and more and this had such a profound impact on the relationship I had with my body, and my life too. Instead of hating my legs for how they wobbled and jiggled I praised them for how they move me through life. I gave my boobs a gold star for the 4000 meals they fed my children, rather than being so hung up on how they looked. I appreciated my body and my tummy for housing and growing 3 children.

These bodies of ours are so magical, we just have to see them through the right lens.

We absolutely love your documentary Embrace & the positive message behind it, what inspired you to make the film?

My deep desire, and perhaps slight obsession, with wanting to help people is what drives everything I do, the doco was no different. After I started speaking internationally, I wrote a book and I saw so many people make positive changes in their life just by hearing my story. But it just wasn’t enough, I didn’t want to help thousands I wanted to change millions! It got me thinking of all the stories I had heard from incredible and inspiring women around the world, these stories need to be told and there is nothing like the power of the big screen to connect with an audience.

TarynTaryn wears Jets Gypsy Plunge One Piece

You talked to a lot of amazing women in the film, who was the one person you learnt the most from? (If you can pick!)

It’s hard to play favourites as I learned something from each of the characters in Embrace. I will say though speaking to fellow Aussie Turia Pitt was beyond inspiring, there are no words to describe how tenacious and courageous she is. 

We are so excited to have partnered up with the Body Image Movement for our embrace summer campaign! Even more so that we are contributing $10 for every entrant to the body image movement’s ‘Education and Social Outreach Program’. Can you explain what this amazing program is all about?

This program is the heart and soul of everything we do at Body Image Movement. It’s our mission to harness and facilitate body image activism by providing education and inspiration. This program funds the Body Image Movement Global Ambassador program, a program designed to ensure that the vision and the values of Body Image Movement are heard about in every neighborhood in every continent across the world. With over 1000 ambassadors (or BIMGA’s as they’re affectionately known) and growing every day, we are really proud of the positive impact our team is making.

The ‘Education and Social Outreach Program’ is also responsible for body image education in schools. This education is delivered through positive body image school talks and presentations, the Embrace Education Study Guide and a new documentary project (in development) which will soon be available for Australian High School students.

TarynTaryn wears Miraclesuit Spectra Trilogy One Piece

It can be difficult to be body confident all the time, what do you tell yourself to be able to stay so positive?

These days I don’t need to tell myself anything it is so ingrained into who I am, I have nothing but unconditional love for this body and for all the things it can do and feel. But it wasn’t always this way. In the beginning, before I learned to love my body, I wrote positive affirmations on post it notes and left them on mirrors, in the fridge and anywhere I knew I would struggle to feel self love. They really worked. 

What advice would you give to women who struggle with loving & embracing their body?

That it is not the sole purpose of your life to be at war with your body! So many women right around the world have been brainwashed into thinking that something is wrong with their body. We’ve been brainwashed into thinking we should only celebrate one narrow ideal of what a beautiful body is. We need to change our perception of what beauty is, beauty can’t be measured on a scale or determined by a dress size, beauty is everything you can’t see, for me it is someone’s humility, kindness and humour.

TarynTaryn wears Seafolly Havana High Neck Tank Top & Pacifico High Waist Pant

What do you think about companies, like Swimwear Galore using a diverse range of bodies to advertise swimwear?

I love it! It makes me so happy to see influential brands such as Swimwear Galore taking positive action to help support and celebrate women of all shapes and sizes. Quite simply, it makes women feel good to see their body represented.

How do you think social media influences women’s self-confidence?

It can impact a woman either very positively or negatively depending on who the woman chooses to follow. When I ask women, who are struggling with their body image, who they follow on social media, often their social feeds are filled with bikini transformations, dieting tips and celebrities that don’t offer too much to the world or, more importantly, who don’t add anything to their world. It’s no wonder they feel lousy about their body when the message that is reflected back to them in their newsfeeds is ‘be anything other that what you are’. It is up to us to be responsible for who we invite into our lives.

On the flipside of this, I think social media can be incredibly positive if you fill your feed with positivity! I love seeing all the women and positive brands I follow enrich my life with their stories and words of inspiration.

Taryn

What advice do you have for the Swimwear Galore community?

Girlfriends…jump in the ocean and dive in the pool because life is too short to care too much about your wiggly jiggly bits! And don’t forget that your body is not an ornament, it is the vehicle to your dreams! 

Embrace The Film

For more information about the Body Image Movement & where to see the documentry Embrace click here.

Follow Taryn's Journey on Facebook or Instagram.