My significant other took me to watch the documentary “Embrace“, which essentially talks about women’s indoctrination to despise their own body and encourage them to accept their own imperfectness. Albeit being well-made, I would claim that the movie didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know beforehand but more importantly – it offers a half-baked solution that is bound to fail. I’ll get to that later.
I should state beforehand that my perspective is of a privileged white male so I do think my opinion should be taken with limited warranty, but choosing to shut me out of the discussion will put the reader just where historical privileged people were – refusing to listen to other opinions.
I’m guessing the movie evoked sympathy from girls and helped them think that they are not alone. I don’t know, do really they feel that way? Did we actually manage to brainwash people into this devastating state of thinking that they are so fat or so ugly that no one could ever sympathize with them or feel just like them? that they are utterly alone?
The movie then interviewed a whole bunch of women who learned to embrace their bodies- whether it’s an aging model, a bearded girl, a model with facial paralysis or a girl disfigured by wildfire and so on. they all learned to love their body (with the exception of a woman still fighting anorexia) and they claim to be happy, although I saw the fragility in their confidence as their bodies were still an issue they struggled with, almost on a daily basis.
I did notice that the movie didn’t cover fat people. I mean really fat, obese people. For some reason it seems that girls cannot differentiate the between being “big” and being “fat”. As far as I’m concern (this is my personal definition) fat is person that when standing straight will still have “tires“. The unhealthy kind of fat. Unlike fat people, big people can be extremely fit and healthy. By avoiding this issue, the movie sorta left out the obese teenage girl at a quandary. her size will kill her, should she embrace her body anyhow?
My S.O. noted that it seem that the key to embrace your body, if taking the movie literally, is to have a photoshoot in either your underwear or naked. The girls who did that in the movie seemed quite happy with themselves. To be honest, I doubt the photoshoot is they key, rather then the outcome, but this means, at least for me, that these girls were still looking at the mirror everyday and wondering whether they’re ugly (or trying to convince themselves otherwise).
Women’s magazine be like “page 12: love yourself as you are; page 24: chocolate cake recipe; page 41: diet tips”. Seriously? are you failing to see the hypocrisy here?
Personally I think women are overly obsessed with their body. I don’t take the responsibility off the patriarchy but if women wants to independently snap out of their miserable state, this movie isn’t the right answer for them. Stop talking about your body, nobody cares. Eat real food (and not industrialized sugar-induced food) and do sport. Not because you want to look good, rather than because you want to be fit and healthy. Looking good is more about attitude and smile than keeping your little tummy tucked in. Stop telling young girls that they’re pretty. It doesn’t matter if they are or not. It’s simply not important. tell them that they are smart, kind, brave, whatever. Stop criticizing and judging other girls by the way they look.
I learned that if there’s someone willing to pay for something, there’ll always be someone willing to make money out of it. And woman’s beauty is a huge industry feeding off women’s obsessions with their look (and the worst part of it is that they actually convince men as well to judge women by their appearance). So I know what I’m preaching is incredibly hard but I think the women’s goal is very clear. If you want magazine to stop writing about body-image issues – simply stop buying them. If you don’t approve photoshopped pictures – boycott those products. The women’s purchase power is huge. More than 50% of all people are women (would you believe that!) so stop treating yourself like a bunch of […], poking at your own wounds and lead the world to where you want it to be – a place where people – men and women are equally judged by their personality and professional merits and not by their body. I don’t care if you’re pretty or not. and you shouldn’t care either.