FOUNDER OF THE BODY IMAGE MOVEMENT & DIRECTOR OF 2016 FILM EMBRACE
TARYN BRUMFITT, an Australian mother of three, had a personalepiphany after struggling with her own negative body image for many years. She had considered plastic surgery and rejected it because she thought it would set the wrong example for her daughter. She then tried rigorous diet and exercise, training and successfully becoming an elite bodybuilder, but she told me, “The lifestyle that I lived to have that perfect body felt very restrictive, and it wasn’t really very joyful.” Taryn realized she was actually happier in her original body, one she now respected and loved more and treated with balance. So she did something unexpected—she posted a “before and after” photo, with her chiseled bodybuilding body as the “before” image and her rounder, more balanced, joyful body as the “after” image.
“What I learned was that it was the perspective inside our heads that needed to change; not my body.”
-Taryn on her moment of realization that led her to create the Body Image Movement.
Taryn didn’t post the photo with the goal of inspiring others— she did it as part of her own journey of finding a way to love her body. And she had no idea just how many people that one image would inspire. It has now been viewed more than 100 million times, and more than 7,000 people reached out directly to Taryn through e-mail and social media to let her know just how inspirational she was to them. Her courage in posting that photo inspired tens of millions of people, led to her writing a book and producing a documentary, both called Embrace, and launching The Body Image Movement globally.