Taryn Brumfitt’s acclaimed film ‘Embrace’ comes to Exeter School

Oir contributor Anne Richardson tells us about the importance of body image activist Taryn Brumfitt’s film Embrace. She is bringing it to Exeter School on January 30th and we think EVERYONE needs to go and see it!


I don’t know about you but I welcome January with mixed feelings.

I’m looking forward to getting back into some kind of routine and actually knowing which day it is. I’m glad to get rid of the Christmas tree and even the cards I lovingly hung everywhere in the house. I want to start the New Year glitter-free.

Yet I also dread January because I know what is going to happen. I know, because it’s always the same and I could feel it brewing from the day I saw a pile of mince pies in Waitrose back in October. We were programmed indulge over the festive period by advertising because “it’s Christmas”, but then we began to feel bad when January slowly started to loom, as it is a well known fact that in January we must diet, we must lose that weight, tone that body, erase those wrinkles and become all round beautiful.

Prompted by the media we vouched to stop drinking, become vegetarian, renew the gym subscription that we’d cancelled last February and, my favourite, eat “clean”. Overnight our Christmas goodies turned into processed junk that we swore would never pass our lips again.

That “New year, new you” slogan implies the old one isn’t good enough, it suggests we need to change and conform to some arbitrary norm. Ok, we might have put a bit of weight on through an enthusiastic consumption of mince pies but does it really warrant us getting up at 5am to dry-brush our bodies and drink a detoxifying green juice? What about we try to be a bit more moderate? What about we try to eat a nourishing rather than a punishing diet?

In 2018 I will be doing “Normal January” when I won’t change what I eat, what I do, what I look like or who I am. I refuse to start the year beating my poor body up because frankly it does its best. Yes I do have cellulite, my boobs look like wet tea bags after breastfeeding two kids and I also now have wrinkles but that doesn’t tell you anything about me, what I am as a person, or a friend, it doesn’t tell you about my intelligence or values.

For centuries women have been defined by their appearances, each decade promoting an ideal, to which we have been expected to conform regardless of our physiology. In the words of Naomi Wolf “our culture disempowers women by holding them prisoner to an unattainable beauty ideal”. Disempowered and unhappy, is that what you had in mind for 2018?

I urge you to do something different this January, ditch the diets, don’t try to become someone else but instead learn to love yourself and be kind to your body.

Go and watch Taryn Brumfitt’s world acclaimed documentary Embrace, which follows her journey as she delves into the global issue of body loathing, motivating us to change the way we see ourselves and think about our bodies.

I love Embrace because it hit a nerve, as I too once thought I needed to change to be worthy. I used to think that being thinner would make me happier when in fact it made me miserable. I so wish my 16 year old self had understood that every BODY is beautiful not just those in the glossy magazines.

Come and join me on Tuesday 30th January 2018 at 7pm when I’ll be host the screening of Embrace at Exeter School; it could change your life!





About the Author:

Anne Richardson is originally from France, she moved to Devon in 2012 after spending twelve years in London. She had to look up Exeter on a map when her husband accepted a job there!

She moved down in bleak February, with a toddler, crippled with morning sickness and knowing no one. Finding it hard at first but she soon met lots of mums, started at feel at home and now wouldn’t move back to London for the world (just the weekend perhaps).

Anne is a registered nutritional therapist who is passionate about food; she is either cooking, eating or talking about food. She is a strong believer that we could all be healthier if we ate better but doesn’t do fads.

Devon is the perfect place for her and her family, not only is it similar to her native Brittany, it is also abound with good produce and a wealth of places to visit. With two boys she can often be seen on Dartmoor, at the beach, on walks or just cycling around the quay.

Anne has her own company called Crunch Nutritionhead here for more information. You can also follow her on Twitter or drop her an email if you have any questions.

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