When Taryn Brumfitt posted a before and after selfie on Facebook two years ago, the image went viral and attracted views in the millions. What was different about the image was that it was not your standard diet or exercise miracle but one of her pre and post child birth, with the latter being, how does one say it, more fulsome than the former.
The reaction Brumfitt received came from mainly women around the world and inspired her to crowd fund a documentary on this topic of how women can present themselves, living as we do in the digital world. Her premise is that the fashion industry, most notably represented in women’s magazines (and particularly on their covers) perpetuates a fiction, where even the models presented, thanks to Photoshop, don’t match how they are in the flesh, so to speak. And if that is their case, what hope the rest of the world?
At the core of film, Taryn Brumfitt, a bundle of infectious enthusiasm if ever there was one, heads off for a world tour to meet various people who contacted her at that time and others she lined up; from the engaging, such as the German actor who finds the fascinations of the paparazzi tedious to a particularly creepy New York plastic surgeon. Add in two ladies who had suffered accidents – one the loss of a facial nerve during surgery, the other burns when caught in a bush fire and the message gets hammered home that who you are matters much more than matching some magazine’s statement of how you should look.
To be sure this a film by a woman about women for women – of all ages – but perhaps in that it sustains a superficiality, drifting over the issue of what is it biologically in our evolution that has got us to that point – that is, what is about the opposite sex (if anything) that drives this craze and societal curse?
Embrace has struck a hurdle with a MA classification due to a short segment that focuses on women’s vaginas – ‘Vulvagate’ as one compere put it – but that classification should not deter mothers taking their daughters to see this documentary especially given pressures on younger people to fit in have never been greater given the impact of social media, the one and the same that got this project going at the outset.
Kryztoff Rating 3.5K