Taryn Brumfitt first made a broad impact online with her response to Maria Kang’s controversial “What’s your excuse?” image. Then she quit her day job to focus on her growing mission, the Body Image Movement.
The Body Image Movement is “on a quest to redefine and rewrite the ideals of beauty.” It aims to do this through body acceptance, positive body talk, and prioritizing health over beauty.
Brumfit’s approach is to show herself, warts and all. She bravely presents herself as real as possible, growing older and after having children.
I love Brumfit’s message, because I think it’s very inspiring and important to put positive and alternative representations of women out there in the media. There is immense power in telling personal stories, and creating community through shared experience.
She talks about her decision to start the Body Image Movement: “In 2012, while contemplating my impending plastic surgery which would make my breasts perky plus neatly tuck away that excess fat on my stomach, I had an epiphany. If I go through with this, what am I saying to my daughter about body image? How will I teach her to love her body? How am I going to encourage her to accept and love her body, when I am standing in front of her with a surgically enhanced body? What type of hypocrite or mother would I be?”
This focus on being positive about her own body to set an example for her daughter is a powerful one.
As a mother myself, I feel the constant pressure to “bounce back after baby,” and it’s great to see a dissenting voice gaining so much publicity. Brumfit’s philosophy is a welcome reminder that what we say about our own bodies can absolutely affect those around us.
The Body Image Movement web site is full of other refreshingly honest and personal writing about body image and the post-pregnancy body.
She has already making a huge impact on me, and it looks like her influence is starting to spread around the world.
Tessa Needham finished her PhD in Performing Arts at the University of Western Sydney (Australia) in 2008. Her thesis explored the potential of performance to provoke change, and part of her research was Bodily, a solo theatrical performance about body image. She loves technology and the creative arts, and is passionate about the different cultural forces affecting the body image of girls and women. She teaches computers and does freelance creative work: www.tessaneedham.com.