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Movie screening has impact

A thought-provoking film shown in Benalla late last year has helped to send a powerful message to the community about women and their body image.

Embrace, a social impact documentary that explores body image, was shown at the Benalla Performing Arts and Convention Centre in October, 2016, with the screening organised by Future Directions Fitness Director, Felicity Munro.
The film tells the story about successful photographer Taryn Brumfitt, who despite having a thriving business and a happy personal life struggled with her own body image issues. 
Ms Munro said that the film had a strong message for women of all ages.
 “I had connected with the Body Positive Movement and other fitness professionals around Australia that were trying to bring the body positive and healthy at every size message to the forefront of health and fitness,” she said.
“Once we started promoting the Body Positive Movement and working with BPACC and Benalla Health’s Community Health team, the stories and personal experiences women have started to be shared.”
“So many mums were concerned about the influence that the wrong messages portrayed via social media could have on their daughters.”
Ms Munro said she had been amazed at the feedback the film had received both on the viewing night and since then.
“People have become more aware of the manipulation of images in magazines and online,” she said.
“The film showed the audience that even celebrities, models and people that we consider to be perfect have been criticised for their weight, shape or appearance.” 
“What is interesting is that younger girls talk about their bodies being adventurous, strong, flexible, and fast, and older women describe their bodies as stable, dependable, still going and agile.
“However, that age in between expresses self-loathing, disgust and despair all because their bodies don’t measure up to an image that is not even real, it’s a fake photo-shopped image.”  
“These views really resonated with people and how when it is all said and done, their bodies do a lot and are pretty amazing.”
Benalla Health dietitian Kathryn McQualter said the film’s important message was one which people should heed.
“The movie was so important in that it demonstrates that there is a way to live a healthy life without being on a diet or focusing only on our weight,” she said.
“Fad diets tend to only deal with what we eat, not the reasons why we eat, such as body image issues.”
“Dietitians use a combination of mindful eating techniques and health coaching counselling skills to guide you on how to eat mindfully and intuitively.”
“Slowing down and connecting with your body and food gives you nourishment, satisfaction, enjoyment and flexibility without the deprivation and guilt when we break a diet rule,” Ms McQualter said.


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