Taryn Brumfitt’s body image ambassador Embrace


Taryn Brumfitt.
Taryn Brumfitt.

TARYN Brumfitt’s life has taken a couple of unexpected turns in recent years.

The former photographer and mother of three went viral in 2013 when she posted a before and after image of herself on Facebook in a bid to boost the self-confidence of a couple of mates.

The internet lit up to the “before” photo of her sporting a toned body in a bikini, next to a tasteful nude “after” photo of herself after she had given up the health kick and gained a few extra kilos.

Her point was that she was happier with her body and herself when the “after” photo was taken.

Now she is a documentary director and body image ambassador spreading stories of diverse, strong women and combating the airbrushed depiction of women.

Brumfitt spoke to Community Newspaper Group this week ahead of a sold out Q and A screening of her documentary Embrace in Leederville.

Brumfitt said she went with the flow.

“I never worked in the media; for 10 years I worked as a photographer,” she said.

“That’s where I came into embrace being creative and now I’m a director, apparently.

“I’ve learned to never say never.”

Brumfitt said she could not sit idle once she realised she could help make a difference for others.

“I guess there’s been a certain sense of responsibility; when you learn something you know can help other people, you just have to do something with that information,” she said.

“And in terms of hating my body then learning to love my body, it was like winning the golden ticket.

“And so many people are looking everywhere but within to find that place of acceptance and unconditional love.

“I wanted to share not just my story but the many stories that are around the world.”

Citing Madonna as a role model with her “rock the boat” and “do her own thing in her own way” attitude, Brumfitt is now carving a path for others but is not comfortable with the word “brave”.

“I can think of a million more things that are braver than what I did,” she said.

“I posted the photographs; it was very organic thing, it wasn’t ‘I’m going to post this to get this outcome’.

“I often think of all those brilliant minds that are out there that are underutilised because they’re worrying about their cellulite or their stretch marks or their big bum.

“Come on ladies, it’s time to look at the landscape of how we live and how society tries to push these messages into our minds to be something other than what we are and push back against it.”

While her young children are still in their “kid bubble” now, she plans to show them her documentary, which was controversially slapped with an MA15+ rating, when they hit double digits.

“Once they step outside of that kid bubble, unfortunately there is a world waiting there for them that wants to prey on their insecurities with brands and corporations that’s so driven by power and greed,” she said.

“The boys I could show anytime now but I just wouldn’t want to exclude my daughter from that, so maybe when she’s a little bit older.

“Mia Freedman brought her 10-year-old to see the film and she said she would all day long bring 10-year-olds to see this.”

Embrace is released August 4.