Frequently Asked Questions
The Short Answer is NO. For a long time, there has been a misconception that we should make people, or make ourselves feel bad about our weight in order to motivate us to engage in health behaviour. The science is showing that this isn’t working. People think that if we appreciate our bodies, accept, and trust them, we would all stop eating well and exercising, and gain a lot of weight. However, the science is now showing that when we appreciate our bodies, we look after them more- by eating fruit and vegetables, and moving our bodies. Research has shown that people with more positive body image even wear sunscreen and engage in preventative cancer screening more often. It’s time we realised that shame doesn’t help people ‘be healthy’, it means that they avoid health care, experience poor quality of life, and gain weight over time, not lose it.
Feeling shame around our bodies hasn’t helped us to be healthy. It doesn’t motivate positive behaviour change. If we want people to be healthy, we need to focus on encouraging and facilitating health behaviours- not create shame around weight.
If you are worried, we suggest you talk to someone. The Butterfly Foundation Help Hub offers a range of advice and articles, and if you are in Australia, you can call the hotline on 1800 33 4673, email the Helpline, or use KIT to chat on the website. This service is available to everyone- not matter what stage you are at, and whether you are calling for yourself, to help a friend, or a young person you care for. The experienced professionals on the other end of the phone will ask you questions, and direct you through to resources that can help you.
There is no right way to seek help- We strongly recommend that you open up to anyone you feel comfortable with – whether that is a friend, sibling, parent, carer, teacher, or other trusted adult. Talking to someone is better than talking to no one!
Our aim is to provide information that supports people to Embrace their bodies, and encourage you to take action, but we do not provide individual help. If you would like additional support, we suggest that you call the Butterfly Foundation helpline on 1800 33 4673, email the Helpline, or use webchat.
You can’t tell how someone feels about their body, or whether someone has an eating disorder, by looking at them. However there are lots of warning signs that you can look out for in terms of the things that people are saying or what they are doing that might indicate that there is an issue that would benefit from support. The Mental Health First Aid Guidelines for Eating Disorders outline these warning signs in detail.
Body image concerns and eating disorders are serious psychological illnesses- people are not having these thoughts and feelings by choice, or to get attention, and they can’t just snap out of it. One of the best things that can happen, particularly early on in the piece, is for people to share their thoughts and concerns, and to open up about their behaviours. It is worth you asking questions, and talking to them. The Mental Health First Aid Guidelines for Eating Disorders provide detailed guidance on how to approach someone about their body image concerns or eating disorder. If you are in Australia, you can also call the Butterfly Foundation helpline on 1800 33 4673, email the Helpline, or use webchat to seek support in helping a friend or someone you know.
Embrace Kids will be released in Australian cinemas on September 1st. Community screenings will be available from mid-November. We want every single person in Australia to be able to see this film! To find out more about hosting a community screening, click here.
Community Screenings were such a powerful way for the Embrace (2016) film and message to spread around the world, and we would love to see the same thing happen with Embrace Kids! We are building a team of screening hosts across Australia who will host a screening at their workplace, in their community organisation, or hold a fundraising event at a cinema. For more information and to add your details to submit an expression of interest, click here.
The Embrace Kids film was designed to meet the needs of children and young people aged 9-14 years. The film is rated G for a general audience. All kids develop at different rates, and you know your young people best, but these ages are provided as a guide. The film is aimed at young people who have become aware that there are certain pressures on them to look a certain way, but have not developed issues or concerns. The Embrace Kids film might support young people who have existing issues or concerns, but is not designed to treat any psychological condition. There is some depiction of social media images in the film that younger viewers might not have seen. This was kept to a minimum, and provided alongside media literacy education as indicated by the research in this area.
We cannot answer individual health or medical questions. If you require medical help and support please visit the Professional Help and Support page or contact your GP or health care provider.
Embrace Kids is a new book from powerhouse body image activist, Taryn Brumfitt, and Body Image Expert, Dr Zali Yager. Embrace Kids is in stores from August 2, 2022, and should be available wherever you buy good books- in Big W, or online at Booktopia. If you want to do your bit in creating change, you are welcome to ask or suggest that your local independent bookstore stocks Embrace Kids!
Libraries should have access through Bolinda, Overdrive and Findaway. If your library doesn’t have a copy, you can suggest that they order one!
We would love for the Embrace Kids film and book to be available in every language, in every country, but it’s not up to us! We are trying to get this out far and wide, but it’s in the hands of the distributors and publishers.
The Embrace Hub is a beautiful coming together of many powerful voices and experiences in this space. If you would like to write for the Embrace Hub, please see our submission guidelines here for more details on how you can become an Embrace Hub contributor.
We welcome contributions from philanthropic donors to support the ongoing development of more free resources, and to get these out to schools and communities around Australia. You can learn more about becoming a Founder’s Circle Member here.
We also value the support from our corporate partners, and look forward to having a conversation about how we can align our mission to create epic impact. For more, see here.
We would love the Embrace Hub to be a central portal for all resources that can help every single human Embrace their bodies. In order to ensure that all of the resources on the Embrace Hub are safe and effective for audiences, we do have criteria for the courses, programs, and businesses that we link to. Everything we do is informed by scientific evidence, and reviewed by our panel of body image experts- the researchers and clinicians at the Body Confident Collective. If you have a resource that is evidence-informed, you are welcome to write a blog piece for the Embrace Hub that links to this resource. See the submission guidelines here to learn more about writing for us.