Body image advocate Taryn Brumfitt has been named the 2023 Australian of the Year in recognition of her decade-long global campaign to end the body hate epidemic and inspire people to embrace their bodies.
The accolade comes just months after the release of Embrace Kids, her powerful documentary featuring many familiar faces including Celeste Barber (executive producer), Jameela Jamil and more. The film aims to help young people love and celebrate their bodies by exploring themes of body image, social media, gender, identity and representation.
In 2023, Ms Brumfitt and the organisation she co-founded, The Embrace Collective, will be launching the Embrace Kids Classroom Program, a free set of resources that will be rolled out to every primary and secondary school in Australia.
Ms Brumfitt has teamed up with Australian researcher Dr Zali Yager, one of the world’s foremost experts on body image with more than 15 years of experience in this space. As the field of body image research has grown throughout the 2000s, so too has the evidence on just how damaging body image distress can be:
- 77% of Australian young adults (16-25 years) report body image distress – this has more than doubled since 2009.
- Body image is consistently reported in the top 3 issues of personal concern in the Mission Australia Survey of Young People.
- Young people with body image distress are 24x more likely to develop depression and anxiety, and are at an increased risk of eating disorders and suicidal thoughts.
- Body image distress leads to an increase in risky behaviours – high risk drinking, drug use, smoking, use of steroids/supplements, self-harm and lower academic engagement.
“Little Aussies describe their bodies as strong and energetic and powerful, and they have genuine love for what their bodies can do and how that makes them feel,” Ms Brumfitt said tonight. “This gives me hope that we can get in early, block the shame and despair, and let them live their lives as teens and adults with the freedom that comes from embracing your body – not the illnesses that come with hating them.”
Embrace Kids is the latest in a long line of projects spearheaded by Ms Brumfitt over the past 10 years. Since her unconventional before-and-after selfie went viral in 2013, her message of embracing your body has reached more than 200 million people around the world so far – with even more to come on the back of her new title as Australian of the Year.
ABOUT TARYN BRUMFITT
Taryn Brumfitt is the founder of the Body Image Movement, director of the inspiring documentaries EMBRACE and EMBRACE KIDS, and bestselling author of four books. A sought-after international speaker, she has delivered more than 100 keynote addresses, including at Google HQ in Silicon Valley. Taryn’s global crusade to help people embrace their bodies has seen her recognised by UN Women, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls and the Geena Davis Institute. With a powerful message and unwavering commitment to her cause, Taryn is a true force to be reckoned with.
0478 045 406
0448 732 614