Taryn Branfit, whose body image campaign has inspired millions of people around the world to embrace their bodies, has been named Australian of the Year 2023.
The Adelaide mother of four directed the 2016 documentary Embrace. The film explores how she learned to love her own body and why so many women aren’t happy with their looks.
She is also the author of four best-selling books and has a new documentary, Embrace Kids, aimed at helping children understand and understand their bodies.
Girlfriend Honored by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at a ceremony in Canberra on wednesday night.
Here is the full text of her speech:
“I would like to begin by thanking the traditional owners of the land we meet today, and I would like to pay tribute to the elders past and present.
“It’s live TV, and everyone’s watching me, so I have to say I’m going through a bit of an out-of-body experience, but I’m going to breathe — because our bodies are amazing when they do. — so that you can articulate your own words.
“We weren’t born into this world hating our bodies. This is what the world has taught us.
“Body shaming is a universal problem and we have been bullied and shamed into thinking our bodies are the problem.
“It works because 70% of schoolchildren in Australia consider body shape to be their number one concern.
“We face a pediatric health emergency with surging rates of body dissatisfaction-related suicide, depression, eating disorders, anxiety and steroid use.
“We found that young people with poor body image were 24 times more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.
“There is a lot of hopelessness for children and adults in this country when it comes to how we think and feel about our bodies.
“Australia, fighting our bodies is not the purpose of our lives.
“We collectively face some of the most difficult environmental, humanitarian and social challenges of our time.
“What if, instead of spending time hating your body, you could spend time together solving these challenges? And spend your precious time and energy fighting your body.” What if, instead, our youth were free to be leaders?
“It’s not our bodies that need to change, it’s our perspective.
“All adults are role models for children and I am not here to shame or offend you, I am here to ask you to change your mindset.
“Little Aussies describe their bodies as strong, energetic and powerful, and have a genuine love for everything their bodies can do.
“This allows us to work early, block out shame and despair, create a body-image safe environment for them to learn, live and play, and enjoy freedom from acceptance as teens and adults.” It gives you hope that you can make it work…your body, not the disease that comes with hating them.
“And we know that children and adolescents who value their bodies and body image are less likely to smoke, drink, or struggle with other addictions.
“This is not about promoting obesity, nor is it something I do. The problem is not just about weight or size, it is about how we feel about ourselves, whether it is skin color, height, age, gender. It’s about how we feel, our unique selves — and learning to move, nourish, respect and enjoy our bodies.
“People often say that body image is a complex puzzle, like a Rubik’s Cube.
“This year we have the Embrace Kids Classroom Program Curriculum for Australian schools and the groundbreaking documentary, Embrace Kids, which we offer to all schools as a free resource. is the most important movie that children of all ages will watch this year.
“Our mission is to reach 1 million school children over the next three years.
“Australia, if we’re really lucky, we have 28,000 days on earth and we’re not going to spend them fighting our bodies.
“What thoughts go through your mind when you take your last breath on this earth?
“What are you thinking?
“No one ever told me about the size of my butt.
“If we can embrace that perspective now that we are capable, breathing and appreciative of our bodies, we will all have access to a happier, richer and more fulfilling life.
“There is a lot of work to be done, but it starts early on with us being role models for our children by creating an environment that empowers them to thrive.
“We’re tired of just talking about it. We’re tired of the misery and pain of hating our bodies. My good Australia, we’re ready for change, ourselves.” and for generations to come.
“I would like to thank the National Australia Day Council and the most important people in my life. A real hero in our family is my partner who is a nurse. Oliver, Cruz, Michaela and Jacob. .
“My mom and dad, I can’t imagine what they are doing right now, but I want to thank my sister Justin and the entire team at Embrace, the hardest working team in the world.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-01-26/transcript-of-2023-australian-of-the-year-speech/101894322 ‘Fighting with our bodies is not the purpose of our lives’: 2023 Australian of the Year Taryn Blumfitt’s full speech