Published by the Faculty of Business, Government and Law, University of Canberra


Research and Stories through a Gendered Lens

Changing how we think and talk about our bodies

Oct 18, 2023 | Gender, Popular Culture, Activism, Body, Cultural politics, Celebration, Commentary, Leadership, Opinion, Feature

Written by Emma Macdonald

Australian of the Year Taryn Brumfiit is bringing her message of body positivity to Canberra when she delivers the National Press Club Address on Tuesday 31 October.

Admittedly, the speech is five months later than originally planned after Taryn caught Covid the day before a scheduled address in May. Now she’s fighting fit and determined to address the nation on “A new era: Changing how we feel, think and talk about our bodies” —presented by Women in Media.

Taryn founded the Body Image Movement in 2012 in an attempt to end the global body-hating epidemic. She broke new ground when she filmed the documentary Embrace in 2016 which chronicled her own experience of dissatisfaction with her body following the birth of her three children. She took up a regime of strict diet and exercise to become a body builder before deciding to change her mind-set rather than her physicality. She has campaigned for more positive body role modelling across media and social media as a way to staunch the crisis in eating disorders, bullying and body dissatisfaction.

She also filmed Embrace Kids which was released in September last year which seeks to teach nine- to 14-year-olds to move, nourish, respect and appreciate what their bodies can do.

In January she was announced Australian of the Year for her tireless work.

Taryn said “Not that long ago, it would have been inconceivable to think that the issue of body image would be given a platform as prominent as the National Press Club. Not because it didn’t matter, but because we didn’t always understand the extent of the devastation it causes to our mental and physical health.

“Now we do, so it’s time to not only talk about it but also to act on it, so we can save future generations from the heartache of body image issues and eating disorders. I am honoured to have the opportunity to start this conversation at the National Press Club and usher in a new era of how we feel about our bodies.”

THE ESSENTIALS What: Taryn Brumfitt addresses the National Press Club When: Tuesday 31 October, 12pm-1.30pm Where: National Press Club, 16 National Circuit Barton. Tickets: $80 for members and $100 for non-members, available at

Embrace has been watched by millions of people in 190 countries and is available on Netflix.

Taryn has also written four best-selling books, including collaborating with body image expert Dr Zali Yager to create an Embrace Kids companion parenting book. They have also created the Embrace Hub – a free, research-based resource for teachers, parents, children, and communities on fostering body positivity.

Taryn’s work has reached more than 200 million people. She is an internationally recognised keynote speaker and has been recognised by UN Women.


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