Embrace, a new documentary by body image activisit Taryn Brumfitt, has been hit with an MA15+ classification for its depiction of female genitalia.
Brumfitt, the founder of the Body Image Movement, believes her film contains an important message for young girls.
But it’s going to be difficult for those girls to see the film, now that the Classification Board has given it an MA15+ classification for a sequence in which the different appearances of women’s vaginas are represented in close-up photographs as part of a discussion around body acceptance.
The Board noted that some of the genital detail included ‘protruding labia’, and is now advising viewers that the film contains ‘strong nudity’.
“I am shocked and outraged that the Board has deemed Embrace unsuitable for Under 15-year-olds,” Taryn says.
“Quite frankly I think they’ve made a terrible mistake. There is already enough body shaming in the world, we certainly don’t need anymore.
“The whole point of the classification system is to protect minors from harmful content, but what exactly is the Board protecting them from? The images are confronting, yes, but the only way they could be harmful is if they continue to be censored.”
The film’s distributor, Transmission Films, has confirmed it will go ahead with the release of Embrace despite its MA15+ classification, but called the Board’s decision “very disappointing”.
“The whole point of this entertaining and educative film is the message that all bodies are different, that body shaming is unacceptable, and that girls and women should be encouraged to love themselves exactly as they are,” Transmission’s Andrew Mackie said.
“This is a message that needs to be heard by girls under the age of 15, but with this classification it will make it harder for the intended audience to see it, and harder for us to raise awareness for it.”
Transmission Films also confirmed that Facebook will not allow a post featuring the film’s poster to be ‘boosted’ to reach a wider audience, because the image has ‘excessive skin’.
As we featured on the site last year, Taryn Brumfitt began the Body Image Movement when she was struggling with crippling body image issues, despite being happily married and juggling motherhood with a successful photography business.
Close to resorting to plastic surgery to ‘fix’ her post-childbirth body, Taryn realised that it wasn’t her body that needed to change, but her attitude towards it.
Embrace will be released in cinemas nationally on Thursday 4 August. Taryn Brumfitt will come to Brisbane for a special Q&A screening at Palace Barracks Cinema on Wednesday 20 July. For more information, visit palacecinemas.com.au.