EMBRACE, the hit body image documentary by Taryn Brumfitt, has received an M rating on appeal after initially garnering an MA 15+ classification. The film can now be seen by audiences under the age of 15 without parental guidance. The Classification Board originally found that a sequence in the film contrasting the representation of women’s vulvas in close-up photographs as part of a discussion around body acceptance warranted a MA15+ classification with consumer advice of ‘strong nudity’.
The rating was coined ‘vulvagate’ after the Board noted that some of the genital detail included ‘protruding labia’. The Classification Review Board this week subsequently revised the rating to Mature (M) with a consumer advice of ‘nudity’. Taryn Brumfitt said, “I am thrilled that the right decision has been made. With rates of labiaplasty on the rise, particularly in teens, I knew how important it was to include the educational and informative vulva section in the film. Since the film’s release I have been told every day that it must be seen in schools and now it can be. The Classification Board’s decision means that Embrace can be more accessible to the people who need its message most.”
Transmission’s Andrew Mackie said, “We’re delighted that the original decision has been reviewed and overturned. EMBRACE continues to educate and inspire audiences, its box office success showing that issues of body image are relevant, with this film resonating with Australian audiences at sold-out screenings, despite the original rating limitations. This decision enables Taryn’s message to go further.”
Taryn Brumfitt began the Body Image Movement when, despite being happily married, and successfully juggling motherhood with running a thriving photography business, she was privately struggling with crippling body image issues. Close to resorting to plastic surgery to ‘fix’ her post-childbirth body, Taryn decided that what she really needed to change was not in fact her body, it was her attitude towards it. This was the beginning of The Body Image Movement, an internationally recognised crusade that promotes the importance of body diversity and facilitates positive body image activism.
Taryn is currently promoting EMBRACE throughout the United States, where a screening at the Australian embassy in Washington DC for Ambassadors Joe Hockey and Natasha Stott Despoja was recently held. EMBRACE, which was selected to screen at this year’s Sydney Film Festival was released in cinemas in August 4 and continues to play, grossing over $700,000 to date. It is likely EMBRACE will ultimately gross over $1m at the box office, making it one of the highest grossing Australian documentaries ever.