Toward Embracing Ourselves

Two Madison Gals are Helping Women Accept Their Bodies
By Marni McEntee

Katherine Bice and Meg Rothstein came to know each other when they both decided, separately, to bring the documentary film “Embrace” to Madison.

The movie by Australian filmmaker Taryn Brumfitt, founder of the Body Image Movement, reveals why poor body image has become a global epidemic among women, and what women can do to change their body-shaming attitudes and embrace who they are.

The film first was shown in the U.S. in September, including two screenings in Madison so far. Additional showings are planned for Dec. 5 (which is sold-out but organizers hope to add more seats) and Jan. 11.

Rothstein, who recently founded Larkspur Collaborative Coaching, has been collaborating with Bice since that first showing, coordinating additional screenings and considering other events and meet-ups for women around the body image issue.

Bice, owner of La Lingerie Shop in Madison, says the movie had a profound effect on her. “It was a game changer for me,” Bice says. “It depicted everything that I thought inside and everything that I tried to express to my clients in their bra fit. Every woman that I have fit for the last 11 years comes in apologizing for their bodies.”

Rothstein says she’s had unkind thoughts about her body, to the point of wanting to “disassociate herself from it” when she would have to wear a swimsuit on beach outings with her young daughter, for example. She’s also recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that sometimes makes it difficult for her to walk without a cane. That’s made her understand how it’s possible for someone to feel negative about her body because it’s not doing what she’d like it to do.

The film points out the societal pressures, often pushed in the media, for women to appear thin and youthful, a struggle, faced by many, to reach an unattainable, airbrushed perfection. Many women come away from the film realizing that their self-worth is derived from so much more than their appearance.

Women, girls—and men—should see the film, Bice and Rothstein say.

“If we have a society that negates women in relationship to themselves and other women in things like body acceptance and beauty and so forth,” Rothstein says, “then why can’t we provide a counter-virus and infect the society with positivity?”

Why, indeed?

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