#Ihaveembraced: a pilot cross-sectional naturalistic evaluation of the documentary film Embrace and its potential associations with body image in adult women Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Background The aim of this project was to examine the qualitative responses of adult women who had seen the feature-length documentary film ‘Embrace’. In addition, to establish the potential for the documentary to be used as an intervention to improve adult body image, a naturalistic study was conducted to examine whether any differences on measures of body image were apparent among women who had, versus those who had not, seen the film. Method Participants were 1429 women aged 18–77 who were members of the Facebook group ‘Body Image Movement’ facilitated by Taryn Brumfitt, who also directed the documentary Embrace. Participants completed a cross-sectional online questionnaire regarding whether they had seen the film, their perceptions of the impact of the film on their lives and body image, and a range of standardized scales measuring psychological wellbeing. Results Overall, the majority of participants had seen the film (n = 1053, 73.7%). Qualitative analysis of open-ended data asking about the changes participants made after viewing the film revealed that a large proportion (44.1%) felt they had higher levels of body appreciation and body confidence, many reported engaging less in dieting (19.6%), and some reported lowered disordered eating (2.8%), since seeing Embrace. Women who had seen the film also reported significantly higher levels of body appreciation (Body Appreciation Scale; medium effect size), and significantly lower levels of internalization of body ideals, self-objectification, body shame, and dietary restraint, than women who had not seen the film. Conclusions Adult women reported numerous positive responses to their viewing of the film. Future experimental research should explore the efficacy of Embrace as a brief and engaging intervention for improving body image in adult women.

publication date

  • 2020