Taryn Brumfitt 2023 Australia of the Year for her work in getting Aussies to ‘love their bodies’

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Body image positivity activist Taryn Brumfitt has been named Australian of the Year 2023.

The 44-year-old activist, writer, director and speaker was honored for her work with the Embrace Body Image Movement, which she founded in 2012, at a glittering ceremony in Canberra on Wednesday night.

Teaching people to love and appreciate their bodies, the movement has spread well beyond its hometown of Adelaide – where it also won South Australia of the Year – sparking a global phenomenon reaching more than 200 million people.

Tarryn Brumfitt (pictured), 44, was named Australian of the Year 2023

Tarryn Brumfitt (pictured), 44, was named Australian of the Year 2023

The former bodybuilder and mother of three (pictured) founded the global Embrace Body Image Movement in 2012

The former bodybuilder and mother of three (pictured) founded the global Embrace Body Image Movement in 2012

Professor Tom Calma AO was honored as Senior Australian of Year by ACT who is an Indigenous human rights and social justice activist whose work formed the basis of the Close the Gap campaign.

He has previously been awarded the Order of Australia in recognition of his work as an inspirational human rights advocate and outstanding service to the Indigenous community.

Young Australian of the Year went to Socceroo and Barefoot to Boots, founder of charity Awer Mabil.

Originally from Kenya before moving to South Africa, he founded the charity with his brother to promote health, education and gender equality for refugees, using football as a door to connect.

The 27-year-old also scored one of the penalties that secured Australia a place at the World Cup and said scoring the decisive goal was “the only way to thank Australia on behalf of my family”.

The 2023 Australian Local Hero Award went to NSW’s Amar Singh, who has tirelessly helped thousands in the community through his charity Turbans for Australia.

His charity, founded in 2015, delivers food baskets to those in need and has provided food and shelter to victims of bushfires and floods that have ravaged the country in recent years.

Soccer star Awer Mabil (pictured), 27, has been awarded Young Australian of the Year for his work with the charity he founded, Barefoot to Boots

Soccer star Awer Mabil (pictured), 27, has been awarded Young Australian of the Year for his work with the charity he founded, Barefoot to Boots

Winner Ms Brumfitt is one of Australia’s most in-demand keynote speakers and her work challenging the ubiquitous image of perfection projected by social media and airbrushed advertising on women and girls has earned her recognition from UN Women.

In her acceptance speech on Wednesday night, Ms Brumfitt said body image shaming had become an epidemic.

“Australia, it is not the purpose of our lives to wage war with our bodies,” she said.

“Together we face some of the most difficult environmental, humanitarian and social problems of our time.”

“What if, instead of spending our days hating our bodies, we could invest our time together to solve these challenges?”

“What if, instead of spending their precious time and energy at war with their bodies, our young people were free to become the leaders, great thinkers and game changers that the world needs more of right now?”

“It’s not our bodies that need to change, but our perspective.”

Her 2016 documentary, Simply Embrace, followed her own path to body acceptance and was picked up by Netflix and seen by people in 190 countries.

The mother-of-three followed in 2022 with Embrace Kids, which targets children between the ages of nine and 14 to teach them to respect, move, appreciate and care for their bodies.

She has also written four best-selling books and created Embrace Hub, which provides parents, children, teachers and the community with free research-based information on how to promote body positivity.

The movement has attracted the attention of Hollywood superstars like Drew Barrymore (pictured) and Rebel Wilson, as well as talk show host Rebel Wilson

The movement has attracted the attention of Hollywood superstars like Drew Barrymore (pictured) and Rebel Wilson, as well as talk show host Rebel Wilson

Ms Brumfitt (pictured) previously wrote for Daily Mail Australia that mothers should let their daughters see them naked so they learn to accept a normal body image

Ms Brumfitt (pictured) previously wrote for Daily Mail Australia that mothers should let their daughters see them naked so they learn to accept a normal body image

Ms Brumfitt previously wrote for Daily Mail Australia that every young girl should see her mother naked to learn what normal bodies are like and that perfection does not equal happiness.

“A mother is a girl’s very first and strongest role model – when she sees her hugging her body, seeing its imperfections as marks left by life’s experiences rather than things to despair about, then she has they have a much better chance of having a positive relationship with their own,” she said.

“This is a message that is very close to my heart, not least because I used to hate my body so much that in my deepest ebb I considered surgery in the desperate hope it would bring me happiness .

After the birth of her daughter Mikaela in 2009, she became obsessed with getting back to looking like she did before she became a mother.

“I struggled mentally to live comfortably with my sagging stomach and sagging breasts. My husband kept telling me he loved me for who I am and not for the body I’m in, but I couldn’t think of myself that way. He thought I was beautiful, but I didn’t.’

As much as I ‘admired’ carrying children, she said she felt like her body was kind of broken by it.

“So I signed up for surgery in 2012, confident that it would eliminate my self-loathing as well.”

“But one afternoon leading up to my surgery I was watching Mikaela play. She walked around in a bathing suit and as I looked at her, I realized that despite the changes it would undergo over time, her body would always be perfect for me.”

Ms Brumfitt said health is not about images of perfection that are fed to women and girls through advertising and social media, but about genuinely loving and caring for your body

Ms Brumfitt said health is not about images of perfection that are fed to women and girls through advertising and social media, but about genuinely loving and caring for your body

She also said popular fitness influencers fund a million-dollar industry from women’s insecurities.

“Transformation programs like Michelle Bridges and Kayla Itsines take advantage of women’s insecurities and lure them with the false claim that in 12 weeks they will have a body as good as theirs,” Ms. Brumfitt said.

She claimed that one of the main problems with these types of programs is that they constantly share information about diet, weight loss, and transformation, but don’t share the reality of a person’s situation.

“They tell us all the success stories, we see the before and after photos, but we rarely hear about the pounds that go on afterwards,” she said.

“It’s time to get the Weight Watchers, the Jenny Craigs, and all the transformational programs out there, because they put people on a cycle of dieting, losing weight, and gaining weight.

“If the current weight loss solutions that are widely and aggressively advertised have actually worked, then why do we have this obesity epidemic?”

“It’s important that we send the message that this isn’t about promoting mediocrity and obesity, it’s about forcing women to connect, nourish, exercise and enjoy their bodies” , she said.

Another problem Taryn has with these types of programs is that they focus on how you look, how much you weigh, the calories you burn, and your BMI.

“When women are chasing a body type that isn’t naturally theirs by using methods like weighing scales and calorie intake and loss, it leads to failure and weight shifting,” she said.

“I understand weight cycling because I’ve been there, I’ve done it.”

2023 AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR

ACT – Olympia Yarger (Canberra), pioneer insect breeder and founder of Goterra

NSW – Craig Foster AM (Sydney), human rights and anti-racism activist and former Socceroo

NT – Samuel Bush-Blanasi (Beswick Community), Chairman of the Northern Land Council

Queensland – William Barton, multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer and producer

South Australia – Taryn Brumfitt (Cumberland Park), body image activist, director, writer and speaker WINNER

Tasmania – John Kamara (Hobart), humanist and co-founder of the Culturally Diverse Alliance of Tasmania and the African Communities Council of Tasmania

Victoria-Dr. Angraj Khillan (Essendon), pediatrician and co-founder of the Health Awareness Society of Australia

WA – Professor Samar Aoun (Bunbury), researcher and advocate for end-of-life care, bereavement and bereavement support

2023 SENIOR AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

ACT – Professor Tom Calma AO (Chapman) WINNER

NSW – Teresa Plane (Narrabeen, Sydney)

NT – Bernard Tipiloura (Tiwi Islands)

Queensland – Claude Lyle Harvey OAM (Gold Coast)

South Australia – Sandra Miller (Glandore)

Tasmania – Dr. Frances Donaldson (Hobart)

Victoria – Professor Frank Oberklaid AM (South Yarra)

WA – Theresa Kwok (Joondanna)

2023 YOUNG AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

ACT – Kofi Owusu-Ansah (Canberra)

NSW – Lottie Dalziel (Bondi Beach, Sydney)

NT – Jahdai Vigona (Darwin)

Queensland – Talei Elu (Seisia)

South Australia – Awer Mabil (Walkley Heights) WINNER

Tasmania – Meriem Daoui (Kingston)

Victoria – Darcy McGauley Bartlett (Bendigo)

WA – Nagmeldin (Peter) Bol (Thornlie)

AUSTRALIA’S LOCAL HERO

ACT – Dr. Shamaruh Mirza (Waramanga)

NSW – Amar Singh (Prestons) WINNER

NT – Sacha King (Darwin)

Queensland-Melissa Redsell (Warner)

South Australia – Christine Robertson (Ridleyton)

Tasmania – Keith Parker (Sheffield)

Victoria – Belinda Young (Sassafras)

WA – James (Jimmy) Murphy (Leederville)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11674045/Taryn-Brumfitt-2023-Australia-Year-work-getting-Aussies-love-bodies.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Taryn Brumfitt 2023 Australia of the Year for her work in getting Aussies to ‘love their bodies’



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