Body Image Movement Global Ambassador
Alongside my academic interest in body image, I volunteer as German ambassador of the Australian Body Image Movement, probably best known for their documentary „Embrace“:
In case you haven’t had the chance to watch Embrace yet, I can highly recommend it to you. It’s available on channels such as Amazon Prime, iTunes and Netflix.
So what does a Body Image Movement Global Ambassador do? The joint objective of this global network of very inspiring, passionate and body positive people is to raise awareness on global body image concerns and, most importantly, help people stop hating their bodies. Therefore, each of us engages in a weekly „hour of power“.
My hour of power usually involves face-to-face conversations and social media activities. But I have also given body image lectures, workshops and speeches in the past, and these are particularly special ways to engage with people.
While my main focus certainly lies in convincing other people to accept their bodies, I also try and invest into some quality time for myself from time to time. Even as a very body positive person, everyday life can entail challenges and it is good to take some moments to just breathe and reflect.
I usually reflect upon my personal body image journey and how far I’ve come, step by step. Also, there are two mind pictures that are particularly helpful for me to rebuild my strength and energy: First, when I think about my younger self, I imagine that I would travel back into the past, caress her sad-looking face and whisper into her ears that I love her just the way she is. Second, when I think about my son’s future and how I NEVER EVER want him to self-loathe.
Of course there are many other scenarios that spark my body image passion, such as when I am exposed to adverts that promote unhealthy lifestyles or when I am reading statistics about how many people do not feel satisfied with their bodies. Then I could burst with energy to contribute to sustainable change.
#Move4EmbraceKids – The Initiative
Another thing that intrigues me is children’s body image. Research has shown that kids as young as 4 (!) worry about their bodies; and that is only the peak of the iceberg.
Therefore, Taryn Brumfitt, director of Embrace and founder of the Body Image Movement, plans to do a second documentary: Embrace Kids. It aims to shed light on children’s relationships with their bodies, and will be given to schools all over the world as free education material
In order to support her in funding this important piece of work, people all over the world will be moving on 26 May, 2019. I will be happy to do my share together with my lovely ambassador colleague Lena Urig from Cologne. I will post some updates about our initiatives in my blog and on social media using the hashtag #Move4EmbraceKids. If you would like to support Embrace Kids, please follow this link: https://bodyimagemovement.com/embrace/embrace-kids/
An alternative way to support Embrace Kids is by buying the lovely Embrace necklace (I am wearing it on my picture as well) – 15$ goes directly to Embrace Kids. But the Body Image Movement Shop holds even more body-loving products through the purchase of which you can support the movement. Check it out if you like and THANK YOU.
Speeches & Workshops
Whenever I speak to people about body image, I ask them to evaluate me afterwards. And every single time in the past, I have been stunned by how much positive impact even a few hours of body image talking can have. I have visualised one of the statistics below:
In my speeches and workshops, I usually start with an explanation of what body image is and how it develops. Then I tend to talk about my own experiences (see more in my body image story) and give examples of advertising and (social) media campaigns that can either positively or negatively affect the way we feel about our bodies. This is usually quite an eye opener especially to young people.
Finally, I will try and include some exercises, where people get the chance to identify body image concerns and ways to foster and maintain a healthier relationship to their bodies.
Here is a list of the workshops and speeches I have given so far:
Kleim, Anke J. (2018). Project day on body image. Presentation and workshop at the Alexander-Fleming-Schule in Stuttgart. Stuttgart, 20.07.2018.
Kleim, Anke J. (2018). Learn to love your body. Workshop as part of the city of Bruehl’s women’s week 2018. Brühl, 14.03.2018.
Jobsky, Anke (2015). The role of body image in marketing. Presentation within the TUAS International Week for Teachers, Salo, Finnland, 04.02.2015.
Jobsky, Anke (2015). Personality, culture, and consumption. Presentation within the TUAS International Week for Teachers, Turku, Finnland, 03.02.2015.
Jobsky, Anke (2014). Body image and beauty ideals across time. Presentation at the Rotary Club Bruehl, Bruehl, 25.08.2014.