Parent’s Guide to Embrace

What Age Can I Bring My Kids to see Embrace?

This is a question that has been coming up quite a bit. There are some themes in Embrace that parents might see as unsuitable for their children. We fully appreciate that every child is unique and what might be appropriate for one child is not appropriate for another. With that in mind, I have outlined below the areas in Embrace that were mentioned in the New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification’s report when giving the film an unrestricted M (mature) rating. Accompanied, are their reasonings of why these segments are justified within the overall context of the film.

The film includes:

A reasonable amount of non-sexual nudity

This includes brief depictions of women’s breasts, buttocks and genital nudity in medical and natural settings. The purpose of this imagery is to show a diverse range of healthy women’s body types.

Infrequent course language

It is very low in extent and not used in a casual, normalised or otherwise inappropriate or distressing way. Such language is unlikely to leave an impression on viewers.

A montage of surgical imagery

Little detail of blood is shown but some can be made out in a rapid-fire segment.

A montage of sexualised images of women in advertising

The purpose of these montages is to be a sounding board for discussions about the impact of such imagery on body image in wider society.

Disclosure of sexual abuse

A few of the interviewees mention that they were sexual abuse survivors. This is not elaborated upon but used to explain the impact this experience has had on their worldview.

An interviewee discussing how she had suicidal thoughts and overcame those thoughts with positive thinking

She describes wanting to “end it” but does not go into gratuitous details and does not discuss the mechanics of suicide in any way.

For the reasons outlined above, it is clear that a degree of maturity may be necessary to properly appreciate the views expressed in Embrace.

We’ve had screenings across Australia where kids as young as 10 have come with their parents to see the film and it’s been a very positive experience for them. People have asked me if I would bring my kids to see the film. My answer is no; simply because Mikaela is six years of age. She lives in her bubble and is not affected at all by body image concerns and there are themes in the documentary that I wouldn’t want to expose her to yet. I haven’t taken my older sons (8 and 10) simply because I don’t want to exclude Mikaela from seeing it. I am going to wait until they are all a bit older.

I would recommend that 10+ would be an ideal age to see Embrace but if your 10 or 11-year-old is still unaware of body image issues and the damage they can do, then I would consider waiting until they were old enough to fully understand the gravity of Embrace’s message. Embrace is a great conversation starter for family discussions about body image and if you feel that your child is not old enough to see this film then we encourage you to see the film with your partner and friends. You can then bring home those messages and discussions from Embrace to relay to your children in a comfortable and age-appropriate way.

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