Embrace

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: at what age is it suitable to bring my kids to see Embrace?

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’s level of maturity. 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 rating, accompanied by their reasoning 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 breast, buttock and genital nudity in medical and other 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 are 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, 10) simply because I don’t want to exclude Mikaela from seeing it; so 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 and to then bring home those messages and discussions from Embrace that you can relay to your children in a comfortable and age-appropriate way.

 

  • Kristen Podulka

    This is beautifully written and explained! Thank you for providing your insights and advice. Much appreciated. xxx

  • Ouida Foster

    This parent guide was very helpful, thank you. My 9-year-old is asking me questions already about why her friends can eat whatever they want and they look different than her. My great friend in Melbourne, Oz told me about this film and I’m in Boston and feel I can take my daughter to see this based on what you have described above.

  • Zoe Collins

    This has answered my questions. I have a very mature minded 10 yr old and I will happily take her along to a screening this week.