HCX Campus Cutie: Harriet Iles

We are proud to present this week’s Campus Cutie, Harriet Iles! As one of our very own HCX girls and a budding personal trainer in the making, Harriet is currently promoting Australian Body Image Movement campaign ‘Embrace’. The campaign is currently huge in Australia, stating their movement as “a quest to end the global body-hating epidemic”. Taryn Brumfitt, as the founder of the Embrace movement is currently travelling the globe with the aim to spread the message and help us to love our bodies. With Haz by her side as brand ambassador for the campaign, we are convinced Taryn will succeed! Here are all the details from Harriett you need to know:

1.      What is your role within the Body Positivity Movement?

So basically, my role is to promote values regarding positive body image, self-love and empowerment through social media. To be specific, Embrace ambassadors have something called ‘an hour of power’ each week that we us to promote these values of the campaign. Personally, I use my blog to post articles regarding the campaign; I also use it for lots of other things as well, but promoting what the body image movement does is a big part of that.

Harriet’s blog can be accessed here: harrietjanewilson.weebly.com


2.      How did you get involved in the movement?

It just came up on my Facebook really. I had seen the page on Facebook and with my studies in fitness and health, psychology and law I thought it would be a really interesting thing to be part of. It also seemed like a positive thing to implement in my own life on a personal level.


3.      Why is the Embrace campaign so important to you?

Because it’s providing a platform for people to discuss different issues relating to health and fitness and these values are often undermined or forgotten about. It allows ideas about healthy body image, self-love and self-empowerment, to be at the forefront of our minds. So many of us don’t allow ourselves to feel confident in ourselves in this way and It’s so important to have this open platform to allow people to know it’s okay to love ourselves.


4.      How are you spreading the Embrace message in Exeter?

 Most importantly, on the 7th of March we’re screening the Embrace documentary at the Odeon in Exeter. It’s a fantastic documentary directed by Taryn Brumfitt, where she interviews various famous and powerful individuals, all who have experienced judgement and criticism on their physical appearance. It’s a powerful message challenging the media’s image of beauty and a real feel good film about the Embrace values. I would say all men and women who have ever experienced any feelings of self-loathing should see it. It won’t be a cure, but it’s great therapy, providing a wake-up call to the bigger issue of negative body image. I’ve also had a lot of students, as well as individuals in different societies take photos in t-shirts made especially for the Embrace movement that I can post on my blog. They’ve then answered questionnaires to do with physical and mental health, which I’ve been able to publish the answers to on my blog.

Details of the screening can be found here, so secure your tickets asap: https://tickets.demand.film/event/1358

5.      What other Embrace events have you attended?

I went to the documentary screening where I met Taryn Brumfitt. She was lovely and very inspirational. You could see how passionate she was about the cause, discussing how we are human beings with talents and substance and that we shouldn’t let obsessiveness over our looks to overtake our lives. This is such a hard pattern of thought to stop. We just spend so much time obsessing over the way we look, there’s such a bigger picture to life. Us girls get so much pleasure out of feeling that we look good and of course that’s great! Plus a lot of us really enjoy doing our hair and make-up and toning up those abs, but we’ve got to have a healthy balance and relieve pressure on us to look fabulous 24/7.


6.      What’s your favourite thing about being part of the movement?

Probably what it’s given me. Developing and endorsing these values and helping me believe these values has made me a lot happier, because I’m so much happier with myself and value my mental health so much more.


7.      How can we get involved in the campaign?

So you can like the Facebook page or even message me (Harriet) directly through Facebook to get involved. On a broader scale make sure you see the documentary and sign up online to receive regular emails and news on the campaign!


8.      What advice would you give people who are currently struggling with loving their body?

As someone who is so involved in fitness and centres my life passion on being healthy and happy, my main advice would be to love your body and treat it with the respect it deserves. We’ve all been given just one unique body that I like to think of as our machine that is driving us to our destination in life. That’s why it’s so important that we focus on how mentally and physically healthy it is on the inside rather than how it looks on the outside.  We shouldn’t’ hate our bodies and work against them. We shouldn’t treat our bodies like an enemy, we should treat our bodies like a lover (or in Harriet’s words, treat your body like Chuck Bass xoxo).

So come and watch the Embrace screening on the 7th of March at the Odeon Cinema in Exeter (check out the trailer below) and turn those bad attitudes towards your body into appreciation and acceptance!