A new short film from Planned Parenthood features girls and women reclaiming ownership over their bodies in a society that frequently seeks to control or critique them. The video, titled “My Body Is My Own,” is one of three new clips released by the organization inspired by its Unstoppable Manifesto.
“My body is my own when I am moving, when I am existing in the world,” says one woman in the video. Others have answers ranging from embracing their imperfections, to dancing, to having sex. They go on to reveal criticism they have received about their bodies, including comments on their weight, clothing choices, and hair.
The video’s director, Cynthia Hill, even included her own daughters, one of whom tearfully shares that someone called her fat. “It did not make me feel good,” she says. “No one should ever judge someone because of their body.”
Hill told Glamour that her daughters gave permission for her to use the clip in the film because they recognized the importance of the message. “You get to tell your story; you get to control that narrative in a way that you didn’t have control before,” Hill said of the opportunity the video presented. “It’s no longer something that’s just been done to you.”
Hill also told Glamour that she doesn’t want her daughters to fear for their safety or losing their rights, as she often does. “Instead, I want to be part of creating a world in which they don’t have to be afraid. But I also want to show them that fear is not a reason to stop moving forward,” she said. “We can listen closely to one another, and speak our truths, and create opportunities to move, and play, and laugh; to learn from one another and grow stronger, together.”
The film touches on themes of body positivity and calls out societal expectations of women, from being feminine to apologizing for their opinions. However, the idea of bodily autonomy also extends to issues such as sexual assault and reproductive rights. As society frequently tells women what to do with their bodies, so does the government, through laws restricting access to birth control and abortions.