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Production   /  Leeanne Torpey


Todd explores the crisis of body dissatisfaction and the manipulative trillion-dollar industries that profit from it.


Impact areas





  • DIRECTOR Jeff Siberry

  • PRODUCER Todd Sampson



MIRROR MIRROR explores the societal crisis of body image dissatisfaction and the pervasive and manipulative trillion-dollar industries that profit from it. Body dissatisfaction is now a global health crisis. But we’re not born to hate our bodies, it’s a learned behaviour - and this means it can be unlearned.

The inspiration for this documentary came from Todd’s own struggle as a father. He recently asked his youngest daughter Jet (10), "Would you rather be SMART or GOOD LOOKING?" To his surprise she said, "all my friends would say good looking. Two of them are on diets." It turns out, nearly one in four children under the age of 10 say they would rather be 'good looking’ than 'smart’.

Body image is a serious problem that is literally killing us. Unfortunately, it's a problem Todd had spent 15 years in a previous advertising career helping to create. This gives him a unique perspective as he strives to answer: why are we so dissatisfied with how we look and what can we do about it?

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0% funded
  • $100,000.00

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  • November 2021

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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Everyone suffers from BODY IMAGE issues. We’re on a spectrum. For many, what we see in the mirror is no longer who we are. It’s a filtered image of who we think we are or who we would like to be. That ‘filter’ has been created over time by some of the most potent forces on earth: family, peer pressure, marketing, advertising, and the now all-powerful social media. Body Image is one of the top 3 global concerns of our youth (That’s over 50%) of our youth today. Body dissatisfaction among men is on a steep rise. Male cosmetic surgery has now risen by over 300%. Male cosmetics is one of the fastest growing industries today and ‘bigorexia’ (a reverse form of Anorexia) is increasing among men, with LGBTQI+ communities disproportionately affected. Australia spends over 1 billion dollars a year on cosmetic procedures alone. That’s 40% more per capita than the United States.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Our aim is to reframe the public narrative around body image so that it’s more diverse and inclusive. Seeing more diverse and inclusive representations of bodies directly addresses the crisis of body image, and enables industry to profit without contributing to the harm that is currently being done.
Impact campaign aims:
● Increase public awareness about being at odds with our own body image
● Debunk the myths - especially about cosmetic ‘surgeons’
● Reframe the narrative around body image


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Short-term outcomes
● Increased knowledge about the pervasive, long term negative impacts of the crisis of body image
● Positive examples of practical ways that the current narrative can be challenged on the website
Medium-term outcomes
● Sharing of positive case studies of tools and practical actions that can be done from the film via the social media campaign, utilising extra content from the film shoots
● Influential stakeholders, such as Network 10, releasing policies that result in changes to the way they promote body image
● Increased awareness of targeted issue areas of the documentary
Long-term outcomes
● Parents are better equipped to create environments for their children that foster positive body image
● Stakeholders using policy to implement programming changes that ensure more diversity of body images are utilised
● More research undertaken into the targeted issue areas of the documentary
● Pressure building towards cosmetic surgery regulations


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

As an expert storyteller, Todd has built a compelling narrative that comprehensively builds the case for why we have a body image crisis on our hands, but it's a crisis that can be addressed. It leaves the viewer with a list of practical, positive ways that parents can counter this incredibly powerful narrative.

Audience: Carers / guardians of children
Target: Network 10
Resources: Website, mainstream media outreach, social media campaign
Audience: Schools
Resources: ATOM guide, distribution list & targeted screenings
Audience: NGOs
Target: The Butterfly Foundation, Health at Every Size, Tune In Tune Out, Headspace
Resources: screening guide, targeted screenings
Audience: Broader communities with a focus on youth
Target: Community groups, recreation and sport clubs, Scouts, Girl Guides, Nippers
Resources: screening guide, targeted screenings
Audience: Policy Change
Target: State and federal MPs, Universities
Resources: Work with an existing “friends of” group, targeted screenings


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

The documentary draws on an extensive research base, and several organisations with expertise in this area have featured as talent or by providing a background interview to the production team. These include, but are not limited to, Swinburne University, Body Building Federations (IFBB Pro), Health at Every Size and The Butterfly Foundation. Consultants on the show have included Dr Jasmine Fardouly and Dr Chris Ryan (Westmead Hospital), Dr Ben Buchanan at Foundation Psychology and Karen Ferry (Creative Director in advertising).

As a parent, and an advertising specialist, Todd Sampson has deep relationships and a unique insight into the target audiences. He is on a very personal mission to provide his own children with the resources they need to be happy in their own bodies.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Audience: Carers / guardians of children
1. Use the resources on the show’s website to break down some of the myths when talking to children, especially literary skills around marketing, advertising and social media
2. Be a good role model
3. Hosting screenings
4. Talk to your MPs
5. Encourage other behaviours that have positive mental health impacts: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, exercise, digital detoxes

Audience: Schools
1. Host a schools screening
2. Utilise the Schools Guide in curriculum
3. Use website resources

Audience: NGOs
1. Contribute to resources on website
2. Host a screening & panel
3. Push for policy change

Audience: Broader communities with a focus on youth
1. Host a screening and panel conversation
2. Use the resources on the show’s website to break down some of the myths when talking to children, especially literary skills around marketing, advertising and social media

Audience: Policy Change
1. Support policy action

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

At the end of the day, the success of this campaign will be in the ability to drive a national conversation that raises awareness about body image dissatisfaction, and supports the ongoing work being undertaken by partner organisations to affect societal change. Ultimately we would hope that parents watch the series and decide to actively start to talk to their kids about the issue, and to build more body positive narratives into the world our children are growing up in.
Audience: Carers / guardians of children
Success Indicators:
• # website traffic
• # social media engagement
• # of screenings
• # meetings with MPs
Audience: Schools
Success Indicators:
● # of screenings
● # downloads of schools guide
Audience: NGOs
Success indicators:
• # of screenings
• # meetings with MPs
• # policies that have been instigated since the doco, and indicators of application of policy
Audience: Policy makers
Success indicators:
• #meetings with MPs
• # policies that have been instigated