Category Archives: Current Affairs

How speaking up has helped me quiet the noise.

Words: Rachel Warland 

I was inspired to write this following the tragic passing of Charlotte Dawson and the need to get out there the importance of treating and educating people about mental illness.

About a year ago some alarm bells set off for me after completing a Mental Health First Aid course and I decided it was time for me to get help. A year later (almost) and I am a lot better and manage my anxiety as best I can. Receiving ongoing treatment was the best thing I ever did – it has done wonders in aiding me to live with anxiety. I want to share my experiences to help others who suffer from mental illness and give them hope that things will get better if you find that light within, or confide in those you love wanting to help you. And get the help you need and deserve.

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Who is Mr. Right? (2.0)

We love sharing with you the best body image pieces the interwebs have to offer. We have great pleasure in presenting this fantastic piece by Allan, originally posted on

We’ve touched on the impact of body image pressures for males before, and this piece is insightful, thought-provoking and eye-opening.

It’s long, but worth a read, so grab a comfy seat and get ready to have your mind blown!

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Shorts at the gym: a problem or an over-reaction? (Lauren Moss)

Today Darwin made news when a local gym kicked out a woman for wearing shorts that were, well, apparently too short. The national gym franchise has a dress code that asks its members not to turn up in crop tops, or anything that shows the torso, and apparently about the length and appropriateness of shorts, which it says is due to the desire to create a comfortable environment for all of its members.

Short length - an issue? Source:

Short length – an issue? Source:

This has caused wide spread debate – are the shorts really too short/tight/revealing? Does the gym have an alterior motive and dislike for this woman?

It’s an interesting topic to have caught the eye of the national press. I mean COME ON AUSTRALIA. We have crocs and stuff, and THIS is what you choose to cover? But I digress. I wonder whether there is something else to explore here. What if gym dress codes DO make it more comfortable for people who want to just go and have a work out, without the distraction of someone’s super toned abs or buns of steel in their eyeballs? On the flip side, what if in telling people what they should and should not feel comfortable in at the gym is counter productive to their confidence, workout and freedom of expression?

It actually reminds me of a conversation that was had on the Skin Deep facebook page about fitness motivationals, when a member of our community spoke up for people not framing  things in a way that has a negative effect on them. Is this all just a massive, unnecessary furor over someone’s bum? Should we all just get over it and remember that we go to the gym for us, not for the person over there who still looks glam after an hour on the treadie, or who might slice my hand off with their abs? ‘Cause we’re there for ourselves as much as they are, we are not that person, and that’s ok. Stop looking and get on with it.

All I’m saying is ladies, if you want to wear short tight shorts to the gym and that’s what gets you going, FLAUNT IT SISTER. If I see you feeling good, rocking out in something you feel comfortable in, I might just give you a sweaty high five.

What do you think – important discussion, or a whole load of fluff about nothing?

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An open letter to the Advertising Industry (Lauren Moss)

Jess Barlow (the Brainwash Project and fellow panelist) and I

Jess Barlow (the Brainwash Project and fellow panelist) and I

On Friday the 9th August, the Australian Government Positive Body Image Awards were held in Sydney to recognise businesses in the fashion, media, advertising and health and wellbeing industries who have integrated the Voluntary Body Image Code of Conduct into their practices, initiatives and products. The panel and attendees had a fabulous time celebrating some truly deserving winners and commended nominees who have made it part of their every day work to challenge industry norms where body image is concerned (GO YOU GUYS!) and you can read more about that here.

While reveling in the awesomeness, we also felt a pressing need to address why there were no nominations within the Advertising category. You may recall my piece on why advertisers need to take on some social responsibility, however I still held out hope that there would be some in the industry willing to break the mould and put forward some work that sold products positively. Given the exposure we KNOW young people have to advertising in their everyday lives and the impact it has, we’ve decided to take action. I, and the crew here at Skin Deep, have teamed up with fellow panelist and Founder of the Brainwash Project, Jessica Barlow, to tell the industry that we noticed. To tell the industry that when others are coming to the table to shout ‘WE WANT CHANGE’ from the roof tops, it’s not something they can ignore. This campaign is about more than that though. It’s about you. As consumers we need to regain the power and use our feet – and our dollars – to show the Advertising industry that we don’t only want change…we demand it. Jess and I are pledging to only support businesses that support the Positive Body Image Code of Conduct and we are asking you to do the same.

We will also be talking to specific advertising organisations that we think need to adopt the Code of Conduct, so if you see any that you think need a bit of a push please email us or Jess at the Brainwash Project. We can’t do this alone!

You can also add to the conversation by adding your thoughts on why the ad industry should be more socially responsible by using #AdDemand.

Read the open letter on the Australian Women’s Weekly website here.

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Skin Deep Snippets, Issue 7

Skin Deep Snippets is a weekly collection of news and discussions related to body image. Here’s what caught our eye this week!

Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher may have surprised a few people at the Teen Choice Awards when he said that the sexiest thing in the world is being smart, generous and thoughtful. Nice work Ashton! You can watch the video here.

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The Positive Body Image Awards (Lauren Moss)

Friday the 9th of August marked an important day in the world of body image, and I was lucky enough to be involved: it was the day of the second Positive Body Image Awards.

In 2009 a working group was established to create and implement initiatives to support more positive body image in young Australians. Part of the final product is the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct , outlining principles that the fashion, advertising, media, health and wellbeing industries should follow in order to be more body image friendly.

Panelists and Peter Garrett

The panelists with Peter Garrett

The Positive Body Image Awards recognise the hard work by organisations across these industries to align their practices, initiatives and products to the Code of Conduct. For the second year I was part of the panel, devouring the important work that is taken on by businesses in industries where they could quite easily turn a blind eye. Where plenty of others are not, these organisations differentiate themselves by clearly identifying that it is important to declare where images have been altered, it is important to reflect diversity and it is important to be socially responsible.  How beautifully refreshing!

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Skin Deep Snippets, Issue 5

The lowdown on what’s going on in the media concerning body image!   Continue reading

Skin Deep Snippets, Issue 4

A letter to my daughter

This is my body

Image from linked from Role Reboot article

“My body is strong. Amazing. It has brought life into this world. It has housed you and your brother, kept you safe and warm and healthy even before I knew you existed. These scars and marks on my stomach tell a story. A story of love. If that is not beauty, I do not know what is.”

Gemma Hartley’s beautiful letter to her daughter on her post-pregnancy body is well worth a read, especially after all of the hoo-haa about Kate Middleton’s Post Baby Body a day after giving birth!

The Body Con 

‘The Body Con’ is a belief that there is one perfect body. We know this isn’t the case, and so in association with The Butterfly Foundation they have launched a competition. It encourages people to make a 30 second ad confronting the belief that being in control of your body is the key to acceptance and success. For more details and to find out how to enter check it out here.

Beauty is in your heart

From linked mUmBRELLA article

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Skin Deep Snippets, Issue 3

The lowdown on what’s going on in the media concerning body image! Continue reading

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Skin Deep Snippets, Issue 2

The low down on what’s going on in the media concerning body image! Continue reading
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