Category Archives: Events

Skin Deep presents: InsideOut

Warm lights fill the centre of a dark room, where two young mums stand in front of an intimate audience, to talk about the dreams they hold for their children. Self love. Positive male role models. The confidence to shake off the increasing mountain of images of models, photoshopped within an inch of their lives.

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Role models & world changers.

Words: Lauren Moss

The fabulous, talented, passionate and powerful Heywire crew, 'All Women'.

The fabulous, talented, passionate and powerful Heywire crew, ‘All Women’.

From Sunday the 9th February to the 14th February, I was incredibly lucky to join the winners of the ABC’s incredible program Heywire. I attended in the capacity of a mentor, representing headspace, a national organisation that I love, and for who I am a Youth Advisor. Heywire brings together approximately 40 young people from regional, rural and remote Australia every year to share their stories, and to work together on solutions that can be adopted by communities across Australia. Yep, it is an INSANELY huge opportunity for any young person wanting to make a change!

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Role models and mentors and coaches, oh my!

If you’re a driven, passionate person and you know what your goals are, that’s great.

Even when you have that clarity, the road to achieving them can feel scary, lonely and overwhelming.

You will need special people in your life who are leading the way in your field, or who have overcome their own adversity to succeed or who you just think are awesome people. A role model.

Lauren was lucky enough to spend the last week in Canberra with the ABC Heywire 2014 crew, mentoring a group of young world changers. From what I’ve heard, inspiration flowed both ways. Watch this space for a blog!

Get out there and meet like-minded people. Talk to them about your ideas, cheer each other on. Soak it up.


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2013: the year that was (epic).

It has been a huge year at Skin Deep HQ, and we are big believers in reflecting on the achievements as well as what we can do bigger and better in the years to come.

First and foremost, we want to thank our incredible community who, online and off, engage in conversations with us and with the people around them. Creating a culture that is less focused on weight and shape, or a pressure to meet external ideals, cannot be achieved without more of us standing up for the fact that it doesn’t need to be that way. We really appreciate every little way you interact with Skin Deep and know that you are changing your worlds in ways we can’t even comprehend.

So what are our highlights? So many! This year we:

  • hosted the second Brunchfest for National Youth Week, bringing together approximately 40 young people and other community leaders to discuss all things leadership and self care;
  • covered the beautiful Fashion Show put together by Down Syndrome Association NT on our website
  • co-hosted a morning tea with Viva La Body for International No Diet Day, bringing people together to talk body image, acceptance, and seeing beauty everywhere;
  • contemplated going nude for a good cause;
  • were finalists in the Bupa Health Blog Awards in the Social Good category;
  • linked up with talented blogger Carly Findlay for Icthyosis Awareness Month;
  • had our first mention on Triple J Hack during a discussion about male body image, as well as a plethora of other media opportunities;
  • held a stall at a local organisation’s staff health and wellbeing day, discussing themes of self care and wellbeing;
  • shared the stories of a diverse group of wonderful people on a range of topics related to body image including disability, acne, anxiety, trauma, motherhood and (!) the Lingerie Football League;
  • shared our story of creating something from nothing at TEDxYouth;
  • consulted with the passionate and inspirational Chief Minister’s Round Table of Young Territorians;
  • once again joined the panel for the national Positive Body Image Awards;
  • co-wrote an open letter to the advertising industry to ask them to lift their game;
  • presented as part of the youth participation showcase at the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition Conference amongst incredible company (our first interstate conference presentation!!);
  • had the opportunity to participate in the Women of the World Festival in Katherine, where Jess joined a panel to talk about the pressures young women face;
  • held a morning tea with a diverse group for Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness Week;
  • discussed body image with the American Ambassador; and
  • have the opportunity to grow the project through Lauren’s acceptance to the Young Social Pioneers Program (run by the Foundation of Young Australians).

Pretty epic, huh?!? And that is not including all of the beautiful connections and discussions we have had this year.

If you have read the Skin Deep Dream, then you will have a taste of what’s to come. Watch this space – we want to learn, we want to grow, and we want to continue linking up with Body Image Warriors across the world. As always, keep engaging with us. We would love to hear what you are doing to change the conversations around you.

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Women of the World Festival Katherine

Women of the World ProgramWOW. That is one word to describe the Women of the World (WOW) Festival held in Katherine, in the Northern Territory, this weekend. The brain child of Jude Kelly, the Festival took place over three days bringing together a large number of urban, rural and remote women (and a few men as well) to share stories and extend their networks.

Our particular interest in the Festival, aside from the obvious awesomeness, was a panel aptly named Looking the Part, exploring the topic of women and the ever present pressures to look a certain way. On the panel was Skin Deep team member Jess Cullen, local youth leader Jane Alia and Natalie A’apa’a (Blue King Brown), three young women from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and chaired by Domino Pateman from the UK’s Southbank Centre.

The panel covered a range of themes important to this broad issue, including:

  • Skin Deep’s own conversations with over 250 young Territorians in 2010, where 60% indicated body image was a big issue in the Northern Territory;
  • the impact of external factors – commercialisation, fashion, media, advertising…and the impact of conversations with our family, friends and ourselves;
  • finding a balance and having a holistic view of health (mental, emotional, spiritual and physical); and
  • cultural differences between the way we view our bodies, and other people’s.

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Boobs, Bums and Balls… There’s more to women’s sport, right? (Amy Hetherington)

It’s hard for women to compete with men in sport. Sponsorship, people paying and attending live matches, media coverage, salaries…male versions of sports always tend to dominate.

Enter the Legends Football League (formerly the Lingerie Football League) – a new women’s league in Australia based on American Grid Iron football. The twist is that all the players are wearing the equivalent of bikinis. There are boobs and bums everywhere!

Legend's Football League

From (linked)

Uh yeah, they play sport in this.

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Skin Deep Snippets, Issue 10


Jessica Smith Daily Mail

Jessica Smith in the Daily Mail

Jessica Smith talks about how her experience with an eating disorder cost her a career as a Paralympian and drove her to start #JoinTheRevolution, promoting positive body image. You can read the article here

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Where are the negative messages really coming from? (Lauren Moss)

I have a theory. You see, I think when it comes to body image, magazines kinda get a bum deal.

Like many other young people, I’m a media junkie. You name it, I’m into it – magazines (ocassionally bought on the sly so my partner doesn’t realise just how many I have), television, radio, newspapers, and social media….oh all the social media!! But as I read the articles, listen to the music and watch the stories; sometimes fluffy and sometimes thought provoking; I realise that is not where negative messaging is at its most fierce. Continue reading

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TEDxYouth@Darwin, a reflection. (Jess Cullen)

Today was the inaugural TEDxYouth@Darwin, and boy, oh boy was it a wonderful way to kick off the weekend! Sarah Tam-Perez, with the help of her trusty crew and the Schoolmeester’s, brought together 5 of the top end’s most fabulous and inspiring young people and 3 outstanding musical acts. None of the faces were new to me. I’m lucky to surround myself with these kinds of people on a regular (if not daily) basis, but they are truly awesome and very inspiring when they are allowed the space to share their ideas and insight. Our very own Lauren Moss was among the speakers, and I have to say, her reflection on the journey of Skin Deep was enough to bring a tear to my eye. Not only that, but Rachael was one of Sarah’s trusty crew members. Needless to say, Skin Deep was well represented today (we ALWAYS forget to take photos of the team dangit!).

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Fashion parades the true beauty of young people

This week Skin Deep team members Jess, Lauren and Rachael attended the National Youth Week Youth Fashion Parade, put on by Down Syndrome Association NT in partnership with MyNT.  Here’s our reflections on a wonderful event!

Renee preps for the event

Getting styled for the show


Strangely enough, I’ve found that sometimes watching people who are essentially strangers do their thing and be themselves has a butterfly effect impact on you and all of a sudden you find yourself beaming and becoming emotional at the idea of being able to show the world who you are and ROCK IT. This is exactly how I felt watching the MyNT and Downs Syndrome Association NT Youth Fashion Show last night.

The feeling started from the moment we arrived backstage. It was a flurry of excitement; make-up being applied, hairstyles being created and hairspray and glitter aplenty. There was a buzz in the air of excitement and nerves, and lots of fun and laughs as well. There was no pressure though – everyone in the room knew the only thing they had to do was be themselves! And the crowd LOVED it.

How many times in our lives do we have the opportunity to put on the brightest make-up, style up the most outrageously fabulous hair, wear our favourite clothes and strut our stuff in front of a room full of people who just want to see us be happy? Not enough, I say.

I want to see this event and ones like it happen regularly, across the Territory, giving all of us a chance to express ourselves unashamedly and do exactly what the National Youth Week 2013 slogan tells us: Be Active, Be Happy, Be You.


Imagine this. You’re back stage at the Entertainment Centre. Nervous energy flies around as young people shyly tell you about the outfits they will be wearing; ones they have spent weeks making. Glitter goes into the hair, racks of clothes sweep around…

Half an hour later those young people talking shyly to you not even an hour ago strut their stuff on the stage, dancing, cheering, twirling; their personalities shining in front of a packed room.

That is exactly what happened at Thursday night’s National Youth Week event, the Youth Fashion Show. Run by Down Syndrome Association NT and Multicultural NT, we were stoked to attend and help usher people in to what was an absolutely lovely event. Self expression was key, and shown through an array of beautiful handmade outfits and the performance of young people on the stage. One of the organisers told us that if we wanted to see self esteem, wait until we saw those young people on stage…and she was so right!

The event certainly captured the essence of what Skin Deep is about. Young people creating their own ideals; expressing themselves in the way that they want, and being given an opportunity to do that.

Mid show

Mid show



National Youth Week’s motto of “Be Active, Be Happy, Be You” was perfectly represented by the Down Syndrome Association NT and Multicultural Youth NT Fashion Parade held at the Darwin Entertainment Centre as a part of Launch on Thursday.

Being Active – For me is about taking part in your local community. The fashion parade allowed all of the participants the opportunity to interact with the audience, including in the weeks leading up to the event in which they were able to make some of their events through Sew What. The audience responded with cheers, rounds of applause and perhaps a few tears!

Be Happy – Well, I don’t think there was anyone at the event that wasn’t happy! There was a nervous and positive energy backstage as everybody got ready, but when the fashion parade kicked off all I could see as an audience member was pure joy and pride on the faces of the models as they strutted their stuff!

Be You – Everyone that participated in the event had the opportunity to show the crowd who they were. The show was less about the fashion and more about showcasing the personalities, confidence and passion of the people involved.

To all those brave enough to take the stage, bravo! To all involved in making it happen, bravo! And for all those that attended to support such wonderful event, bravo!

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