Tag Archives: Jess Cullen

To the Skin Deep community…

A message from Lauren

Things have been a little quiet here over the last few months, so I wanted to provide an explanation.

Jane, Jess and Natalie on a body image panel at Women of the World Festival 2013

Jess (centre) with Jane and Natalie on a body image panel at Women of the World Festival (Katherine) 2013

We’ve had some changes to the team and a HUGE thank you goes out to Jess who recently moved on to channel her great energy into other areas. Jess has been a huge influence in the every day activities of the project, a great support, and is going to kill it at whatever she puts her mind to!

In other areas: yesterday I watched this talk by the brilliant Brené Brown (a US researcher) and, like a few other things over this period, it really struck a chord with me. I’ve been living small. I have been stuck in a giant, fiery hole of self doubt and it’s been creating blockages in many areas of my life from this project (which I am intensely passionate about), to my new business, and even to just being motivated to get up and go for a walk.

IT SUCKS.

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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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