Tag Archives: young women

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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A whole new world…(Lauren Moss)

Yesterday I felt like my world shattered a little bit.

I truly came to terms with how old I am becoming – when I realised that Disney had really pissed me off.

Hear me out here, because I’m a massive Disney fan. My partner and I dressed up as Jasmine and Aladdin to a friend’s birthday. Not to say that the huge space for boobies that I don’t have didn’t cause some fleeting doubts, but that’s a whole other story…I watched Disney movies as a child and I’m not afraid to admit that I sometimes like to stick one on now and bliss out.

Jasmine and Aladdin

Yesterday I was horrified to see the story ‘What do you think of Merida’s Disney Redesign?‘ Many of you will be well acquainted with Merida, the Princess from the recent movie Brave. But for those of you that aren’t….

The movie Brave was pretty fantastic (in my humble opinion). Merida is being pressured by her mother to be a typical beautiful princess, when all Merida wants to do is be out where all the action is, growing her talent for archery. She couldn’t care less about dresses, sparkles and, well, anything ‘girly’ really. It’s a funny and endearing story about being true to yourself and who you are.

The great thing is, that there are MILLIONS of young women like that!! I know, once you gather your bottom jaw up from the ground we’ll continue…how refreshing to see a female heroine revered not for her beauty, but for kicking butt.

Merida redesign

So now that Merida is to be crowned an official Disney princess, they have given her a redesign. One can only imagine that it’s to sell more merchandise, so that she fits in with the other Disney princesses. Wait, what? Let’s imagine for a minute that the movie Brave made enough at the Box Office with Merida as the tomboy heroine princess to warrant her becoming an official princess. How is it then assessed that if she was kept the way she was, she wouldn’t sell as much merchandise? And whose brain wave was it to market her as confident, sassy and herself, and then redesign her with sparkles, make up, flashy clothes and all of the things we would assume she wouldn’t like?

It’s definitely an interesting move that is the subject of discussions all over the interwebs. I would love to know your thoughts on the redesign and the message you think it sends. For now, I’m disappointed with Disney. Everyone, keep being brave, because it is a truly admirable trait.

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