Sign up to receive our regular news and events announcements – we send about one newsletter per month.
|We like to say that beauty is skin deep, and that all bodies are beautiful. But my experience of having a body punctuated by numerous scars and parenting a child with albinism, as well as all the research I did both in my academic work and for my recent memoir Imperfect tells me that the way we look matters more than we like to admit.
In this talk I discuss the various ways in which I believe our bodies can shape our lives, whether by impacting opportunities available to us, choices we make, our daily behaviour and sense of self, or even our personalities. I draw on my own story and also on the stories of other people I interviewed, such as people with dwarfism or with noticeable birthmarks. I talk also about how more ‘ordinary’ appearance, as well as good looks, can have impact on how our lives unfold.
I contextualise my talk within the longstanding western view that our bodies are mirrors of our selves, deconstructing some common judgements, often made sub-consciously (for example, that larger people have no self-control).
My aim is to inspire honest conversation about appearance and body image, promote body diversity by helping my audience reflect on their ideas about appearance, and offer some realistic strategies how to live better in the bodies they have.
In the increasingly multicultural Australia many of us navigate our lives within, and between, several cultures and several languages. Such navigation can be both difficult and deeply enriching, and being a writer who writes in a language that is not their mother tongue has its own unique challenges. As a twice-migrant and a writer who […]
What makes a literary work truly original is not the degree of its polishing, but the writer’s voice: his or her particular joy, angst, humor, credo, the word choices and the worldviews expressed. The emotional truth of the voice is everything in writing. Even the best story won’t work if you don’t get the voice […]
An interactive talk/workshop. Recent studies show that body image concerns, including unfavorable self-comparisons to others, and also teasing of peers with visible differences, can begin as early as in kinder years. It is also my belief that the earlier we intervene and challenge children’s ideas about what constitutes an ‘acceptable’ body, the better we can […]
An interactive talk that engages the audience in discussion. In 2017, Mission Australia survey of 24,000 young people showed that anxiety about not being beautiful enough is one of the three most significant issues that torment this cohort, superseding concerns about drugs, alcohol, depression and suicide. Peer pressure and social media promoting unrealistic expectations about […]