Tracey Spicer is an Australian journalist and media personality. She can regularly be seen presenting the news, and has done so for a very long time. She has also just become the hero for real Aussie women everywhere, and as this video spreads, no doubt you will want to be her BFF also.
In a Ted Talk from January 21st 2014, she breaks down some pretty shocking stats, namely, that amount of time women on average spend fixing their physical appearance each year.
According to a survey my Marks and Spencer, we all spend about 27 minutes each day, which equates to 10 working days a year. Over the course of our lifetime, women spend an average 3276 hours grooming, while men only spend a third of that. Her challenge was not only to dispel many of the media myths that are taught to women from an early age, but to counteract that with something positive. What could we do with that amount of time instead?
Here are some of her suggestions: complete a degree, learn to pay an instrument proficiently, or learn a language. But most importantly, we could earn more. Yep that’s right.
Contrary to popular belief, getting gussied up for work does NOT increase career opportunities. Tracey says it is in fact the opposite.
She talks about the key messages she wants to send to her own 7 year old daughter, and being careful how to answer questions such as “mommy why do women wear makeup and men don’t?”
Tracey doesn’t want to tell her its because it makes her look better, because that implies women don’t like the way they look naturally. Nor does she want to say it makes her feel better as that implies low self-esteem.
In essence, she says “It’s Bullshit” and it has to stop. By starting out her talk “Hello my name is Tracey Spicer, and I am a vain fool,” she then details her daily beauty routine which gets a lot of laughs from the audience, but can’t we all identify with it?
“Imagine what we could achieve if we weren’t beholden to society’s unreasonable expectations about how we should look. Imagine our increased levels of productivity in the workplace and in our lives in general. And imagine how much happier and healthier we would be by not adhering to society and advertising’s unreasonable and unrealistic image of how a woman should look.”
There are two key questions we should be asking ourselves now that we know these stats: 1. why does society expect this of me as a woman? 2. will this make me happier and healthier?
During her career in television, Tracey has experienced a lot of sexism in the workplace from men, and they can’t even explain why they did it, other than to use the excuse “society expects it of women!”
She has been called fat, when she was a size 12, too old, when she was 37 and still on TV, and a bimbo, because she had blonde hair. Tragic that women get treated this way.
If the message is that women are valued only for how we look, not what is in our heart or our head, how do we work to change this?
Watch her inspiring and engaging video below to hear how change is possible, and how women can rise above society’s ridiculous expectations.