‘Beauty is pain’ is a mantra that carries a special intonation for young women who are trying to find out how they match society’s expectations. The phrase, however, carries an arguably greater weight as women grow older. In a society that judges women first and foremost on their looks and how they appeal to the opposite sex, one Australian news presenter has had enough.
In a bold move, Tracey Spicer has called-out the beauty myth fostered by Australian television and wider society. After 30 years of engaging in the harmful feminine beauty practices, the 47-year-old has pledged to kick the hour-per-day, $200-per-week beauty routine, which she says television executives, co-workers and the public pressured her into adopting during her career.
She says that, “after 30 years in television I’d become what I despised: a painted doll.” One boss, Tracey recounted, made a comment about how she was “porking up a bit”, just months after she had given birth.
In her inspirational TedxTalk from January this year, The Lady Stripped Bare, Tracey describes her gruelling daily beauty routine, designed, she says, to mask her real looks and make her appear more TV-presentable.
Tracey says, “I squeezed swollen feet into vertiginous heels, causing bunions and osteoarthritis; plucked large hairs out of their follicles, chanting ‘beauty is pain; beauty is pain’”.
Now things are different. “Each month, I reduce my regime: spray tans, hair treatments and serums are gone; blow-dries and dye jobs are halved; make-up is back to a bare minimum….I’ve felt exposed. But I battle on, without my armour, because I want this to be the new norm”, she says.
Tracey’s transformation was inspired by a comment from her seven-year-old daughter, who asked her why women put on makeup when men did not. “Darling, society has unrealistic expectations about the way women look,” was Tracey’s response. From that moment she promised to stop perpetuating the beauty myth, in order to show her daughter that a woman’s value lies in more than her looks.
“I’m definitely more productive. I feel like the real me, instead of a painted doll,” says Tracey.
Read more at Daily Life.
Why not watch Tracey’s inspiring TedxTalk and see why she is a true role model for women of all ages?