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rethinking beauty

Bri Lee & Carly Findlay

What does it mean to be beautiful - and how can we change our own definitions? You're invited to a deep dive into how we think about appearance, beauty and the female body.

All About Women venues are located within the Sydney Opera House.


“Your body was how you conveyed wealth and status to your peers...a symbol of goodness and values: an ethical ideal”

Bri Lee

In search of a new philosophy of beauty

The idea of beauty is inexorably bound in culture, capitalism, and gender. Bri Lee, whose first book Eggshell Skull is a critically-aclaimed bestseller, equated beauty with thinness and success. Her latest book, Beauty, recounts her battle with anorexia and the enormous pressures of always falling short of the impossible goals of perfection. Carly Findlay is a writer, speaker and appearance activist who challenges conventional thinking about beauty. In blog posts and her memoir, Say Hello, she writes prolifically about her skin condition, Ichthyosis, and blows up narrow social expectations by celebrating her body, and refusing to conform to normative beauty standards. Join two of Australia's most thoughtful writers as they discuss the glorious freedom we can find by identifying and rejecting restrictive ideals.

More about...

Bri Lee

Bri Lee is a writer and editor whose work has been published in The Monthly, Harper's Bazaar Australia, The Saturday Paper, Crikey, The Guardian, Griffith Review, i-D, VAULT Art Magazine, and elsewhere. She regularly appears on The Drum on ABC TV, various ABC Radio National programs, and often gives talks on writing, law, feminism, fashion, pop culture, and art. Her first book, Eggshell Skull, was published by Allen & Unwin in June 2018, and has won and been shortlisted for numerous prizes. 

Carly Findlay

Carly Findlay is an award-winning  writer,  speaker  and  appearance activist. Her first book, a memoir called Say Hello, was released in Australia in January 2019. She is also working on editing Growing Up Disabled in Australia with Black Inc Books. She writes on disability and appearance diversity issues for news outlets including the ABC, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, and SBS. She was named as one of Australia’s most influential women in the 2014 Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards. She has appeared on ABC TV’s You Can’t Ask That and Cyberhate with Tara Moss, and has been a regular on various ABC radio programs. She has spoken at the Melbourne Writers Festival, the University of Western England and Melbourne University – to name a few. She organised the history-making Access to Fashion – a Melbourne Fashion Week event featuring disabled models. She has a Masters of Communication and Bachelor of eCommerce. Carly identifies as a proud disabled woman. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.  

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