Earlier this year the tourism team for my home town asked to put my face on some of their campaigns for Ballarat Heritage Weekend. I love supporting local things so I said yes, and before I knew it random people were telling me they’d seen me on posters and TV. The thing that stuck with me most was when a woman from work told me her daughter had asked if I would be driving the train. She corrected her daughter and said I was just next to the train looking pretty, which her daughter was baffled by. What sort of useless thing is that? Who just stands there looking ‘pretty’. She corrected her mum and told her that no, I was clearly there in order to drive the train. This exchange actually made me feel super guilty.
I love seeing children buck the gender roles that society puts on them, so when a young girl naturally assumed I was actively doing a role that women are not equally represented in, I was excited. She assumed I was in that role by default, no gendered blinkers making her think it was a role for men OR that standing around looking pretty was a legitimate job. Our local transport company is even publicly advertising for women in order to ‘even up their numbers’.
This made me think hard about how me, someone who isn’t even ‘read’ by children, has an impact on how they feel they can grow up in the world. What sort of inheritance codes am I showing girls? What inheritance codes am I encouraging in their mothers (or the few fathers that also read my blog)? What does the future look like that I am actively contributing to?
So I made a small decision; just a little shift in how I do things. I pledged to myself to start actually ‘doing’ things in my blog posts. No clean garage door or plain brick walls for me. I decided to start consciously thinking about *doing* things in my photos. In heels. In dresses. In hats. In lipstick.
Now I’m no stranger to active posts. I’ve done plenty riding bikes and in heels at that. I’ve even done a post on a swing before. I just decided that it needs to be the ethos of this blog. I am active. I am engaged. Photos of me aren’t going to be about ‘who is looking at me’ they are going to be about ‘what I am doing’. I think that represents me better, especially when I believe that elegance and style are more to do with your heart and attitude than your outfit. So when someone sees a picture of me, rocking an outfit, I want them to think of me styling an outfit while going on a train or rowing a boat or riding a bike or singing in a band.
Now that I’ve made that decision, I guess it just takes practice. So if you begin to notice more posts with me ‘doing things’, you’ll know why. After all, from little things, big things grow.
Photos: Goldfields Girl
Location: Wendouree Lake