Tracey Spicer is a journalist and television anchor from Australia who spoke at a TEDx event earlier this year, stripping out of her dress to make a point to the crowd.
The 45 year old journalist and news anchor gave a roughly 15 minute lecture at the TEDx SouthBankWomen talk in Brisbane, Australia on January 14, and tried her best to convince the women in attendance that the manner in which she and other women groom themselves is due to the pressures put on her by society rather than just wanting to look good in public.
She opened by saying “My name is Tracey Spicer, and I am a vain fool,” setting the tone for the remainder of her feminist rant.
Spicer then went into great detail describing her daily routine of showering and caring for her hair, putting on lotions and makeup. All the while building up to the main point of her speech.
She asked “Why do we do this to ourselves?” Then a graphic pops on the screen saying “It’s bulls–t,” as she reads it aloud.
“Imagine what we could achieve if we weren’t beholden to society’s unreasonable expectations about how we should look.”
She spent the next ten minutes or so talking about how society has pressured her and other women to go through painstaking processes in order to look presentable, arguing that women could accomplish so much more if they spent less time getting ready and more time being productive, which just about every married man would probably agree with.
However her speech failed to address the fact that many women like to look good when they leave the house, and many women like to get dressed up when they go out.
She continued to explain that that women will spend enough time grooming themselves to have earned a college degree, and argues that women who spend more time getting ready for work in the morning make less money than those who spend less time. She claims it’s because grooming is a “non-market activity,” however she fails to explain exactly why someone’s personal activity at home affects their earnings. In the same statement she takes a dig at housework, also calling it a “non-market activity” and again failing to explain how doing housework affects one’s earnings.
“It’s an absurdity that we get caught up in all of this,” she said.
As she continued, she explained that her seven year-old daughter asked her why she puts on makeup everyday while they were in the bathroom one morning. “For months I struggled how to answer”, she said. Standing there dressed up and with makeup on, the speaker then lists off a few explanations she could have said the reveals what she actually told her young daughter, “Darling. I don’t like it, it’s not right, but it’s what society expects of women.”
This set the stage for her to begin dramatically removing her makeup with a wet-nap and proclaiming that she hates wearing “three inches of makeup.” Once she felt she had sufficiently removed it, she then explained how she “loves” her blue dress and that women shouldn’t have such an emotional attachment to their clothing. Soon after she stripped out of the dress to further her point.
The rest of the lecture was her describing the common feminist talking points regarding women’s appearance and her urging women to think twice before dressing themselves up, also to consider why they’re doing it in the first place.