Who talks?

Angela Barnett wants you to make her redundant!

She really hopes she won’t need to do these talks in a few years and can’t quite believe they’re still needed.

We all know about body image and Photoshop, and we’ve asked for more diversity in advertising and we’re seeing it come through (slowly in very small amounts) yet women spend more on beauty now than education. Thanks to the globalisation of messaging, young girls in India and Africa are lathering their faces and bodies in acidic skin-whitening creams in the hopes of looking lighter. While in the western world we do the same with fake tanning creams. We’re spending energy trying to fix how we look as if it’s something wrong. Too young. Too old. Too black. Too white. Too fat. Too thin.

So much energy is going into something we can’t ultimately change.

We can change our words, our actions, our thoughts but we can’t fundamentally change our looks. Not really.

Angela’s worked in marketing and advertising for years, she’s written articles and started petitions but she can’t change the overwhelmingly powerful industry telling young girls they’re not ‘enough’. So she’s going to the teens instead and telling them to be suspicious of what they see, especially on social media feeds. And to stop comparing themselves to something that’s not real.

She hopes she won’t need to take Pretty Smart to schools in a few years. She hopes girls and boys will be pretty kind to each other about their appearance and pretty funny when somebody makes fun of them and pretty smart about all they see around them.


Angela Barnett is an Auckland writer and content-creating-rabble-rousing marketer. She’s written about too many subjects to list and interviewed some jolly interesting people (her favourite thing to do). She’s also written about:

Why red hair should be celebrated (says the brunette)

An interview with models changing it up (in a good way)

Why only 3% of ads view women as intelligent and less than 1% as funny (which isn’t funny).

Angela talked to Kathryn Ryan on RNZ about Pretty Smart earlier this year and why it’s needed. For now.

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