For this International Women’s Day (IWD), Bumble – the app that has based itself on women making the first move in business, dating and networking – has launched their inaugural Making Moves Report, doing a deep dive into what really matters to young Australian women in 2020. Teaming up with Robyn Lawley, a longstanding body activist and former marie claire Australia cover star, Bumble is reigniting the conversation.
Watch Below: Robyn Lawley Celebrates International Women’s Day 2020
The report, which was conducted online by YouGov with a national sample of 1,018 Australian women aged between 18-45, found that the big issue for young Australian women includes body image, and saw a strong correlation between low self-esteem and a young woman’s perception of her appearance. Perhaps most staggering, Bumble’s Making Moves survey revealed that 95 per cent of women said their self-esteem was directly affected by the way they look, with a further 2 in 3 admitting to having felt shamed or been verbally shamed for their appearance. 4 out of 5 Australian women also said they are not happy with the way they look, with 9 out of 10 saying they want to change their appearance.
Ahead of IWD on March 8, marie claire spoke to Lawley on how society needs to shift their obsession with a woman’s appearance and focus the energy on improving the world around us, loving ourselves and making a change.
“With my career, I’ve seen a shift happen, because 10 years ago or 15 years ago, you tell me any of the stuff that’s happened I wouldn’t have believed you,” Lawley tells marie claire. “It just did not happen, so time has changed everything and we see more of that and we feel empowered by that – it helps us accept our bodies more. There’s finally diversity on catwalks: we’re seeing more curved models, different ethnicities and trans models on the runway. It’s so important to see people you can relate to.
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Lawley recalls first watching Game of Thrones and seeing Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), who much like Lawley, stands over 6 feet tall. “I had a cheering fit,” Lawley admits. “I had never seen a woman standing at 6 feet before in any TV or movie before. That was the first time I had seen myself represented on TV.”
“Having that diversity and seeing those people that are different front and centre for those little kids out there to look up to, that makes the world of difference.”
Lawley self-admittedly says her own journey to self-acceptance has not been easy. On top of being considered “different” in the modelling industry, Lawley was faced with a life-threatening condition that she says completely flipped her way of thinking.
“I was diagnosed with lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome following the birth of my daughter Ripley [now five], and it really put things in perspective,” she explains. “The condition means my body is basically attacking itself. I had a seizure on my staircase and fell more than two metres, landing on my face. I was lucky I didn’t break my neck, but I was left with permanent scars on my face. I suppose it’s ironic that I’m a model.”
“You’ve been given a second chance, don’t waste it,” Lawley adds. “Losing the ability to walk and talk will change your mind on everything. I had to relearn it all and to survive that.”
Bumble’s Making Moves report also found that in the workplace, the biggest issues facing women are in flexibility, the gender pay gap and gender bias.
The Australian Government Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) says that Australia’s national gender pay gap has hovered between 13.9% and 19% for the past two decades. The survey found that despite this, only 1 in 5 Australian men actually believe there is no gender pay gap, compared to only 3 per cent of women.
A stat which Lawley thinks comes down to awareness. “If we bring the awareness, things will change – if there’s no awareness, it won’t change.”
Read Bumble’s full Making Moves report here.