I can’t imagine an Australian grandmother sewing in her own backyard with her sewing machine.
That said, we do tend to make our own clothes.
And we’re lucky to have the world’s most creative, talented and inventive women.
In a country that prides itself on being open, welcoming and inclusive, it is a wonder the vast majority of Australians still wear suits, even as more and more women are dressing up in designer clothes.
I’ve written before about the “slimming paradox”, the phenomenon of women who are both less fit and less attractive than their male counterparts.
That’s true in all sorts of ways, but it also applies to women who wear more and are also less physically fit.
For instance, a study by Australian women’s health group The ABC found that women who used to be the biggest and strongest in the gym were also the biggest size-hogs, the same for their partners.
And it is true that while women are more likely to be overweight, that’s no longer the case.
“When you have a woman who is a fit person, she’ll be a little bit heavier, and she’ll look a little different to other women,” says Dr Jane Wiese, a gynecologist at the University of Sydney.
“If you don’t fit in the way that they expect, it’s not good for your body.”
Dr Wiesen says it’s a paradox that women are being encouraged to adopt a “slightly more fit” image by the media, which she sees as a negative influence.
“We need to stop promoting that we’re skinny and fit, because we’re not,” she says.
But Dr Wie says the paradox is more likely because of the way our bodies are designed.
“There’s a very good reason why people think of women as being thin and fit.
That may explain why some women feel so uncomfortable when they’re not.”
But that’s not what we need to think of.
“For instance: women are born with a body shape, not genetics.
Women are more vulnerable to infection, including from certain types of bacteria and viruses. “
Women who are overweight may actually be more likely than those with normal body weight to develop obesity later in life,” Dr Wiete says.
Women are more vulnerable to infection, including from certain types of bacteria and viruses.
“The reason why women are so susceptible to disease is because they’re still developing, so there’s a high risk of developing the virus,” she adds.
And a woman’s age plays a role in how likely she is to become ill.
“Age is a huge factor, especially in people who are obese and are at high risk,” says Professor Julie O’Brien, director of the Australian National University’s Centre for Health and Society.
“So if you’re 30 years of age or older and you’ve had a stroke, you’re more likely, but if you are just 10 years of aged, it doesn’t mean much.”
It’s also a risk factor for having an underlying condition such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure, which makes you more susceptible to infection.
“In addition, there are also more complications from a poor diet.
Studies have shown that women with a higher body mass index are more prone to type 2 diabetes, while those with a lower BMI are at higher risk of obesity-related disease.
So why do women need to be so fit? “
Men have a better body image, but we’re also seeing more weight gain and people are getting overweight,” Dr O’Brien says.
So why do women need to be so fit?
The idea that a woman is supposed to be thin and that she can’t be is rooted in patriarchy, according the women’s rights activist and blogger Nomi Cain.
“It’s the idea that you’re just not strong enough, or you’re too fat, or that you have an excess body fat,” she explains.
“That’s the same thing that women’s bodies are not made to be strong and fit and beautiful and strong.”
The problem, she says, is that most of us are conditioned to think women should be thin.
“This idea that women should only be strong or that they should be fit is something that’s been ingrained in the culture,” she said.
But what does it mean to be fit, and why do we need a fit body?
Dr Wieles believes that the definition of “fit” varies between countries.
“In the US, for instance, the standard is for a woman to have a body mass of about 50 per cent of a healthy woman,” she told The Conversation.
“But in the UK, they tend be a bit lower, which means that it’s really, really important that we can be a good