wellness

5 generations. 5 voices. The conversations we're having on International Women's Day.

At Mamamia, every day is International Women’s Day. But this year, we’re celebrating March 8 by sharing stories from some of Australia’s most influential women, as well as columns from voices spanning 5 generations, on the decade-defining conversations women are having. You can find all our International Women’s Day stories on our hub page.

Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day – a global campaign dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and, of course, a day committed to accelerating gender equality.

But IWD is also an occasion to generate discussions – among men and women and girls and boys – about the themes that impact and surround us.

Watch: Explaining consent with dinner, because sometimes there’s just not room for dessert. Post continues below. 

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Here at Mamamia, we are also using March 8 to talk about the decade-defining conversations feminists – in their teens, twenties, thirties, forties and fifties – are having in their everyday lives. Like the ludicrous pressure to achieve success at a young age, and why the ‘wellness’ industry is making women sick.

Here are those decade-defining conversations from the voices of five different generations.

Teens

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Oscar Martel is a 15-year-old feminist who has transitioned into a male.

On International Women's Day, he writes about his relationship with gender politics, and his crucial realisation that he could be trans and a loud presence in feminist conversations, too.

"The intersection between my gender identity and my feminist worldview wasn’t something that was easy to navigate," Oscar admits. "Feminism is intersectional. As it becomes more visible, it becomes far more inclusionary."

On Mamamia, Oscar writes: 'What it's like to be a 15-year-old feminist, transitioning into a male.'

You can read Oscar Martel's piece here

20s

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In your 20s, it can feel as though there is an impending deadline for success.

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It's easy to feel like the society that surrounds us doesn't just evaluate the success of someone – rather, there's a tendency to divide that accomplishment by their age, to measure the speed at which they climbed to the top.

It seems like there's a traffic jam while we all try to reach those 30 under 30 lists. And it's all leading to one thing: burnout.

On Mamamia, Billi FitzSimons writes: 'I'm 22. And I feel like I have only eight more years to achieve career success.'

You can read Billi FitzSimons' piece here

30s

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Leigh Campbell, beauty editor and Executive Editor of Mamamia, writes about the wellness industry.

As a woman in her thirties, she explains why she is certain it is making women sick.

"The wellness industry isn’t backed by doctors," Leigh writes. "It’s mostly driven by thin white celebrities and influencers with no qualifications, and your friend Suzy who did a homeopathy course on the weekend, and Beth at school drop off who’s an expert in essential oils."

Specifically, Leigh condemns "the fear-mongering and false claims a large portion of the wellness industry makes".

On Mamamia, Leigh Campbell writes: '‘Wellness’ is a completely made up industry and it’s making women sick.'

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You can read Leigh Campbell's piece here

40s

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Holly Wainwright, the Head of Content at Mamamia and co-host of Mamamia Out Loud, writes: "I am a 48-year-old woman and I am fine."

Wainwright talks about the life events that have marked her life and her relationship with the process of ageing.

"I am slightly irked by the softer line of my chin, the fact that each wrinkle seems to make me a little harder to see, but I’m fine... I’ve had a boss who slapped me on the bum. I’ve had one who asked me to make the sandwiches for the management meeting, since I was invited. I’ve had one who took away a job offer when he found out I was pregnant. But I’m fine."

You can read Holly Wainwright's piece here

50s

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Mandy Nolan is 52 years of age and the mother of five kids.

She talks about the "prolonged grief of your children leaving home" and how she now terribly misses the chaos that once consumed her household.

"My babies are now adults – their cocoons are empty," writes Mandy. "I close the doors to the rooms that once held their story. A chapter that ended there and began afresh elsewhere."

On Mamamia, she writes: 'My loud family of 7 has dwindled to just 3. The quiet I so craved has come, and I hate it.'

You can read Mandy Nolan's piece here

More stories to celebrate this IWD

Khadija Gbla: "Young girls of colour are often taught to take up as little space as possible."

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On International Women's Day, Khadija Gbla reflects on growing up as a woman of colour and her personal experience with domestic violence.

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"Caught between two worlds, I was forced to confront and question how gender and race, and their intersection, impact how migrant and refugee women are treated in society and how that differs depending on the context," she writes.

You can read Khadija Gbla's piece here

Carly Findlay: 'When I was a kid, I didn't see anyone like me.'

Carly Findlay
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Writer Carly Findlay reflects on her experience growing up with ichthyosis — a lifelong, severe rare skin condition - and coming to the realisation that people with a disability tend to be "more disabled by physical, attitudinal and systemic barriers constructed by society than we are by our bodies."

You can read Carly Findlay's piece here

Madison de Rozario: "My chair is the least interesting thing about me. It shouldn’t be a divider."

Para-athlete and world championship gold medalist, Madison de Rozario, writes about the importance of diverse representation.

"Disability is a fact of life for almost 20% of the country; it doesn’t make us a saint or a survivor. There’s not always a sob story or a tale of triumph against all odds. We’re just living our lives," she writes.

You can read Madison de Rozario's piece here


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