Professor Martha HickeyFull Bio
Women’s and Newborn HealthLearn more
Royal Women’s Hospital
To begin closing the gap in older women representation, this project collaborated with Women’s Health Victoria to develop “In my Prime”, a visual library that provides women with the opportunity to view diverse and realistic older women’s bodies.
Renowned Australian photographer Ponch Hawkes was commissioned to take 40-50 full colour photographic images of naked and unadorned women over 50 (no upper age limit). The women photographed show a diversity of size, shape, skin colour, ability and experiences that remind older women that they are equally as valued in society.
These images are to be presented with personalised statements from the women photographed, as well as information and resources about healthy ageing in women. The In My Prime resource was codesigned in consultation with community groups including Eating Disorders Victoria, Transgender Victoria, Women with Disabilities, COTA, Multicultural Women’s Centre Victoria.
To evaluate the impact of this resource on ageism, we will be assessing those accessing the website using a mixed-methods approach. It is hoped that In My Prime will reduce self-directed ageism and improve body image in those who view the website.
This project received financial support from the Women’s Health Research and Translation Network (WHRTN) Establishment Grant via the MACH Women’s and Newborn Health committee.
In My Prime provides people, specifically older women, access to realistic representations of older women’s bodies which will:
- Increase representation of positive role models that show the diversity of people, whether that be in size, shape, skin colour, ability, and experiences
- Provide education, information, and practical strategies to support healthy ageing for women in Australia and internationally
- Promote change in attitudes surrounding older women being a social burden and aging as something to discriminate against