BreastScreen Victoria collaborated with photographer Lisa White for the Midsumma Festival Premier Event, Beautiful Women, a campaign celebrating the beauty of LGBTI women and the contributions that they have made in challenging narrow definitions of female beauty. The Beautiful Women exhibition was free and ran from 21 January to 12 February, 2017. The Exhibition was launched at the Incinerator Gallery in Moonee Ponds, Victoria.
The response to the exhibition was both powerful and heartwarming. LGBTI women embraced the opportunity to celebrate their diversity – the response to the call out for participants was overwhelming. Women reported that the diversity of beauty is a concept that resonates – but is seldom celebrated. If you would like to share your pride as a LGBTI women you can do so using any of the hashtags: #beautifulwomen and #breastscreenvictoria.
Women who participated in the photoshoot were invited to finish the following sentence 'To me Beautiful LGBTI Women means …'. You can read more responses on Alice’s Garage, a website curated by Catherine Barrett documenting the campaign.
Positive feedback about the Beautiful Women exhibition even made it from across the pond. Several months after the launch one of the participants sent us an email from her friend of 18 years, who was living in the UK. The email read:
“Hiya …!! I wanted to share this with you – a friend of mine has recently come out as a lesbian and was really struggling with where to go from that point, and with people accepting her. She called me yesterday, in great excitement, to tell me that she’d found something that really cheered her up: a photography project all the way from Melbourne of LGBT[I] women – and lo and behold, who’s the first picture? I was able to delightedly tell her, “That’s my friend Barb!!” She wanted me to tell you that seeing you (and all the other women) gave her a massive boost.”
The exhibition was picked up by media around the world including: Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, Mashable and Buzz Feed. The story was written up in Japanese, Polish and Italian, with a potential readership of 200 million+.
Raising awareness of the campaign is incredibly important to get the message out there to LBTI women. We are very grateful to all the journos who covered the campaign.