Reviewed by Kassie Bush
You may know Tracey Spicer from her time at the news desk, but when she steps out from behind it you’ll look into the life of an intelligent, funny feminist who is willing to share her toughest moments alongside her biggest achievements.
Starting out as a self-admitted bogan from Brisbane, Spicer was clearly a motivated journalist before finding she could – and needed – to make a difference in the industry on behalf of women everywhere.
One of the most advertised lines of her book, The Good Girl Stripped Bare, comes from a male boss: “‘I want two inches off your hair and two inches off your arse’”. That is the consistent tone throughout the book, as Spicer continues to run into barriers related to being a female and/or her appearance.
Her memoir’s title is adapted from her 2014 TedX Talk ‘The Lady Stripped Bare’, which gained traction online after Spicer removed her makeup, frizzed up her hair with a spray bottle and freed herself from a figure-hugging dress on-stage while detailing her extensive daily beauty routine and why it should change.
Throughout the book she calls out her ‘good girl’ moments, when she fails to speak up in fear of talking out of turn and tarnishing her reputation. But as it goes on, this is what opens doors for her as she expands her career as a writer and becomes an Aussie poster girl for feminism, her stocks increasing with her age and wisdom.
Spicer includes some ludicrous commentary from the public – including an email saying her blazer was an “inappropriate colour” when reporting shocking 9/11, which happened just after Spicer learned she had lost a baby.
The book is a rollercoaster, from her matter-of-fact early abortion to her troubles falling pregnant later in life. She juggles IVF treatment with a busy television schedule, including smuggling her needle into the toilets at the Logies.
And then, once she does become a mum, everything escalates.
The book begins at the turning point many will recognise – Spicer is suing the network that ‘shafted’ her when returning from maternity leave. Read on to get to know someone who is irreverent, upfront and unrelenting, as well as being warm and personal.
Spicer calls the book a ‘femoir’ and talks with an assertive, loud voice (you can tell, because some lines are angrily all in caps) with strong views on how women should be treated – not just in the workplace, but in society.
Extra points for a cracking cover, too!
Spicer recently spoke with Better Reading editor Cheryl Akle on her views and writing – click here to listen.
Tracey Spicer is an iconoclast whose TEDx Talk ‘The Lady Stripped Bare’ has been seen by almost 1.5 million people. Tracey has anchored national news, current affairs, and lifestyle programs for several television networks, and she has brought her sassy style to talkback radio. Her columns appear weekly in metropolitan newspapers and opinion websites. Renowned for the courage of her convictions, passion for social justice, and commitment to equality, she has a wicked sense of humour – something of a prerequisite for a career in the media.