T-shirts can be all things to people, from a status symbol to a memory trigger.
What do they represent to you?
Cold forearms and comfort. T-shirts have been a consistent staple in my wardrobe.
Do you recall your first favorite T-shirt?
It was a black tee from Melbourne Zoo. Very chic with little tiny animals bordering the hem. So subtle. I honestly wish I still had it.
How would you describe your style?
What inspires you?
Good people, terrible people, humour, friendship. Also, tiny dogs with wheels.
What do you most like about your line of work?
I’ve met some of my dearest friends through the jobs I’ve had. I’ve also met a lot of dick heads, and I am grateful for them too, as I owe everyone for helping me develop my own tastes and thoughts. I’ve been exposed to a lot of fascinating and bizarre humans through my work.
Probably a nap.
“A lot of people think that I’m a really angry person,” Stasey said, sipping Glenfiddich in a hotel restaurant in downtown Toronto. “‘Do you enjoy anything? Do you like anything? Are you happy about anything?’ Yes, I am! But I don’t tweet about it. People don’t rally in the streets to engage in happiness. People talk about things they’re unsatisfied with.”
In person, Stasey’s tone more closely resembles that of mellow hippy than furious firebrand. It takes a while to register the profound bleakness of her worldview. Even her most apocalyptic pronouncements – she calls the human race a “cancer on the Earth” – are delivered in polite tones not dissimilar to the received pronunciation English she speaks in the Tudor-era US soapie Reign.
Stasey conceived Herself.com as an alternative to the finitude and fleetingness of typical internet outrage. “I noticed that every time a woman had an opinion about something, she was just shouted down by everyone around her,” says Stasey.
“I wanted to create this one-way flow of information from woman to world about the things they ordinarily aren’t asked. I wanted to ask women what they thought about how the world saw them, because I was witnessing injustice and discrimination and I wondered if other women saw it too. I felt the world should hear that this woman was sexually assaulted, or that she was raped, or that she had an eating disorder.”
Her shrewdly simple act of female solidarity resonated with readers in a way even she didn’t imagine. Stasey’s social media accounts, sites of gushing fan worship any other day, have been overwhelmed with glowing responses to Herself.com. A sample: “Love the idea of @herself.com and have read every single interview twice. Thank you for being open and candid about issues that so often are pushed to the side. You are superstar in my eyes. Thank you @caitlinjstasey and fuck the haters.”
Or: “You are amazing and I truly appreciate all you do to raise awareness of our rights as women!”
One might be forgiven for wondering if a collection of generic template interviews constitutes genuine societal change or, instead, simply offers a reassuring simulacrum of change – even, as Malcolm Gladwell has suggested of online activism, a substitute for it. But Stasey’s own decision to take up feminism was the result of conversations she had tuned into online. Before then, she says, she had been blissfully insulated in the liberal, like-minded company of actors and artists.
I’ve been an actress since age 13. You might be familiar with me from the TV show Neighbours, or from my current role on the CW’s Reign. But after a recent run-in with a crooked magazine editor, you might be familiar with me instead as an attention-seeking, hysterical lady human who endlessly cheapens feminism by having the lunatic opinions that our bodies are beautiful and worth celebrating—and also, simultaneously, believing that my body is my own.
Earlier this year, I launched a website called Herself.com. Herself is a safe space for women of varying backgrounds, body types and belief systems to amplify their concerns, wishes, dreams, complaints and woes—a platform dedicated to expanding the scope of visible female experience and of visible female bodies. The courageous, luminescent women you will find there are nude, shot by female photographers. In showing us their bodies on mutually-agreed-upon terms, they have given all of us an immense gift; as they appear there, they are both impossibly vulnerable and utterly indestructible. Even, I, myself, appear on the website too, completely naked. (Burn her!)
Given these facts, it may or may not surprise you to hear that, when an Australian magazine called The Good Weekend asked me to appear in lingerie to accompany a piece on me, I declined.
It wasn’t the nature of the shoot that bothered me, but the pairing of the shoot with the story I was hoping to tell, which was specifically that women, and only women, are in charge of their bodies, their image and their sexuality. This commodification of my body had nothing to do with me. My input and my consent had never been sought. Simply, my body was going to be used as a prop to sell a magazine. And I, as the human occupying this prop, was not a part of the conversation.