Opening the newspapers and reading about myself over the past few weeks has been both humorous and challenging.
I’ve never considered my image to be a feature that defines me. Indeed, it doesn’t define my political aspirations, my credentials, my morals, my interests nor my value as a woman.
I’ve always felt that the content of my character is the most important feature that defines me – and that I should strive to be good.
However, according to some media and online trolls, my image is what solely measures my intellectual ability and validity for participation in the Australian political spectrum.
A call for more women in Australian politics on Q and A. Post continues after video.
The public asks questions about why I am the way that I am – because I have a private life, aside from politics, one that isn’t solely political. But why should we?
Why is this an issue? Why should a woman (or a man for that matter) have to fit into a certain stereotype to be legitimate in politics?
I am not a parliamentarian – and I don’t intend to be. However, that shouldn’t matter.
I believe that the parliament should reflect society, evenly and fairly.
I believe that women should be proud of their bodies and not feel shame in embracing their curves, femininity and sexuality. For my whole adult life, I have lived in this way. Whether it was for photo-shoots or just a night out on the town with my girlfriends – this has always been my private life. We live in such a free society that young women are at liberty to wear whatever they like – and I am very grateful for that.
Tamara Candy with US Senator Rand Paul.
Some people may not be able to handle my image because I challenge stereotypes and perceptions of women in politics, women with intellect etc.
Let me make this clear – you will not define my capacity to participate in politics, nor any woman’s ability for that matter.
I did not seek the attention and the media approached me. Thus, I have chosen to use this media frenzy for good. I want to fight for issues that I believe in – for liberty.