Georgie Purcell
Georgie Purcell was elected as the Animal Justice Party Member of the Legislative Council for Northern Victoria in 2022. Image/

Despite the number of women in office roles increasing in recent years, the media has continued to slam professional females for their appearance.

According to UN Women, in 2023, women account for more than 35.5 per cent of elected members in parliaments across 141 countries. Last year, Rwanda was named the country with the highest share of women in parliament worldwide, with 61.3 per cent of Rwandan parliament being female.

However, while there are more than three million female politicians across the globe, women are still being criticised for their fashion choices, interests and age.

Just two months ago, former Prime Minister Taro Aso told Japan's Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa that she "wasn't that good-looking."

Kamikawa, 71, said that the slur did not warrant a response and chose to focus on her diplomatic work instead. In the UK, female officials have been subjected to the same sexism as well. Here are some notable and ridiculous examples...

MP Tracy Brabin:

In February 2020, MP Tracy Brabin came under fire for wearing an off-the-shoulder black dress while raising a point in order in the House of Commons.

In response to the slamming, the Mayor of West Yorkshire said that she was "startled by the vitriolic nature" of some of the abuse she faced online.

"Women around the world... are being demeaned every day because of what they wear," she added, revealing that the mass publicity of the garment had resulted in the ASOS dress "flying off the shelves."

Brabin has since auctioned off the scandalous black dress, which sold for more than £1,600.

The proceeds were put towards Girlguiding, a charity for girls and young women across the UK, "in the hope that they grow up to be leaders", the Yorkshire Mayor explained.

As well as a career in left-wing politics, Brabin has appeared in ITV's Coronation Street, the BBC's Eastenders, ITV's Emmerdale and various other television series, including Midsomer Murders, Holby City and Law & Order.

Since then, the Mayor of West Yorkshire has also written short films for the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA).

Brabin has also written for The Story of Tracy Beaker, Family Affairs, Shameless, Doctors, Hollyoaks, Heartbeat, Seacht and Crossroads.

Using her writing to advocate for minorities in the UK, the Yorkshire Mayor also volunteers as a writing mentor for Freedom from Torture, a non-profit organisation that provides asylum seekers and refugees who have survived torture with specialist psychological therapy to help them recover and rebuild their lives in the UK.

MP Liz Truss

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss, notorious for being in office for just 13 days, was slammed by the media for wearing the same dress in multiple different colours.

Multiple news outlets criticised Truss after she attended conferences and events in the same £180 Karen Millen dress at least three times.

With a focus on her appearance, outlets reported that the Conservative MP wore the garment in red during her first official speech as prime minister, in blue during a televised debate with current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and in green for her final resignation speech outside 10 Downing Street.

The former prime minister, who was also ridiculed in a video montage by Channel 4 News for being a fan of Taylor Swift, has been a Member of Parliament for almost 14 years, advocates for equal rights as the Minister for Women and Equalities, and is the co-founder of Free Enterprise Group.

Lizz Truss was ridiculed in a video montage by Channel 4 News for being a fan of Taylor Swift.

According to research, published by the National Library of Medicine, the benefits of attractiveness have been linked to favourable treatment by teachers, classmates and mentors, ultimately boosting a person's professional opportunities.

"Pretty privilege" describes the societal advantage that those perceived as conventionally attractive may experience, such as increased career growth and social interactions.

While female politicians continue to be criticised for wearing garments that are not considered modest, some women MPs have been encouraged to engage with the "pretty privilege" concept.

Former MP Jo Swinson

Former Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson, awarded the leadership title after defeating Ed Davey in 2019, was criticised for wearing modest clothes.

Offered advice from people she didn't know, Swinson said that she was told to wear "lower cut tops" and "different earrings" to boost her party's chance of winning the 2019 election.

"I get lots and lots of unsolicited advice," Swinson added, going on to explain: "I'm not short of people telling me that I should speak differently or wear different shoes or wear different earrings. Or in one case, somebody suggested that I should wear lower cut tops. I mean as if that's going to be the thing that changes the poll rating."

Swinson, known for being the first-ever female leader of the Liberal Democrats, has since left her political post to work as a visiting professor at Cranfield University. Using her speeches and lectures, the former party leader said that she aims to encourage youngsters to strive for a career in politics.

However, the trending criticism of female politicians is not limited to the UK.

MP Georgie Purcell

In January this year, Victorian upper house MP Georgie Purcell spoke out about being photoshopped by the Australian media outlet Nine News.

Posting the original image and the edited image side-by-side, the Animal Justice Party MP wrote: "Having my body and outfit photoshopped by a media outlet was not on my bingo card."

"Can't imagine this happening to a male MP. What gives?"

Purcell, who has been told that she "doesn't look like an MP", explained how her breasts had been enlarged and that the picture has been altered to show a strip of her stomach.

The 31-year-old, who boasts two sleeves of tattoos on her arms, is known for being the youngest member of Victorian parliament and advocating animal rights.

As well as being passionate about the protection of animals, other women have also championed the politician for being honest about terminating pregnancies in the past and being an advocate for the 'my body, my choice' movement.