Did you know girls can be, like, gorgeous and smart? And, that a hot gal doesn’t have to look like a stripper or have a chest created under general anaesthesia for ten thousand dollars? Wow! Neither did we! For the first time maybe ever in the world, a magazine for men (Stab, us) presents the First in our series on clever attractive women…
Lara, 24, TV and print journalist.
Photos by Richie Freeman
Who are you? I’m a Brisbane-based journalist of 24. I was a dancer once, but then my body betrayed me. Twenty years old and broken, can you imagine? Now I carry a card in my wallet – a license of sorts – in case the steel plates and screws holding my left knee and hip together set off a security checkpoint. I’m a few months shy of a post-grad degree in Mass Communication. In the meantime, I freelance. Depending on the day, I could be writing a news feature on the Congolese humanitarian crisis or a magazine fluff piece exploring society’s obsession with fame. Writing makes me happy. I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t be a journo.
Describe your office: The closest thing I have to an office is the roof of my apartment building. It’s a wide, open slab of concrete with a few air conditioning vents and a big old brick wall that soaks up the heat.
Do smart girls have it tougher than beautiful girls? Navigating life is much easier when you can grasp concepts quickly, negotiate tricky situations democratically and begin to understand why people are the way they are. But, intelligence is pretty useless outside a purely academic setting if you’re socially inept, or you’re not empathic, or likable, or savvy enough to make use of your smarts in this crazy world.
What is the most important book you’ve ever read? One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Kesey. It’s my favourite. I’ve read it more times than I can remember. I love the way Kesey questions the societal perception of “normal”, and the notion of the general consensus.
What obscure words do you use to flaunt your smarts? Capricious! Machiavellian! Facetious! Altruistic! Not only brainy, but super-fun to say!
Have you ever felt compelled to hide your smarts? My friends are all brainy, and at school flunking a test or not handing in an assignment didn’t score you any points socially. There is a time and a place, though. Wanky academic regurge for the sake of one-upmanship is just obnoxious. Sometimes, it pays to come across as a little less aware, less switched on, than you actually are, especially in my line of work. Key talent are often more inclined to talk to you about sensitive subjects if they think you’re a harmless hack.
If you wrote a novel, what would it be about? Life, love, adventures, pirates, heartbreak, cheap wine, philosophical musings, sex, coffee and tattoos.
What are seven ways to get ahead? Stay single, live passionately, grow your skin thick, act with integrity, listen and remember everything you’re ever told, surround yourself with people that inspire you and pay all your good fortune forward the moment you get the chance.
What are seven reasons to drop out? You’ve lost your inspiration, the novelty’s worn off and the reality ain’t what you thought it’d be, you can’t remember why you started in the first place, your morally questionable activities are stopping you from sleeping at night, you have a spiritual epiphany, fall face-first into a life-changing love affair or decide to go back to school. No one’s ever been worse off for having loved and it’s no crime to seek a little further education.
If Sofia Coppola made a movie about you, how would it be played out? It would be a subtle and sexy adventure love story about a flaxen haired, dreamy-eyed country kid who set off at 17 to find her place in the world. It’d have a cool soundtrack and beautiful scenery – probably set in France, because everything sounds better in French.
What’s your favourite virtue? Eccentricity. Beautiful kooks are the best kinds of people. The ones who never stay angry, or yawn, or succumb to boredom but flit through life chasing their bliss; who smile when it’s raining, laugh loudly, plan grand adventures, wink at the stars and live in awe of all the breathtaking beauty in the world.