When you were Sweet 16

Advice from 16 women to their 16-year-old selfs

Book Reviews

Yve Lavine's pictorial coffee table book sends inspirational messages to 16-year-old girls.


LADIES, do you remember when you were 16? And looking back, what advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?

That's the question Yve Lavine posed to 16 women aged over 60 from around the world living in Australia.

Yve says her beautiful "photo story" book was "driven by a desire to create a positive portrait project about women, beyond their looks".

She's a firm believer in positive representations of women of all ages.

"We need voices that validate and acknowledge the contribution women play in society," she writes.

"I see ageing as a privilege and beauty unto itself."

The book gives a brief rundown of each participant's life, followed by their advice to their younger self and one of Yve's lovely photographs.

It's a simple concept with some powerful messaging.

"Be courageous in whatever you do and be true to yourself," is the message from university librarian Kerrie Talmacs, who was 16 in 1963.

Mary Jane Mahony, a retired professor in educational policy, would remind her 16-year-old self that there's no Cinderella story. "No one's going to rescue you. If you find a glass slipper be careful."

In her foreword, author Julie Ankers applauds the pictorial concept for its insight and timeliness, saying it should be presented to every young woman on her 16th birthday.

Sweet 16, by Yve Lavine, from Amazon or Booktopia.