The 10 Most-Read Stories On Refinery29 Australia This Year

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It’s officially been one year since Refinery29 launched in Australia. Since the beginning, our goal has been to start conversations that reflect the unique lived experiences of women and gender-diverse people in Australia, especially when it comes to topics that have historically been considered taboo, or simply ignored in mainstream media. 
The product — we hope — is a well of content that serves to inform, entertain and inspire you, our readers. From the personal money habits of Aussie women to our road tests of weird and wonderful TikTok hacks, and putting representation in Australian reality TV under the microscope, the list of stories that you've loved is long. 
To mark one year of R29AU, we’ve dug up the most popular articles of the past 12 months. Read on to see what was read and shared the most, and be sure to catch up on what you’ve missed! 
It’s human nature to seek approval from others; after all, for most of human history, we’ve needed to leverage our connections in order to survive. But beyond safety in numbers, humans are social animals and the need to bond with others and find our own pockets of belonging are essential to our mental wellbeing. In this piece, Style & Living Editor Pema Bakshi explores some of the key ways humans tend to attract — or in some cases, deter — others.
With its gruelling physical challenges, a stringent diet and being left to their own devices for shelter, Australian Survivor contestants really rough it during their time on the show. It's difficult enough as it is, so imagine getting your period on top of it all. It's a normal part of life yet we rarely hear about how contestants deal with menstruation while filming. Culture Editor Alicia Vrajlal speaks to former contestants to find out what happens when they menstruate during filming. From hygiene to privacy, she uncovers it all.
The opaque nature of influencer marketing remains one of the most polarising topics of our time. Those who scroll from the sidelines either sigh with envy, wishing that they too could pocket thousands by posting a seemingly effortless selfie, while others grumble about the narcissistic nature of it all. Wherever you stand on the matter, you can't deny that it's a seductive career choice, with the global industry worth an eye-watering $18.6 billion this year alone. But without unions, minimum wages, and HR departments, it's hard to know where individual influencers stand financially. To create more transparency, Writer & Producer Maggie Zhou speaks to 25 local influencers to find out how much they're earning.
In late 2019, about a year after writer Kara Schlegl was diagnosed with autism, a media storm descended on then 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, accusing her of not smiling enough during an impassioned speech at the UN climate action summit. Three years later, history repeated itself. Another prominent autistic activist, Grace Tame, this time a campaigner on behalf of sexual assault survivors, and a sexual assault survivor herself, was condemned in the press for not smiling enough around powerful men. Here, Kara stands in solidarity with Grace Tame and sheds light on the pressure to conform to society’s standards as an autistic woman.
In one of our most-read Money Diaries, a 29-year-old media planner on a $125,000 salary living in Sydney's Inner West take us through a week in her life. With a net worth of over $200,000, she shares how she grew up poor, with memories of her mum not having enough for bus fare and having to befriend the bus driver so he could let them ride for free. Her week includes a beach day, a movie date with her partner and an ominous meeting invite from her boss.
Shopping hasn't always been easy for plus-sized women in Australia. Finding cute clothes in even a size 16 used to be really difficult, but luckily, there's now a wealth of options that offer inclusive sizing and are actually flattering. Australian model Kate Wasley shares her edit of the fashion brands that get plus-size clothing just right.
Whether it's 'Do you have to get something from the registry?' or 'Is it okay to split expensive items?', there's certainly a lot to consider when it comes to a wedding gift. But with many modern couples taking the practical route and asking for contributions to a ‘wishing well’ or 'non-boxed gifts' — where invitees give monetary donations instead of the usual dinner set or blender — the confusion persists, particularly around what the 'right' amount is to expect/or give might be. To dispel some of the fog surrounding wishing wells, Style & Living Editor Pema Bakshi asked readers to tell us their rule when it comes to monetary donations.
Bright, plump and radiant in all the right places, red-carpet skin is the real deal. From Simone Ashley to Rihanna, celebrities always seem to be sporting an otherworldly glow. And while half of it may be the result of a luxury facial the night before, or being prepped with pricy skincare brands like Augustinus Bader, makeup is arguably the most important part.
If a pro artist is feeling generous, they might take to Instagram to share the product breakdowns for certain looks. But the key to that supernatural gleam is often elusive. Until now, that is, as TikTok thinks it might've cracked the code — R29 writer Jaqueline Kilkilta puts the hack to the test.
If you’ve ever cleared out your wardrobe and re-discovered clothes you forgot you owned, or own a load of clothing you just don’t wear, this might be your sign to start tailoring your wardrobe. Tailoring is an age-old practice, but for some reason, the word itself turns so many of us off. Dismissed as too expensive, inaccessible, or simply something that only Real Adults with mortgages do, it's more common for us to ditch the clothes that don't feel right rather than paying a bit more to personalise it.
R29 writer Ebony Renee Barker shares before and after photos of how she's transforming her unworn pieces into can't-live-without staples.
Salaries are a funny subject. For something so imperative to our lives, we rarely discuss the ins and outs of our earnings, even with our nearest and dearest. With so little real talk about pay, it's hard to see how our salaries stack up to those around us, leaving us unsure of whether we're on a decent or even a 'normal' salary for that matter. Style & Living Editor Pema Bakshi unpacks a recent study to shed some light on the earnings of everyday Aussies according to their age group.
MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites contestant Mindy Woods realises the important position she's been in as a queer Indigenous woman competing on the show back in 2012 and again this year. The Bundjalung woman of the Widjabul Wia bul clan woman proudly led the way in using native ingredients this past season, knowing that it's a big responsibility to represent her community on national TV in a media landscape that still often lacks authentic First Nations representation. Culture Editor Alicia Vrajlal chats to Woods about diversity and representation in Aussie media, and how Woods manages to stay true to herself.
"I feel really proud that I'm in this position," Woods tells Refinery29 Australia. "I feel privileged and I want everyone to be able to stand in their power in their industry and feel really safe and proud of who they are."
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