Renee Bargh boasts a seriously impressive career in television. The Aussie expat once worked as a presenter for Channel [V] Australia, before becoming the weekend co-host for Extra in the U.S, winning hearts and an Emmy Award along the way. We captured Renee in her favourite La Maison Talulah pieces, and spoke to her about style, staying true to yourself and breaking the glass ceiling.
As a woman in the entertainment industry have you encountered sexism, and what tools do you use to manage this?
Of course. In subtle ways that I haven't always been aware of at the time but it's more of a double standard I've encountered. I think the best way to manage it is to be clear about what doesn't feel right and fair. Sometimes it's easier said than done but I think if you can band together with other female co-workers and work as a team it's much easier to combat. But just being open and honest about what doesn't feel comfortable and setting clear boundaries.
Do you believe that a significant shift has been made in the way in which the media portray women?
I think it's happening but not enough. What I do think is that people are becoming aware of how we've been portrayed and the lack of respect there can be and there's a conversation. That's what inspires me.
What are some of the challenges you have faced living life in the limelight?
I honestly live my life pretty well under the radar so I wouldn't say I've had to deal with any of those challenges. There's only been a couple of cases of an invasion of privacy which can feel pretty yucky but I can't imagine it on the level that many people have to deal with.
Along with your fame and success must come a lot of hardship being in the public-eye: how do you manage criticism in Hollywood?
Criticism is something I've always struggled with and more so since the dawn of social media. People feel they can hide behind their device and say really hurtful things. I embrace constructive criticism but when people hurl insults about your appearance etc it can be really hard to not take on. I have found keeping a very strong group of grounded friends around me who keep it real and encourage me has really helped. And I learned a long time ago not to google or read the comments on articles etc - the only instance where ignorance is bliss! Ha!
There are many campaigns for female empowerment; what does this mean to you?
It means people are paying attention to the inequality we have faced for too long. And it means that we have found our voices and are using them. I think when women work together they can achieve anything. There's power in the collective. It's time to break the glass ceiling.
Who do you admire and why?
The list is endless and I admire many different women for different reasons. I admire all of the incredible women in my life. They're all strong, independent, loving people who are following their passion and living their best life. I always admire women who can speak up and fight for what they believe and use their platform and voices to shed light on important issues.
Where do you find fashion inspiration?
I have some pretty stylish friends so I'm pretty lucky to be inspired by them regularly but nowadays I would say Instagram!
Do you feel fashion plays an important part of your self-expression?
100 percent. How you look affects how you feel and vice versa. Depending on how I'm feeling I will dress differently and I notice my confidence when I'm loving a look that I'm wearing. It's the first thing people notice when they see you so I think it should be a pretty good representation of yourself.
Are fashion and feminism compatible?
I think so. I think women should dress for themselves and not how they think they should dress, or to impress a man or to follow a trend. If it feels good and compliments your personality and feels authentic then you should rock it. I love that fashion has become so much more comfortable for women, it's sexy to dress in loose, comfortable clothing that was once only reserved or acceptable for men to wear.
What advice would you give to your younger self before your career bloomed?
To not take everything so personally and to use my voice. Speak up when I felt that I should and know my worth. And not to worry so much, worrying doesn't help in any way it just takes the fun out of the experience and takes you out of the present moment. And to enjoy the ride. I was always so anxious and serious about my work when I should've really just relaxed.
What are some tactics you use to remain true to yourself and stay grounded in such a busy lifestyle?
Daily Meditation, yoga and walks on the beach keep me sane. I need alone time to decompress and process things. Self care is really important. I love going to the spa or the sauna and getting regular facials it can feel luxurious at times but I think it's deeper than that. I also have an incredible tribe of women who are my confidants and my inspiration without them I think I'd go mad at times. Ha!
What do you want to accomplish in the next chapter of your career/life?
I want to continue to travel and meet inspiring people and hear their stories. I would love to help inspire other women to live a life that they're proud of, encouraging them to follow their dreams and not feel limited in any way. I hope to continue growing as a person while learning to take bigger risks.
How do you find a balance between work and play?
It's something that I struggle with but it is a major priority for me. I make sure I wake up early so I can workout or meet friends for coffee or a beach walk before work, and in my work break I try to catch up with friends also. On days off I like to make no plans and just go with the flow and see what I'm inspired to do. I have to book at least one good trip overseas a year and a few small local trips where I can unplug and explore. I need adventure and time in nature.
Renee Bargh wears La Maison Talulah, shop the edit here.
Photography by Kiera Chevell.
Styling by Gill Lawrence.