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Hello readers,

I retired this blog long ago. But as it is, I needed a forum to share a response I wrote to this disgustingly sexist opinion piece written by retired journalist, Geoffrey Barker. So I’ve resurrected it just for today to share this with you.

Usually I tweet my disgust, however unsurprisingly, this particular opinion piece made my blood boil and I needed more than 140 characters to share it.

I have sent this to editors of various news publications, as I think it needs to be shared with a wider audience. What do you think?

Please note that most of the following has been written with my tongue firmly in cheek. I do not care what news presenters look like, so long as they are engaging, well spoken and present all the facts in their stories. However, I don’t think it’s fair that Geoffrey Barker is allowed to say what he did about the beautiful women on the news without someone giving him a taste of his own medicine.

Dear Geoffrey Barker,

It has come to my attention that you do not appreciate an attractive woman reading the news on a commercial station as you feel she is not capable of reporting the news as it should be done.

Guess what? I do not appreciate all these unattractive, older men who appear on television and/or in the small photographs at the top of opinion columns in newspapers and magazines.

I cannot take seriously the news they are reporting or the opinions they are sharing because I am too busy being offended by the lack of pride these men have taken in their appearance.

The receding hairlines they have not bothered to get fixed at Ashley & Martin, the deeply-set wrinkles they have allowed to form due to a lack of proper skin maintenance. They have crooked teeth which were never corrected by braces and they have developed beer bellies from indulging in too much alcohol and fatty foods and not exercising.

What were the media gods thinking, shoving such unpleasant looking men in my face as I try my hardest to keep down my breakfast?

It does not matter what these men are reporting on, what matters is that all I can think about is how unfortunate looking they are. Who approved their droopy-eyed headshot? Who didn’t step in and suggest a toupee might be a good idea as not to blind everyone when the sun directly hits the top of their shiny crown?

Furthermore, the television men often have dull, monotonous voices which I find hard to listen to and even harder to remember what they are saying. If not that, they are the complete opposite: they are as vapid and vacuous as the so called ‘TV babes’ you spoke of in your column.

Yes, the women you spoke of in your article are beautiful, but there is no shame in being beautiful and taking care of your appearance by staying fit and healthy. I can only hope that all these women were selected for their roles because they were the best qualified, not because they were attractive. (Although that’s an issue that requires further inquiry – how come a female journalist’s appearance is held to a higher standard than a male journalist?)

 I was also mortified by your comments about how these attractive women should look to the women of the ABC and SBS. Are you implying that these women are better at their jobs because they aren’t necessarily blonde, big boobed and blue eyed? Because it sure reads that way. How dare you imply, through your crass suggestions that beauty equals bad journalist, that ABC and SBS women are any less attractive. That is not a judgement you are allowed to pass. It’s also inaccurate, I find these women beautiful.

IF any of these beautiful news-reading women of the commercial stations are truly useless at their jobs then they very well should be pulled off the air. However, I’d also like to see all the unattractive, balding, aging men who are DEFINITELY useless at journalism removed from all forms of news programming, while we’re at it. How did these men end up on our screens when they lack the journalistic talent AND are unattractive? (I can name several who I think fit this bill; in this case I will be diplomatic and choose to keep my suggestions to myself.)

All these women on television put pride into their appearance and there is nothing wrong with that. Maybe you should take a leaf from their books and try putting a little effort into the way you look? Actually, a lot of effort – you really need it.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Sincerely,

Georgia [Surname withheld from my blog]

P.S. To The Age and any other newspaper/news source who published this trash: how dare you give this foul, sexist man a voice! Would you have done the same if the word ‘woman’ was replaced with ‘Aboriginal’ or ‘homosexual’ or ‘Asian’, etc? Shame on you.

Georgia is a 24 year old journalist in the making. She attended one of the top universities in the country and has two degrees. Georgia attended law school for two years before deciding to pursue a career in the media. She is most certainly not vacuous. She also happens to take pride in her appearance.