Being mean in public does not make you witty

According to Herald Sun opinion writer Susie O’Brien, if you go on a television show where your dancing skills will be judged and you get upset when people say mean things about your body and your husband, then you’re just being “precious”: If you want attention Brynne, cop it sweet:

BUSTY Brynne and husband Geoffrey Edelsten shouldn’t get precious about comments made about them on Channel 7’s Dancing with the Stars.

Actually, they should get mad. Only someone who doesn’t think too deeply about their words and actions would believe it’s ok to make snide, irrelevant comments in a public forum like that. No doubt Sonia Kruger thought she was being witty by referring to Geoffrey as Brynne’s dad, but it just makes her look small and mean.

I am not trying to be nasty, but it’s hard to complain about people making comments about your, ummm, assets when you put them so prominently on display. In case you missed the show, Brynne’s huge boobs were barely contained by a handful of orange and red mirror-ball sequins.

So what? Haven’t you seen boobs before? And Brynne has been in the public eye for how many years now, and you’re still going on and on and on about her boobs? I think it’s time to get over it. It’s not like we’ve never seen big boobs before.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying Brynne deserves to be harassed or abused on the basis of her skimpy attire. Women should be able to wear what they like and be safe from physical harm.

Actually, you are saying that. You are saying she deserves to cop nasty comments because of the way she looks and the clothes she chooses to wear. In other words, that she “deserves to be harassed or abused on the basis of her skimpy attire”. Which is it, Susie O’Brien, that you don’t think about the words you use, or you believe that women are to blame for someone else’s actions?

But I do think that good-natured ribbing about everything from her steps to her chest is part of the Dancing deal.

At the beginning of the piece you called them “pretty mean comments”, but now they’re just a bit of fun? Also, good-natured only applies if both parties are having a laugh. When one party is being mean to the other, it isn’t good-natured at all.

And the same goes for comments made about Brynne’s husband.

Geoffrey is not only old enough to be her father, but almost her grandfather. You can get doctors to remove face lines, and dye your hair, but you can’t change the basic fact of a 40-year age gap.

So what? How is this a) any of your business, and b) relevant to Brynne’s dancing skills on a tv show?

That’s absurd — if you put yourself out there on a show like Dancing, you have to cop any fair criticism that comes your way.

Yes, fair criticism. Making nasty comments about her husband and her body is not fair, nor is it relevant to her dancing performance.

Let’s not forget that Brynne has consistently courted media and public attention with her often tasteless and risque outfits.

Taste is a personal judgement. Just because you don’t happen to like what someone is wearing, doesn’t make it universally tasteless.

She may be happily married and live a conventional life, but she dresses like a Vegas showgirl determined to pull in the biggest tips.

Again, so what?

The fact Brynne appears in public like this suggests she agrees with McKenney that her boobs are one of her biggest assets. So she should be ecstatic with her debut on Dancing.

So Brynne, work on your steps, enjoy the attention, and have a good time. And tell your dad — oops, I mean husband — to lighten up.

Oh, I get it, you think you’re being clever and funny. You’re not. It’s just mean and shallow.

Update: One of the judges, Todd McKenney, has defended being an arsehole by being even more of an arsehole: Bombshell Brynne ‘asking for it’: judges stand firm on ‘elephants in the room’. He called her breasts “elephants” and by some flawed logic said that because Brynne has “set herself up as a bombshell” then it’s ok for him and the other judge, Josh Horner, to say nasty things about her. What a horrible little man.

21 responses to “Being mean in public does not make you witty

  1. Rhiannon Saxon

    Ugh. That’s looooow. I have a number of friends with age gaps, not to that extent, but also being married to someone who got his driving license two years before I was born, makes me a little touchy about ‘dad…er…husband’ type comments. You are so right. None of that is remotely pertinent to her dancing.

  2. For starters, “barely contained” is one hell of an exaggeration. Looking at the pic in the article it is no different to any other female dancer.

    If you go on a show where you will be judged on your dancing skills, you should expect comments about .. well … your dancing. Maybe on whether or not your outfit suits the dance. You should only ever expect comments about the skimpiness of your dress, the size of your boobs or the age difference between you and your spouse if you choose to go into a competition based on those things.

    Merely being in the public eye is not justification for those sort of comments.

    The “good-natured” comment is so often used by people who are in fact being mean and realise it, and try to weasel out of it instead of actually apologising. “Ah, it was only a joke” they say. Yeah, well it was only a joke to you. It was bloody hurtful to other people!

    Great post, News.

  3. Another reason to never watch DWTS. That show gets more publicity for everything EXCEPT for dancing. I wish reality TV would die a horrible death, the sooner the better. Since reality TV seems to cultivate a culture of mean.

    • I don’t watch it either. I just don’t “get” reality tv. I’d much rather watch something with a plot, and good writing, and good actors. Hell, even bad actors are better than watching reality tv.

  4. Nicely done. I love how people justify their personal judgements on her appearance and her lifestyle by saying that she asked for it by being on a dancing show. It would be very different if she did the same to the judges in response. She’d be branded a ‘sore loser’. Riiiiight.

  5. Great post!

    First up, I have to out myself – I watched DWTS this week, and have watched it in past years as well (on and off).

    I had meant to blog about them this week, but have been ridiculously busy with study. Consequently, I have also missed out on the media fallout. But, even if I’d had all the time in the world, it is unlikely I would have read Susie O’Brien’s piece, which sounds appalling. It’s one thing for those things to have been said off the cuff. It’s quite another to go through the process of writing, editing and publishing a piece seeking to justify someone else’s sexist behaviour.

    Back to the show. The thing I don’t get is that, if its shtick is just to be mean and laugh at the contestants, Brynne’s dancing would have provided them more than enough material. It was truly awful. But, never before, have I seen them pay out on someone in such a deeply personal way.

    A genuine, straight-faced piece of advice about how tying your hands behind your back can train your body to move better turned into a lame-arse crack about bondage.

    A similarly intended suggestion of putting your hands on your chest was followed by schoolboy sniggers.

    Obviously, only the female judge remembered that she was there to… you know… judge the dancing!

    The look on Brynne’s face after the first remark would have been enough for any reasonable adult to know that they’d gone too far and to apologise unconditionally. It was distressing to watch. But they kept going. And going. And going.

    There was nothing ‘good humoured’ about any of it.

    She was being made a spectacle of – purely on the basis of her gender, her age, the age of her husband, and her physical form. The assumption is that ‘women like that’ (read: any woman who dares not toe the line) can only be related to in terms of their sex. And that it’s all ‘our business’.

    If I were Brynne, I’d quit the show. Not out of fear or humiliation – she should be proud of giving it a go and has every right to be who she is. But because Channel 7 doesn’t deserve the ratings that her presence will inevitably bring.


    • I love this: “It’s one thing for those things to have been said off the cuff. It’s quite another to go through the process of writing, editing and publishing a piece seeking to justify someone else’s sexist behaviour.”

      Brynne’s response has been pure class.

  6. I did watch half of the program and I am thinking that this is a deliberate ploy that may have been arranged in advance with Brynn. It has captured a lot of column inches and guaranteed a sympathy vote by the public who have been outraged so she will avoid elimination and get at least one more week.

    The handling of the Wags (sorry don’t remember their names) wasn’t any better and made me cringe at its crassness. I also squirmed at the treatment of the older woman. It really was a particularly nasty program.

    I doubt I will watch again, only did it to find out what all the fuss was about the program. I am not happy that the women have to be bleached blondes to get a role, doesn’t TV know that brunette is fashionable now.

  7. Pingback: Read this: Being mean in public does not make you witty (Dancing With The Stars) « Something beginning with F

  8. Update: What an absolute asshole. I can handle judges being bitingly critical of a dancer’s performance. After all, that is what the competition is about. If she is really crap at dancing, criticise that. Everything else they can just shut the hell up.

    “She asked for it”. Bloody oath that just has every kind of wrong about it. Someone who is in the media, whose job it is to present things like this – for them to say such things leads me to believe they have no place in the media at all.

  9. I watched the segment because of the publicity and I won’t be watching any more… that judge- what a try hard! I’m sorry he may have put a lot of practice into it but really his performance was appalling. And what a droll dress sense, like an accountant trying to be snappy, but then with that blah hair and those eyes (urgggh) I suppose there’s not much he can do. Perhaps a paper bag with eye cut outs.

    • Hello wupdater, welcome to the News with Nipples. I ummed and ahhed about publishing this comment because it’s a personal attack on the judge’s appearance, rather than dealing with what he said – which is why I criticised him in the first place. I decided to publish it because I assumed you’re using satire to make your point. So, sorry if I’ve just ruined your satirical comment, but you’re new here so I don’t know you yet.

  10. The way people are treating Byrnne and defending their actions is plain nasty. The remarks outlined by something f up above are just fucking repulsive. I hope that she makes a bucketload from talking to new idea or something similar about ‘holding her head high’.

    Scarlet Letter – anyone?

  11. Well yes, tongue firmly in cheek. As a former TV producer it’s interesting that DWTS is so consciously being nasty in judge feedback. It’s a directive. I don’t believe that Kruger’s ‘dad’ line was her own either, it’s delivery was unspontaneous. Contrast this to Masterchef and MKR, where even the knock out blows are cushioned in positive language. Conclusion: fee paid celebrities are considered fair game in the chase for attention that might translate to ratings. And a reflection of the lack of finesse and wit on behalf of the EP/director/producer calling the shots.

  12. Oh, agree! With every word you have written. Love visiting here and finding it’s not just me that gets “precious” about these things.

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