The cheaper end of our free and fearless press has long had a problem with teenage girls. Whether it’s the excusing of prurient interest by claiming they’re “All grown up” or “Growing up fast”, or telling them what their opinions should or should not be, anyone in and around showbiz is deemed fair game for the tabloids. Which is an interesting one, given all the shock horror coverage given to blokes who, er, seek out teenage girls.
Another failure on his watch ...
This leering tendency is also, whisper it quietly, not confined to male hacks. And that is where the Murdoch Sun came unstuck when getting all judgmental about those taking part in this year’s Soap Awards. Isobel Steele, who is just 17 years old, won Best Young Actor for her portrayal of Liv Flaherty in the long-running Emmerdale. But the Super Soaraway Currant Bun decided that her dress sense had incurred their displeasure.
... and on her watch, too
So it was that Tracey Lee Sayer, alleged to be the “Fashion Director” of the Sun’s Fabulous magazine, went in with both feet with her “Fashion verdict”. “Emmerdale star Isobel Streele [sic], up for Best Young Actor for her role as Liv Flaherty in the soap, looked a little lost in this dress … She is young and gorgeous but has covered up from head to toe! … Come on Isobel, have some fun and flash a bit of flesh!”
Yeah, I mean, Phwoarr, eh? And Ms Sayer wasn’t finished (well, she was, ultimately, but that came later). “As pretty as it is, you look like you are wearing your mum’s frock!” As Sir Sean nearly said, I think we got the point. This is prurient crap, and Ms Sayer should be ashamed of herself. The condemnation was swift to rain down on her.
Sally Dexter, also of Emmerdale, said simply “This is disgusting”. Sally Ann Matthews added “Utterly abhorrent. She looked radiant, classy and beautiful”. Charlie de Melo was of similar mind. “‘Flash a bit of flesh’ Not only awful, objectifying sexism...its unbelievably creepy. Side note, she looked radiant”. And there was more.
Kelvin Fletcher put the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker straight: “Fashion is subjective and I personally think she looks bloody gorgeous but to publicly attempt to shame her is sadly all too common. But then to tell her (a 17yr old minor) to ‘have some fun and flash a bit of flesh’ is disgraceful”. So would Ms Sayer care to explain herself?
Well, yes she would, sort of. “Firstly I am really really sorry. This is bad journalism. I didn't know Isobel was only 17, I should have checked. I can only appologise [sic] again”. Good to see her spelling is consistently crap, anyway. But enough of the lame excuses.
She didn’t know Ms Steele was only 17? She’s a sodding journalist. What happened to basic research and fact checking? One check of Wikipedia tells you Ms Steele’s date of birth - if, of course, you spelled her name correctly.
The Sun got caught - again - getting leery and judgmental about minors. The Murdoch goons were trying too hard to work up a bit of controversy and therefore score some more sales and clicks. This was not an accident; they wanted it this way, and they got it.
This latest act of prurient drivel just confirms what we all knew: Don’t Buy The Sun.