Sunday, April 27, 2008

`You're Cross-Eyed, You're Horrible, You Have A Lisp, And You Suck"

Women presenting Australian morning shows and news broadcasts are discovering just how ugly it can get when viewers are able to instantly communicate their thoughts and opinions to the heads they see talking on the TV.

For presenters such as Sunrise's Melissa Doyle, being bombarded with unsolicited fashion advice via email has necessitated growing a thick, barb-proof skin.

"People don't mean to be nasty, but they just feel very familiar,'' she said.

Sunrise staff say thousands of fairly facile emails pour in daily, from the moment the presenters take their seats, and almost exclusively it's the women on the show who cop the criticism.

How much would it play on your mind to know, because you can read the e-mails, that literally thousands, which means tens of thousands or more, viewers on the real world side of the TV think that you show absolutely shit taste in clothes, shoes, jewelry, hairstyles, finger nail varnish, lip gloss shade, eyebrow colouring...

Do the men on the Footy Show get thousands of e-mails and text messages from blokes watching at home bitching about their appearance?

Hard core, abusive fashion hate of female newsreaders and morning TV presenters is most definitely a chick thing.

Last week, a serious Sky News political panellist wore a satin shirt and was accused by a viewer of dressing like "an adults-only Wiggle''.

The ABC's Leigh Sales says she is amazed at how people feel it is acceptable to pass comment on the appearance of presenters.

"I was filling in on the midday news and got this email saying, `You're cross-eyed, you're horrible, you have a lisp, and you suck','' Sales said.

"It was so extreme I was crying with laughter..."

Leigh Sales has had to cope with far too much, and highly inaccurate commentary, from her viewers.

"I was walking down the street one day and someone said: 'Oh, Leigh Sales from the ABC. Wow, you're much better-looking on television,'' she said.

"I'm on TV for three minutes a day, so that means I look like a dog for the other 23 hours and 57 minutes. Great.''

People can be so strange, and cruel.