Who else is tired of the outdated and boring assumption that a woman can either be sensible, intellectual and knee-deep in A Brief History Of Time or interested in clothes and make-up, ergo vain, frivolous and (probably) a little bit dopey? One such woman is Stacey Dooley, who, this week, had to defend her decision to present BBC3’s new make-up-competition show, Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star, after she received criticism online.
Responding to the announcement of the show, one Twitter user wrote: “Ahhh stace, no don’t sell out like this!!! Don’t forget your roots of investigative journalism [face palm emoji] Strictly always changes people and turns them into reality stars [crying face emoji].” After the comment received numerous responses from other Twitter users, Dooley took to the site herself, calmly replying: “This is such a Stone Age assumption. You can care about human issues, the planet and also be into fashion. You can also take time out to look after yourself mentally.” Making reference to the, at times, harrowing circumstances she has borne witness to in her previous work, Dooley continued, “For those telling me you’re suddenly doing ‘trivial’ work… I’ve been filming stories covering rape, incest, drugs, murder and war for a decade. It’s a privilege to cover these issues, but I also need to take time out to enjoy the lighter side of life.”
Encouragingly, the presenter received an overwhelming outpouring of support from followers commenting, “Totally support this! Why can’t you enjoy make up and fashion and give a shit about other issues too?”, “Enjoy your time away from the front line, you have earned it” and “You don’t have to justify yourself #ignorethestupidcomments”.
Dooley went on to add: “Also. Dancers and make-up artists are incredibly talented. I’m lucky to work alongside them. The idea that talent is exclusively measured on how academic or intellectual you are is SO ridiculous. Snobbery and judgement are not really my thing. Anyway. Off to nail my routine.”
Let’s stop making up rules to limit and restrict others. Let’s do what we can to open doors, conversations and mindsets. And, when we’re told to get back into the uninvited boxes others have constructed for us, let’s all be a bit more Dooley, re-inform them and head off to nail our day.