Monday 16 December 2019

TV host wears same suit for a year to fight sexism

Karl Stefanovic, a host on Australia's Channel Nine 'Today Show', said he received no complaints or comments about his repeated use of a navy suit, whereas his female co-host and the show's female newsreaders and reporters were regularly scrutinised and criticised over their fashion choices and appearance. Photo credit: Don Arnold/WireImage
Karl Stefanovic, a host on Australia's Channel Nine 'Today Show', said he received no complaints or comments about his repeated use of a navy suit, whereas his female co-host and the show's female newsreaders and reporters were regularly scrutinised and criticised over their fashion choices and appearance. Photo credit: Don Arnold/WireImage

Jonathan Pearlman

A prominent Australian morning television presenter has revealed he wore the same cheap imitation Burberry suit each day for a year as an anti-sexism stunt to highlight how women are judged more harshly over their appearances than men.

Karl Stefanovic, a host on Channel Nine's daily 'Today Show', said he received no complaints or comments about his repeated use of the navy suit, whereas his female co-host and the show's female newsreaders and reporters are regularly scrutinised and criticised over their fashion choices and appearance.

"No one has noticed," he told Fairfax Media. "But women, they wear the wrong colour and they get pulled up. They say the wrong thing and there's thousands of tweets written about them."

The stunt has drawn widespread praise and was described by feminist commentators as a breakthrough in the fight against double standards in the Australian media.

"Bravo to Karl for his sartorial experiment - and for being an excellent ally to woman on TV," said the women's website Mamamia.

"Stefanovic knows that things are different for his co-hosts [and] has put his body on the line to prove it."

In the first episode of the show since the stunt was revealed, Stefanovic noted that many of the harsh critics of women's appearances are other women. He has noted that only his co-host and a crew member noticed that he repeatedly wore the suit after detecting the smell.

"Can sexism be women judging women - is that sexism?" he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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