Unless you’re Australian, you probably wouldn’t recognise Karl Stefanovic. And even Australians arguably haven’t been looking at him very closely.
We know this because Stefanovic, a TV anchor, recently confessed to wearing the same cheap blue suit on air every day for a year to see if anyone noticed (they didn’t). But what makes Stefanovic rather more than a skinflint in a stale-smelling jacket is that he did it to prove a point. As a man, even working in a visual medium, he’s judged on how he does the job. Nobody notices what he wears, because it’s irrelevant. Yet women in public life – be it politics, business or the media – are judged constantly and pointlessly on clothes, hair, and makeup: you may bestride the free world, lady, but woe betide you if you can’t accessorise.
There are two reasons, then, to admire Stefanovic. One is for standing up to bullying, which is what this is, rather than straight-up sexism (women can be other women’s worst critics). But the other is for pointing out that clothes are just clothes, for heaven’s sake: stuff worn to stop the rain getting in and your bits hanging out. Can we move on now, please?