Normally I don’t watch Loose Women (honestly I don’t) but I saw on twitter that Cllr Karen Danczuk was going to be on so I thought I would tune in. For those of you that don’t know her, she is a Labour Councillor in Rochdale as well as a Small Business owner and her husband is Simon Danczuk the Labour MP. She is now more well-known about her selfies that she takes, some (quite a few) are of her in “going out” mode which includes cleavage etc. This has been getting reported in the Press and she is turning into a bit of a celeb because of it. I was interested in hearing how she “justified” the selfies (not that she needs to, but I didn’t think that programme was going to be just a cup of tea) but I was astounded by some of the hypocritical trash she got from some of the panel, or one in particular.
Janet Street-Porter started it by condemning Karen for her selfies, drawing connections to under-age rape and child abuse, stating that she (Janet) didn’t believe that a Councillor should be showing cleavage and should be an upstanding member of the community. I didn’t like the assumption that Karen’s selfies should automatically be connected to rape etc., but I think that Janet’s right to her opinion (and she often gives it) is hers to have, and she was obviously going to stir things up. Karen highlighted that what you wear shouldn’t matter when it comes to rape and abuse, and quite right too. Also, that she is a women just like any other and enjoys dressing and going out over a weekend, and why shouldn’t she. She also said that the press only pick up on the more cleavage based shots rather than her in a track suit, but when you look at her twitter feed, there isn’t quite as many “hoodie” shots as she made out. However that doesn’t really matter does it?
What got me was that when Jamelia waded in and asked Karen to justify herself in wearing skimpy things and what sort of a role model she was to young women. Karen, admittedly on the defensive, pushed the question right back at Jamelia, highlighting she has the same responsibility but wears skimpy stuff to sell her music. Jamelia didn’t like that and disagreed, saying that it was different and couldn’t be compared.
This is where I got annoyed and angry, because it was clear that Jamelia had no idea about how young women and girls are influenced. They are more likely to take note of what a pop star is wearing and doing over a Councillor and therefore for Jamelia to criticise in the way she did was bang out of order! Jamelia then went on to ask what Karen aimed to do to make changes with this new found fame, clearly making the assumption that Karen had done nothing already. Again this just highlighted Jamelia’s ignorance on what a councillor does.
I guess my message to Jamelia, (and all the other pop stars that read this blog 😉 is that you are in a position of HUGE influence over young women (and young men) when you deliver your provocative videos, racy cover shots and raunchy lyrics, please please please be aware of that! My message to councillors is similar in that you are in a position of influence and need to act accordingly (largely keeping your clothes on), but don’t stop from being who you are, don;t stop being authentic as that’s what’s lacking in today’s politics, especially at a local level!