The Olympics started on Saturday, and with it came a total media/television take over. Helen Skelton was presenting on the swimming in Brazil and wore a jacket/dress (jackess? drecket?) that sent viewers into meltdown.
Now, I accept the skirt was rather short at certain angles. However, at others it was a reasonable length considering the humidity and heat she was in. Of course a barrage of negative tweets flooded in, one stating Skelton was clearly wearing no underwear (which I don’t think is true). After seeing this I decided to tweet something.
My tweet read: “Helen Skelton was presenting on a sport that consists of rather tight and generally small kits, but dear god how dare she wear a short dress”
The Telegraph decided to place this in their online article, which I only found out several hours later thanks to a friend let me know. Due to the telegraph featuring my tweet I received replies from members of the public. One man insulted me because of my opinion: “what a very sad person you are its a sports event you snob” Despite this man not knowing me, not understanding what I meant, he was calling me names.
Another replied: “Heaven forbid female casters be asked to wear professional clothes, unlike the necessity of active wear.” This is a fair point. Although I don’t class shorts as a professional piece of clothing, which is what her fellow commentator Mark Foster was wearing. Not the mention all three are either in flip flops or bare foot. In school and work environments I believe shoulders must be covered, no low cut tops/dresses, skirts must be knee length, as must shorts. As for footwear, the toes must be covered. So I ask, what do you class as professional?
I wanted to reply to these men, to explain my point expanded beyond that single tweet. I was surprised by how defensive I was at them not fully grasping my opinion on the matter. Several misunderstood my tweet saying I was ‘jealous’ with one telling me to “do summet with my life“… These only strengthened my annoyance, why couldn’t people understand?
Then I got it, this is what people in the public eye deal with, but on a small scale. It makes me understand why so many celebrities quit social media for a time. It wasn’t all negative though, many people were supportive. Over 50 people have liked my tweet, several have retweeted it and on woman even replied to the man about explaining I was supporting Helen Skelton. The negative can quickly begin to outweigh the positive.
There is one problem with twitter that everyone agrees with. 140 characters isn’t enough to express everything you feel on an issue. My tweet was simple meant to be a slightly comic viewpoint of people being so shocked. It didn’t convey that I do believe the skirt was slightly short at times, but I believe the reaction was as it often is, over dramatic. In theatre class last year my teacher put us in pairs to see what the other ‘really wanted’, for me it was to be understood. I speak with my hands, I often rephrase a sentence to see if it makes it simpler to grasp and I use examples to back up a point.
After this, I wonder is it possible to want to be understood and be on social media? It may sound drastic, but people see what you choose to post. From that, they take what they see based on their personal opinion and experiences. There isn’t much that can be done with that, unless you decide to spend all day replying to those that misunderstand. In the end, you have to accept that some people will read things differently to you, and that is simply how social media works.
Telegraph Article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/07/helen-skeltons-revealing-dress-sends-rio-2016-viewers-into-meltd/?WTmcid=tmgoff_soc_spf_fb&WT.mc_id=sf32753439