The Unbearable Sameness of Karl Stefanovic


What can you say about Marc Downe that’s not already been said? Nothing – at least, nothing that I can find from the Liverpool edition of the urban dictionary of useful derogatory words. So let’s just use ‘ciggie-butt brain’ again. Oh this piece is about Karl Stefanovic, a bit.

The boyish co-host of Australia’s ‘Today’ morning program, Karl Stefanovic, recently admitted to wearing the same suit for 365 days. Karl suffered this indignity as a silent protest to show the sexism toward female hosts, most notable his co-host, Lisa Wilkinson. His supportive and clever gesture went global, with many articles written in the foreign press. Turns out that despite his female colleague being critiqued on her style and articles of clothing, it was not noted at all that he was wearing the same suit. I applaud the elven ragamuffin for making this stance and it actually makes me think of him in a new light – sweet. But the old light is still there – puppet of ignorant demagoguery. Allow me to explain.

His shirts were white and he always wore a different tie. Through a filtered digital receiver, not only would the shade and patterns of different ties give him slight variance, it can also change the hue of his suit on occasion. If he had chosen to wear a t-shirt or a polo neck on any given day, I can promise that not only would the viewers have something to say, his co-host also would. It would probably be something wistful like “Wow, Karl, thanks for getting dressed up for us”, and then she would laugh to cover her deep, deep regret and shame. Do not watch morning television. From the little I have been subjected to, it is akin to waterboarding. I succumb to its general availability only to find myself drowning in banality while receiving numbing solace in the colours and shapes on the screen.

I do not doubt and wholly believe there to be heavy sexism in media and we are all guilty, but we all also victims. Women have so much variety in the way they can present themselves in the media. They can wear dresses, blouses, t-shirts, suits, skirts, skorts, jeans, thongs, pumps, makeup, jewellery, hats, faux empathy. Men have very little variety that basically starts and ends at a suit, with a shirt and tie. How many times have you seen a male host wearing a t-shirt and sporting earrings, and also being asked to be taken seriously? The fact that Karl was not noticed at all says something more about the state of man and how we are to present ourselves to be taken seriously. Yes, Lisa was sometimes critiqued for her clothing but so what? It’s fucking morning television, where the most common topic is how to get man stink out of your pillows or which ab is the sexiest. I’m sure she spends oodles of time trying to figure out, along with a stylist, which outfit is the best so shouldn’t she then also be critiqued on her decisions? She finds time to critique other celebrities on their clothing in a public forum. Is she then Caesar’s wife? Is she beyond reproach? No. No, she is not.

Again, Karl’s gesture was sweet and should be held in high regard but the truth of the matter is we all wear clothes and we wear them as a canvas of how we wished to be perceived. Women in media are able to don themselves in a variety of aesthetics to show their individual style and still be taken seriously, men are not allowed this specific creative flourish, except for ties.

I think the next protest should be that Karl says something intellectual or interesting. We will then see a myriad of criticism and reviews heading his way; yet this time it would be about the downfall of stupidity and how morning television has become too highbrow to show the appropriate way to twerk or how to get the most out of banana cake.

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Much more than just a hairdo, he is hip and groin. He was one of the founding members of the now defunct, and believes that disco music was made to make you dance. He once wore a pair of shoes, and nothing will stop him from breathing but sweet, sweet death.

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