This morning, as I sat on the couch in my PJs shoving a bagel into my face, I noticed something very interesting during my Insta scroll. It wasn’t overly unusual; actually, it was VERY telling of the differences between how women and men are often treated on social media. By women. And it made me feel equal parts annoyed and disappointed.
First up was Sophie Cachia. Her Insta story showed her recording her reflection in the mirror, decked out in a teeny tiny black bikini, as she moved to the music that played in the background. There was no doubt about it; Sophie looked smokin’ hot as she posed – and she knew it.
As I continued to scroll, another image came up in my feed of comedian and radio host, Tommy Little, wearing only jocks and a white tee pulled up to show off his abs. And just like Soph, Tommy looked, as the cool cats would say, hot AF.
So we’ve got two people, both with public profiles, celebrating bodies that they’re proud of. Bodies that, by Tommy’s own admission, he had worked hard for. Same same, no? No.
The thing is, the comments and reactions to Tommy and Sophie’s uploads couldn’t have been more different. Here’s a taste of some of the comments Tommy received…
And then, here’s a bit of what Sophie received (via a ‘mums group’ thread)…
The only difference between these snaps? Tommy rocks a penis and Sophie doesn’t. That’s the ONLY thing I can come up with.
Now, Tommy Little would be feeling pretty awesome right now – and who could blame him? Flattery is a beautiful thing and old Tommy is being showered with it. Hard. I’d love to take a peek into his DMs, because I’d bet my tits that they’re going off right now with a tonne of interesting offers. And I say good on you Tommy – go forth and ride that wave as long as you can babe, you’ve earned it.
But then I think about how Sophie might be feeling after her wave of comments. She says that she doesn’t really give a shit about what anyone thinks or says about her, but you’d have to have a superhuman-style thick skin not to let that stuff get to you at all. We are always banging on about how women should love their bodies and be comfortable in their own skin – and then, we’re presented with a woman who does all of that and THIS is how it’s received? Something is wrong with this picture.
The thing is, it’s not just about the difference in perception; that Tommy’s hot and Sophie’s conceited. Both have a massive female following and many of those comments on Tommy’s post from women are riddled with sexual innuendo and of women tagging their friends in. Tongues out, fires lit. Can you IMAGINE if the comments were reversed and Sophie’s pics were attracting 95% of men tagging their mates in and talking about how much they wanted to fuck her? It would be a totally different ball game.
Equally, if we spin it again, if Sophie had an extra 40kg on her frame and was posing proudly and confidently in her bikinis as an obese woman, she would probably be celebrated for her ‘bravery’ and ‘body love.’ Is it because she’s conventionally beautiful that makes people so uncomfortable and brings out the knives instead of the praise?
Now, I totally get how outward displays of confidence might make some people feel a bit icky. Posing in a bikini or in my jocks isn’t something I would personally ever do, but would I negatively comment on someone who chooses to do it? No fucking way. I think we’re entitled to think whatever the hell we want when we are cruising through our social feeds, but when it comes to commenting, there’s a basic rule to follow. Unless it’s nice or constructive, it’s best to keep your hands off the keyboard.
Tommy and Sophie were both guests at our third live podcast and you can listen to them having a hilarious chat with Monts and Meshel Laurie below. Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast here so you don’t miss an ep!