Blatant, misleading sexism: HOT OR NOT?


This is the result of two artists being promised a cover shoot to promote their fringe shows.

Thoughts below. Spoiler Warning: it’s heaps fucked.

“What will it be, lads? Dark and dangerous or the hilarious cat lady?

What will it be, when you include a line like that in an arts promotion piece? The answer is, of course, sexist.

Ciao Magazine, an online and print publication that features sections like “Inner West Gossip”, contacted comedian Genevieve Fricker and theatremaker Annabelle McMillan to organize a cover shoot to promote their separate Fringe shows. The photos they took weren’t used for the cover. Without contacting either of their artists, they changed the cover to this:


And the photos Genevieve and Annabelle took were used in the “Hot or Not?” column you can see above. Relatively minor issue: no promised cover photo. Massive fuck-off major issue: what was meant to be promotion for these artists now literally, literally has more words from the men rating them exclusively on their looks than it does about their shows.

Gen and Annabelle weren’t aware of any of this. They weren’t told they wouldn’t be on the cover, there was no mention of a “Hot or Not?” column, and both have said they wouldn’t have agreed to be in the piece if they’d known what it was going to become. They agreed to a photoshoot: what they got was their picture, a short sentence each describing their shows Lucky and Porphyria’s Slumber and a link to the Sydney Fringe website.

Then, of course, you have the actual body of the article devoted to men rating the appearances of the women in question.

Kevin says that he’ll definitely be waiting in the front row with three drinks. He says this because he’s an idiot. Julius, relieved that the magazine hasn’t asked him to review any ugly performers today, sighs that he can “leave [his] beer goggles at home”. Danny praises Genevieve and Annabelle for being “what every man wants in a woman” rather than you know, praising them for being artists who have the guts and ingenuity to sink months into their respective creative outlets. They receive scores of 4-4.5 from the “Lads”.

Try to picture this being done to Toby Truslove and Dave Hughes. Try to picture it being done to any two male performers. The bait-and-switch of ungendered publicity as performers to “now we are going to take the photo you shot and show it to men, who will rate your attractiveness using red kisses” is grotesque. It’s awful.

What could have been an article about two inspiring creatives and their Sydney Fringe shows turned into the most literal example of the Male Gaze ever printed. They are literally subjected to the male gaze.

Ciao Magazine’s email is The web version of the article has been taken down: no-one from Ciao Magazine has contacted either Genevieve or Annabelle to apologize. Please, please let them know this won’t stand. More than that, let this outrage make you interested in Genevieve and Annabelle’s art, buy a ticket next time you can and follow them on twitter at @genfricker and @pandabelle .

The print version is still being circulated of course, and it still has this reprehensible byline:


About Tom Walker

Tom Walker is a writer and comedian.
This entry was posted in Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Blatant, misleading sexism: HOT OR NOT?

  1. helenperris says:

    Thanks for writing this. I was considering it, but was so angry the words wouldn’t come. Such an insult to these talented women.

  2. Jess says:

    Hai Tom! HIlariously enough (okay not hilarious at all) they *DO* actually subject men to this as well. By the time I saw the link on a friend’s Facebook, they had taken their thing on these girls down and in it’s place is this wonderfully tasteful piece of work
    It is equally uncomfortable to read such shit written about a man.
    So gross the whole thing.

    • Tom Walker says:

      Yeah, this is like… A structure they use, weirdly enough? Dane willingly said he’d be a part of the Hot or Not bit while with Gen and Annabelle they didn’t know anything about it. So weird! What an uncomfortable way to introduce people to artists!

  3. I’ve taken to googling all the people involved with the mag (go to the ‘Who are we’ section) and emailing them my opinion of their superficial worth.
    Looking forward to how Gen and Ann address this is in their act

  4. certainly like your website but you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to inform the truth then again I’ll certainly come back again. ONE KINGS LANE

  5. Excellent article! We are linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.
    lifelock promo

  6. chat cam says:

    I visited various web sites except the audio quality
    for audio songs current at this web site is truly marvelous.

  7. Graham says:

    I liked Genevieve’s TEDxYouth@Sydney talk about this. But the magazine still sucks; this month it’s visual artist Jasmine they’re rating. Don’t these people learn?


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s