“Stupid people loose their effing minds; mass media regurgitate it”

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I wish news editors would insist on writers background checking stories rather that just cut & pasting text and screen grabs from social media and calling it journalism, because a more appropriate title to this NZ Herald ‘Herald Life’ piece would be “Stupid people loose their effing minds; mass media regurgitate it”.

Why people are giving model Ymre Stiekema such a hard time over this photo shoot is beyond me. She is a model, that is her job, she does not style herself, that is decided by the person or persons creating the shoot, in this case celebrated fashion editor and creative director Jetteke van Lexmond. For Ymre, her job is no different to contracted hospitality staff who turn up to wait tables at a function. They have no control over the food or how or why it is served, they simply go about their work. The shoot, entitled ‘Run Baby Run’ was a feature for Vogue promoting active wear for women. There are a number of other outfits in the layout, not just this one that people are going spare over.

People have made claims the outfit is a bikini and not sportswear, but they need to take a closer look at the construction of the garment. It’s not like Imre is carting around a twin set of potato sacks on her chest, she is not exactly going to be needing ‘maximum level’ support. Marathon and long distance runners wear bikini style gear all the time, the local harriers club runs past my door on a regular basis – plenty of half naked women amongst them. But the online reaction to this photo has been appalling.

Women (and men) have suggested she should put clothes on, that she is only wearing the outfit to attract attention, implying the model was either a narcissist seeking attention or an insecure princess needing validation- those from a self-proclaimed ‘feminist’. Other people have suggested she should eat a pie, has an ugly body, and the best yet, snorting over her fronting a motherhood campaign because it’s not like”that body’s ever actually pushed out a baby” – err Imre’s two year old daughter features in the photo shoot with her.

In a world where we are bombarded with vacuous celebrities, reality stars and royalty desperate to ‘celebrate’ their ‘post pregnancy bod’ and have us validate their body obsessions, here is a model whose body is her ‘brand’, who waited the time frame that was recommended to her during pregnancy before even considering getting back on a treadmill, coping slack.

Imre should be celebrated, yet all I see is a world vilifying her.

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