Last night the Herald published a story about a six-year-old Russian child described as the ‘most beautiful girl in the world’. Who on earth thought this was a good idea?
Once upon a time, my mate’s beloved van was stolen from outside his house. As he was recounting the story, it just got worse and worse. All of his tools had been stolen, his very livelihood. That alone would have been bad. But it got worse – the van was found and it had been burnt out.
That is bad. But it got worse. Somehow, someone had put a shit in the front seat. We debated long and hard on how this happened. We came to the conclusion that someone must have shat elsewhere and then put the shit on the burnt out seat.
As we contemplated this very specific horror he revealed that the entire front section also smelled like piss. So not content with just stealing a van, a man’s tools (in the Bogan Code this is possibly worse than shitting in their car), setting that stolen van on fire, and then putting a shit in the front seat – they had to piss all over it too. It’s astounding.
It was horrific.
But somehow not as horrific as this article on the New Zealand Herald website.
That noise you heard across Wellington was me reading this shit. To try to come up with a somewhat comprehensible response to this is hard because having read it all I feel like I can say is:
Honestly, I have a general motto of “if you can’t be kind, be quiet” but I’m going to have to change that motto to be “actually, if you publish a creepy as shit nightmare of a story you deserve the wrath of the universe upon you”.
Yes, it’s from the Daily Mail, because of course it is. And yes, the Daily Mail has the lowest imaginable standards, but really, I mean really, I mean just really – come the fuck on.
It is astounding that at no point during the process of pitching this article, interviewing the mother of this child, and publishing this godawful dumpster fire of an article did anybody at all say “Hmm this kind of reads like we are sexualising a potentially at-risk six year old girl who is being exploited by the person who she probably trusts the most in this world, being super racist while we do it, and opening a child, who should be playing with Lego, to a world where hideous grown men pick apart her appearance in comments that will stay online forever.”
Like did not one person say “Hey, we shouldn’t take part in promoting the child labour of an innocent little kid who is at the mercy of people making a shit-tonne of money off her just because her agent contacted us and sent us an Instagram account?”
Like was there not a single journalist left in the newsroom to say “I dunno folks what are we saying when we hold up a white child, and only a white child, as the most beautiful girl in the world. Do you think maybe we are disgusting racists about as likeable as fetid ballsacks?”
Like how is it possible that there wasn’t just one human being there to say “Hmmm so are we quite sure that we are comfortable contributing to this child being used and exploited further in an industry which is rife with sexual assault, abuse and harassment when she’s literally a six year old child being taught her worth is in the way she looks?”
Like do they have an editor? Just one editor who could have said “Our comments section is worse than a bleeding pus-filled mouth ulcer that is filled with dead leeches on a good day – do you think that like maybe we are presenting a six year old to be abused and ripped apart in what will likely have repercussions for her for the rest of her life?”
Like did this journalist go to journalism school with stories of Woodward and Bernstein and yet somehow just say “Yeah, sure, I could totally pick apart the appearance of a six year old and post photos of how I think she’s aesthetically pleasing to me.”
Did they have a separate person posting it? Did that separate whole actual person who was once born and was a child say “I like how you described her as doll-like. That says nothing about the toxic way we police young girls to be seen and not heard and I really love how it buys into the patriarchal control we have over young women where we literally groom them from birth to be objectified. Great story.”
Did somebody literally say “Make sure you include a bit about Thylane Blondeau and make sure you without any comment include that she’s the face of ‘Lolita’ perfume coz that’s not fucked at all. I mean why don’t we just let global warming take us all because we deserve it.”
And did all of this happen and then somehow at the Herald someone just went cool story bro and FUCKING PUBLISHED THIS TRASH.
This old man parked outside of a school wearing paedophile glasses turned into a story story.
This let’s pretend feminism never happened and go back to a golden age of raising young girls to believe they’re decorations story.
This whatever gets you clicks and engagement even if it means you’re going to burn in hell for the rest of your life story.
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Why? Why did you do this when 2017 was already bad enough? Did you have to go and shit on the front seat of the year and then piss all over its burnt carcass?
Good fucking job.
And all children are beautiful. They’re children. What the fuck is wrong with you. Don’t rate children by their appearances. This is not something you need to be told. Are you Satan? Are you literally Satan because probably Satan is like – bridge too far bro. Bridge too fucking far.
Honestly, it is not hyperbole to say everyone involved in this article is worse than a semen stain in the middle of a crusty charge-per-hour motel bed covered in bees.
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The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.