The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

“Bully” Demelza Wins ANTM 4; Vogue Forums Explode

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 2, 2008

Demelza Reveley took out the Cycle 4 honours in the Australia’s Next Top Model finale last night, which prompted a near critical mass explosion of outrage on the Vogue Forums’ ANTM4 thread at the result – and rightly so.

The rep that Reveley gained throughout her time on the show has followed her out the other side and into the industry. There has not been a single media piece reporting the news, to my knowledge, that has not mentioned Reveley’s bullying behaviour whilst in the model house.

The Voguettes began a call for boycotts of all the sponsors involved with the show – principally Napoleon Perdis Cosmetics, who will feature the 16-year-old in a beauty campaign, and Vogue Australia, who give the winner an eight-page photo shoot – and for letters of complaint to be sent to Fox8 to make a statement about their perceived support of bullying by way of allowing Reveley to stay in the competition, let alone win it.

The issue at hand is that AusNTM is not real life; a model in the real world who behaved as Reveley did would likely not be booked for long. But by broadcasting her behaviour and then allowing her to continue to be celebrated implicitly sends a warped message to the – largely young – viewers of the show.

Considering the very real problem young Australians are facing from bullying (both in “real life” and online), there was a chance for the producers of the show to send a message to the viewers that bullying is not to be tolerated. Instead, we end up here, with the impression that it’s okay to bully and harass those who are “different” from us, if we have a pretty face.

Vogue Australia Editor-In-Chief Kirstie Clements last night spoke out against Reveley’s behaviour, giving her vote to Alexandra Girdwood instead. The judges were in fact split in favour of Girdwood, but the public vote pushed Reveley over the line. Clements, ostensibly in response to the Vogue Forum outrage but more likely to reiterate her comments at the final judgement, released an official statement via Vogue‘s website:

The 16-year-old from Wollongong first came to the attention of the public when her antics on the Foxtel program labelled her a bully. The judges’ decision was drawn, with Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Kirstie Clements voting for finalist Alexandra Girdwood because of concerns about Reveley’s behaviour. The winner was decided by public voting.

Part of Reveley’s prize is a shoot in Vogue Australia’s September issue, with the magazine under a contractual agreement with Australia’s Next Top Model to feature the winner on eight pages, but don’t expect the amateur model to appear on the cover like last year’s winner Alice Burdeu. “Alice was such an exceptional case,” Clements says. “It was clear from the very beginning that she had the makings of an international model.”

It’s a shame that Clements didn’t speak out more explicitly about Reveley’s behaviour, but I think the underlying message in that statement is clear (particularly the damning choice of the phrase “amateur model”).

Bullying is a huge problem, particularly amongst young girls. The producers and sponsors of Australia’s Next Top Model had a chance to use the show as a platform to send important messages to the show’s viewers, and the country in general, and to show that the fashion and modelling industry can be ethically and morally sound.

Instead, they showed us that no matter how badly you treat other people, all will be forgiven if you are “beautiful”, that bullying is excusable if you are young and don’t know better, and that the fashion industry only cares about one thing: pretty, young girls making their way to the top at any cost.

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42 Responses to ““Bully” Demelza Wins ANTM 4; Vogue Forums Explode”

  1. tina_sparkle said

    I assume demelza’s parents have mortgaged their house to pay for the phone bill run up from voting for their daughter.

    well, I’m telling myself it’s the only way a toxic trog like this would get any votes from the public.

    congrats fox8 for glamourising bullying. word.

    will vogue readers be boycotting alex perry gowns? somehow I don’t think so……………

  2. mscate said

    so, what did she actually do? I don’t watch much telly….

  3. Clem Bastow said

    Cate, she was the leader of a pack of self-appointed “bitchketeers”, who systematically targeted Alamela (because she was “different”, i.e. she read New Scientist and “spoke weird”). This involved things like throwing water bombs at her head, putting mayonnaise in her bed, etc etc. At one point she (Demelza) actually complained that she was frustrated that Alamela wouldn’t “break”.

  4. mscate said

    So a cross between Mean Girls and Jaw Breaker, not unlike any private school unfortunately. Although it certainly sends the message that bullies=success. Not unlike other industries unfortunately.

  5. Clem Bastow said

    What was most unpleasant about it all was that Demelza herself had previously been a victim of extreme bullying, having had to move schools because of it.

  6. Jackie said

    Well i have to completely disagree with everyone who is calling Demelza a Bully.
    1. You are now a bully yourselves for calling Demelza a bully which offensive and is lowering her self confidence
    2. Each week on Australia’s next top model she made it through because she did the job well. yes what she did was wrong but she wasn’t the only one involved and it happens everywhere.
    3. Demelza truly apologised for her behaviour and its in the past so she cant change it now

    i think everyone should cut her some slack. she young and successful and gorgeous. You’re just jealous
    its over, she won
    get over yourselves!

  7. Clem Bastow said

    Watch out everyone, Jackie has unloaded the old “you’re just jealous” defense, we better pack up and go home!

  8. Jackie said

    WELL LEAVE

  9. Clem Bastow said

    No, I don’t think so, Jackie aka head of the Demelza online street-team.

    NOBODY here is “jealous” of her, particularly because she is driven to succeed at all costs, will and did walk all over people to get to the top, and IS a bully.

    I would like to see you articulately defend her actions in the house, particularly her treatment of Alamela.

    Just because “it happens everywhere”, does that make it right? Have you ever been bullied?

  10. Jackie said

    Well it was a competition
    Who doesn’t want to succeed?

    Alex played a nasty trick too and so did Bec and Alyce and you don’t see them getting blamed for their actions.

    I agree that Demelzas actions were wrong and i didn’t say they were right. I just think that they aren’t as bad as everyone is making them out to be.

    Her career shouldn’t be tainted because of a reality tv show and people believing everything they see. Clem you cant be perfect cause nobody is. Its just unfortunate that Demelza’s mistakes were caught on camera and therefore scrutinised.

    No i havent been bullied.
    Have you?

    I bet Alamela plan this whole thing so she could get press.

  11. Clem Bastow said

    Yes, I have been, a number of times, and I can assure you that the repercussions continue far longer than a one-hour reality television episode, as they will for Alamela (after all, she apparently fled the live finale in tears).

    Her career WILL be tainted by a reality television show, because that’s what happens when one’s “career” is kicked off by reality television – only a few manage to survive being “from that show”. I would say Alice Burdeu, Will Young and Kelly Clarkson are probably the only former reality contestants who have genuinely managed to shake their reality rep completely.

    Alex, Alyce and Bec did act badly at times, but they were not “rewarded” for it. By allowing Demelza to remain in the competition, and eventually win it, sends a message that it doesn’t matter how badly you treat others, if you are hot enough, you will win out.

  12. Jackie said

    ITS A MODELLING COMPETITION! not a personality competition.
    She won because she’s beautiful not because she so called “bullied someone” and i think everybody knows that.
    If the media didnt highlight that she “bullied” someone then no one would have even thought about it. It happened yonks ago.

    Alamela was probably just trying to make a scene. Shes a very sore loser.

    And what more is Demelza to do for Alamela? Tuck her in bed and tell her happy ending stories so she doesnt hurt her precious feelings?

    and GOOD FOR ALICE, WILL, KELLY…………. and DEMELZA(eventually)

  13. Clem Bastow said

    If the media hadn’t highlighted it, it would still have been apparent to anyone who watched the show.

    And it’s now just a modelling competition – the very nature of it being a television series with a public vote component means that personality is very much a part of it.

    Alamela is far from a sore loser, in fact she conducted herself with nothing less than poise and grace, which is more than you can say for some.

  14. Jackie said

    This is so juvenile even for a 26year old

    I’ll be the bigger person and leave since we obviously can’t agree

    Im going to become a famous model and bully everyone just to piss you off lol jokes but Demelza might lol jokes

    sweet dreams demelza-hater!!!

    deep inside you’re just jealous of Demelza
    pack up and leave as well Clem Bastow
    x

  15. Clem Bastow said

    Oh dear, child, you take your “lol jokes” back to the Demelza fan club from whence you came.

    I cannot begin to describe the extent to which I am not jealous of that snivelling mean girl. The industry’s response to her behaviour speaks loudly enough, anyway – and I don’t think you could accuse Kirstie Clements of being “jealous” deep inside.

  16. Gossip Girl said

    Wow i cant believe how much controversy has derived from a silly little tv show.
    But i would have to agree with Jackie. I think she makes good a point.
    Clem get over it.
    And so should Alamela
    xoxo Gossip Girl

  17. Clem Bastow said

    And so beginneth the tidal wave of those with little better to do than Google ‘Demelza Reveley’…

  18. Clem Bastow said

    By the way ladies, either you are taking turns on the same computer, or you have neglected to note that I can see your IP addresses, which oh-so-coincidentally happen to be identical! Oops!

  19. Jackie said

    STALKER!!!

  20. Gossip Girl said

    Alamela loverrrrrrrr

  21. Clem Bastow said

    Jackie: stalker? No, blog administrator.

    “Gossip Girl” aka Jackie, I didn’t realise we had regressed to Grade 4.

    Now, are you done?

  22. Jackie said

    STALKER!!

  23. Clem Bastow said

    Oh dear, Jackie, welcome to the internet – when you post a comment on here I can see your email address and your IP address. It’s pretty simple, really.

    So, if we’ve concluded this evening’s edition of the pro-bullying pep rally, I’ll leave you to it.

  24. Gossip Girl said

    I just want to let you know that Demelza screwed up, I’m sure you have as well.
    Move on!
    Get over it!
    Its out of your and my control.
    Sure we can have our own opinion on things but what’s any of it really going to prove in this situation?
    Go to bed.
    Night night… oh and i’m Gossip Girl
    xoxo

  25. tina_sparkle said

    yawn. the rogue trolls strike again. you didn’t have any success on the vogue forum so you thought you’d pollute this blog with your obnoxious and vexatious presence for shits and giggles? please, come up with more original ideas.

    BTW jackie & gossip girl, I think you misspelled ‘jealous. ‘isn’t it meant to be “I’m soooooooo JELLUS?”

    go away. I think I hear your kindergarten teacher calling you.

  26. Joanna said

    Clem do you even know this Jackie girl? You are making very harsh judgements about someone you know nothing about. and tina_sparkle you are no better. calling her a kindergartener and patronising her wont solve anything. and what is with the whole ‘jellus’ thing, just because you used to talk like a stupid teen doesnt mean everyone else does.

    Alex is a nasty piece of work and if she had won, there would have been a lot more criticism over the fact that she
    fed lies and fat to the other contestants, to me and many others in my workplace this is dishonest and cheating.

    this has been a pointless arguement over a beautiful young girl with her whole life ahead of her. demelza won that COMPETITION fair and square and frankly you should stop wasting your time ‘blogging’ and get a life.

  27. billyjoebob said

    we haz a WINNAR!

    first use of “get a life”, in addition to quotation marks around blogging, used in an attempt to discredit blogging, whilst simultaneously posting on one oneself, combined with real flair and a “total lack of correct punctuation” degree of difficulty

    congratulations, Joanna.

  28. Chez said

    It is amazing how easily people can be led to believe anything by the media. It is such a powerful tool and is often used in a bullying way. Was this a reality show or an ‘unreality’ show? How much real time did the public get to see? Ask yourself if you have been brainwashed by the hype before you condemn any person featured in any form of public media. Leave the girl alone and let her get back to her lefe without all this extra pressure.

  29. Anna said

    Just because she is 16 does not make it okay.

    Alamela is not attention seeking and should not have to ‘get over it’… she was publicly harrassed and bullied on national television.

    If not for the media coverage Alamela would have recieved no form of retribution. All FOX8 did was give the offenders a slap on the wrist.

    Demelza had a social responsibility the moment she entered that competition because she has been given celebrity status, younger viewers look up to her and whether she likes it or not she is setting an example through her behaviour.

    Before Alamela was elminated (one week after she was subjected to bullying) the judges told her she could try to act more like the “others” sometimes and kicked her off the show.

    Whether you agree with Demelzas behaviour or not her winning the competition sent out an irreversabley destructive message that bullying is ok as long as your pretty.

    All you have to do is look at her myspace page to see the damage she has done. She is so popular among the teenage girls who say things such as “i loved how you were rude to the other girls you so deserved to win”.

    Alex’s actions were not as harmful nor as constant as Demelzas behaviour and Alex actually had the maturity to carry the title of Australias next top model.

  30. Christina said

    Yes, it is a modelling competition, but that is precisely the point. Models, especially those with names and stories well known to the public, SELL products (and Demelza especially is a commercial girl more than anything). But what would you buy of Demelza? An irrigation system? Tissues? Knives?

  31. Face Muncher said

    A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. [Luke 12:15].

    This quote from the bible reminds me of the content of this sacred chatroom. Alex’s ass is full of the abundance of the things which she posseses – a penis.

    xx

  32. Mary said

    A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. [Luke 12:15].

    This quote from the bible reminds me of what is going on here in this sacred chatroom.
    For Alex’s life and ass is full of the abundance of that which she possesses. A penis.

    I do believe that Australia’s Next Top Model is a competition for girls only. So it would not have been correct if Alex had won.

    Demelza is the lord of the dance and shall dance til the sky turns black.

  33. Ninja Turtle said

    I am the lord of the dance said he
    and ill lead you all wherever you may be
    and i’ll lead you all in the dance said he

    i danced on the roof and i fucked him hard
    his dick turned black and the mother fucker sat

    Alex is a fat obese cow
    she should go stcik a needles up her bum
    Demelza is a sexy bumb jacker
    and she should go clean her GOUCHH

  34. Clem Bastow said

    EDITOR’S NOTE: I published the three comments above (all from the same IP address) not because they were particularly constructive, but because I thought you’d enjoy seeing the sort of fan that Demelza attracts. “The Lord of The Dance” indeed.

  35. tina_sparkle said

    wow, I never thought michael flatley would be a contributor!

    I guess we should feel lucky clem that 11 year old boys feel we are worthy of being graced by their presence.

    BTW ninja turtle, I think it’s spelt ‘bum jacker’.

  36. PudgeFudge said

    btw i doubt 11 year old boys would no that song lol

    i am so glad she won. i either wanted her or SAM

    the bitch group was just a phase
    she deeply apologized. im sure you have all made mistakes

    btw i think you should all grow up. you bitch about her behind her back and you don’t even know her.

  37. Joanna said

    yeh tina_sparkle you’d know all about bum jacking wouldnt you

    i agree with pudgefudge

    get over yourselves everyone.

  38. Jackie said

    im baaaaaaaaaaaack
    i just wanted to thank everyone that believed in me and believed in especially Demelza. You all have shown great qualities in communication and well just common sense. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Demelza rocks and deserves and earned every bit of her prize in a mature way.
    She screwed up but that just makes me like her more because it shows that shows that she’s real and not a plastic model.

    Thank you PudgeFudge, Ninja Turtle, Joanna, Mary and Face Muncher for backing me up. Just ask and ill be sure to return the favour.

    Jackie
    #1 Demelza bum jacker

  39. PudgeFudge said

    thank you Joanna and Jackie

    at least some people have common sense

    it take courage for a 16 year old girl to admit that she had done something wrong and too apologize on national tv

    give her some credit

    and for the people who disagree. SUCK IT
    because demelza won and i am pretty sure the most of Australia voted her too win

  40. Jackie said

    i voted
    SUCK IT

  41. Clem Bastow said

    Okay children, have you quite finished your little fun time?

  42. tina_sparkle said

    I don’t know joanna, this is the first I’ve heard about knowing all about bum jacking!! =) please enlighten me!

    my, you’re a pleasant little thing.

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