Footy and the Cleo Bachelor – Beauty or the Beast?

This isn’t really the type of thing I like commenting on and something a bit out of Almanac character, but I felt compelled to write a few words on what could be considered at the very least, gender hypocrisy, among other things.

I have just read an article in Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph by Soraiya Fuda, commenting about GWS player Matt Buntine and his win in the Cleo Bachelor of the year.

Soraiya happens to be the entertainment editor of The Daily in the NRL heartland of Sydney.

Matt Buntine, in case you missed this momentous event, won the hearts of females all around the country, and probably a posse of males as well, by taking out the 2015 Cleo Bachelor of the Year award.

Good on him I say.  He is a “good looking rooster”, has a six pack, plays in an elite sporting competition and from all accounts is a good bloke.

Unfortunately not everybody thought as much, with his win prompting a straight to the point expose from The Daily’s entertainment editor.

“UNSHAVEN, skinny, two-toned blonde hair and deer-in-headlight stare down the camera… ladies, meet your Cleo Bachelor of the Year”, she wrote.

Don’t get me wrong, I can take or leave the GWS Giants, Matt Buntine, the award itself and Cleo magazine but I can’t help wondering what the backlash would have been had a male written these words about a female?

Ms Fuda continued unabated, cutting a swathe through the newly crowned king.

“The appearance standards seems to have dropped after Greater Western Sydney Giants, AFL player Matt Buntine, 22, was handed the prestigious title yesterday”.

Prestigious title? Standards……Um?

Adding to her ramblings, she chose to compare the Cleo Bachelor of the year to the Miss Universe pageant. “With the expectation as high as ever in the Miss Universe Australia stakes, it’s baffling how a loosely similar male-equivalent competition would choose Buntine as its representative”.

In something akin to oranges being compared to apples, I am sure a Cleo popularity contest voted on by the public, isn’t the same as a competition reviewed and adjudicated on by a panel of judges?

Just to be clear, Cleo doesn’t choose the winner, the public does.

She continued her article by highlighting negative social media opinions thus joining the throngs that carelessly cast comments into the atmosphere, oblivious to the impact.

Opinions are opinions , but what would have been the reaction if a male had written such a publicly demeaning article about a female sportsperson?

Surely we can be light-hearted and easy going about something that is supposed to be fun and in actual fact, nothing more than a marketing campaign by the magazine.

I accept that with this article I am giving her article more oxygen but when I was growing up my grandmother used to say to me if you haven’t got anything good to say about somebody then don’t say it. Good advice I think.

About David Griffin

Lover of coffee, sport and human endeavour. A writer and life enthusiast with a shameless admiration for dogged persistent people that get 'stuff' done.


  1. Maybe its a flattering comment for gender parity, men are objectified as much as women in these “beauty” stakes.

  2. A backhanded comment maybe?

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