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Kellie from Hi-5 did a photo shoot with Ralph magazine and family groups are in an uproar. That’s the essence of the news headlines sensationalised on Today Tonight and A Current Affair this evening. Kellie says she’s trying to change her image. The Women’s Forum Australia say it’s a bad example to little girls who look up to Kellie. I don’t condone porn, soft or otherwise, but I have to wonder what all the fuss is about.

Firstly, surely there are two completely different audiences being targeted. After all, you could make the argument that the little girls who love Hi-5 should never be in a position to even clap eyes on a Ralph magazine. Hopefully their fathers don’t leave them lying around the house in conspicuous places. So in one way, it shouldn’t matter what else Kellie is doing, because the little girls won’t know about it. I think that may work to a certain degree, but there’s an ethical issue at stake as well.

If, by some chance, a little girl does manage to see Kellie on the cover of Ralph, the argument is that this sends her the wrong message – that this soft porn image is something to aspire to, that her body needs to be equally objectified in order for her to be attractive, that sexy is good, even at such a young age. It’s a travesty that any young girl would be fed such a message. But jumping on Kellie is merely scapegoating.

This is an issue with our over-sexualised society at large. The information about what they should look like is fed to little girls (and older ones) by any woman who is objectified in media, whether she be a former member of Hi-5 or not. So until we’re willing ditch our hypocrisy and protect our children by fighting porn in all its forms,  I think it’s time to give Kellie a break and start looking a little bit closer to home.

Categories: Woman Written by Tamie

Tamie Davis

Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.

5 replies

  1. It’s kind of a variation on footballers behaving badly isn’t it?

    The issue seems to be whether celebrities ought to be held to a higher ethical ‘standard’ than regular joes/janes because of the ‘example’ they set.

    what do you reckon?

    i also think this is an interesting one since there is very little that groups like WFA can do except complain. In other instances they have encouraged boycots of products and services but since she is now ex-hi 5 no one stands to loose a buck from a consumer backlash.

  2. Interesting post Tamie, let me throw these comments out there:

    I think if your in a public role then you should expect great scrutiny and whatever common standards there are in society should be rigorously applied to you. (This is a common sense approach to the use of power, that should apply to Christians and non-Christians equally.)

    However, should Christians make judgements on the morality of non-Christians? We can make observations because we live in the world, but until someone becomes a Christian they shouldn’t be judged by Christan morality.

  3. Interesting question: in response to Luke’s comments, I wonder if the difference between this and other public figures is the fact that Kellie is generally seen as a children’s icon. Hence there is a public interest in ‘protecting our kids’, which goes beyond a private application of morality(?)

  4. Hi Sam,

    “Protecting our kids” is a shared public value so it would make sense to apply that standard to Kellie.

    Thinking more about this judging non-Christians thing. For example: I’m not convinced Christians should campaign against same-sex marriage. If they are not Christians why apply our morality to this issue? (Of course I’m a fan of applying Christian standards of morality to other Christians.)

  5. Hi Luke,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I would take the view that, in general, we should not expect a non-christian to adopt a christian moral code, after all, they have little reason to. Immorality will still be justly condemned, it’s just that living a life pleasing to God is an all-encompassing thing, and someone who rejects the premise need not follow through on the application.

    That being said, I think we can make certain moral stands, for example for 1) the good order and functioning of society, 2) the protection of those who are unable to decide/speak for themselves.

    The first of these boils down to a utilitarian type argument — it means, for example, that I have no problem with legislating against murder, theft, drugs, etc…

    The second runs the risk of paternalism, but I think is where I would see this issue (Kellie in Ralph).

    When it comes to same-sex marriage, there is a slight further complication that I can see. The problem is not with same sex marriage per se, I think that is appropriate given our culture. The issue is where we are not only told what we can and can’t do, but what we can and can’t think is immoral. Particularly when it involves teaching children these things, as a general issue, I think that is quite dangerous. (I wonder how it would go here if teachers started promoting polygamy as a valid choice…)

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