I stumbled across a review of the UK tour of Thoroughly Modern Mille which played at the New Oxford Theatre last week and was surprised at some of the comments made by reviewer of the Henley Standard, Mike Rowbottom, about actress Hayley Tamaddon.
“Topping the talent list as both star and performer is the Coronation Street actress Hayley Tamaddon. She dances and especially acts and sings with an intensity to leave us breathless.
She’s not especially sexy, nor beautiful, but the 41-year old has an immense appeal which makes what could easily be a cold-hearted musical warm up.”
Whilst his comments were positive about her performance, I found his reference to her being “not especially sexy, nor beautiful” a little… well odd. Why on earth would someone choose to write that about someone when reviewing their performance in a Musical?
I spoke to Hayley about this review to see what her thoughts were on the comments made and she said:
“It was a wonderful review. Glorious in fact. Until it got to the bit where he commented on my appearance. saying I am neither “sexy” or “beautiful”. Was it necessary to mention that? Are those two words important when watching an actress or actor? “millie” my character – is not meant to be sexy.. she’s quirky, like me.
Now, where as I have a thick skin.. it did still hurt to read it. But if this was a younger actress, or actor, those words might have a detrimental affect on them. I’m sure the reviewer didn’t mean it in a harmful way, and I truly am grateful for his kind words about my performance.
Say all you like about a show… and someone’s performance.. but someone’s looks? Acting and singing live on stage every night is already a vulnerable place to be. I would hate for young girls to read it and think that to be something in this world, they have to be either sexy or beautiful.
You don’t. You just have to be YOU. And.. Imperfections are a good thing. Imperfections are beautiful. And I celebrate mine.”
Isn’t it time that we stop shaming people by commenting on their appearance when it has nothing to do with what is being written? What kind of message is this sending to younger people about having to look a certain way. Surely this kind of thing shouldn’t still be happening in 2018?
What do you think? Let me know on social media!