Apart from Karl Stefanovic’s hangover and Kylie’s lip-synch performance, there’s one thing everyone’s talking about from last night’s Logies: the acceptance speech made by 24-year-old Home & Away actress Bonnie Sveen.
It certainly wasn’t your usual “Most Popular New Talent ” acceptance speech. For a start, she thanked the traditional land owners of the Melbourne area where the Logies are held – a simple, significant gesture. She was eloquent, gracious, and enormously likeable.
But what really caught our attention was how she wrapped it up. After thanking her cast, crew, parents, etc, Bonnie finished with this: “I think it says something really progressive about Australia and about the commercial industry that viewers have so warmly embraced such a natural and healthy, young woman on their screens. Go Tassie!”
You can watch it here:
Did you catch the interesting bit? “Natural and healthy”. Usually, when we speak about ‘healthy’ women in the entertainment industry, it’s a euphemism for ‘larger’ or ‘plus-size’. It’s a word that gets used a lot to describe Samantha Armytage.
It’s a nice way of saying that a person hasn’t become skinny due to industry or societal pressure. When women choose that adjective for themselves, it implies a self-conscious knowledge that they’re not the norm.
In this case, it seems Bonnie was thanking casting agents for taking a chance on her and Australian viewers for loving her, which is lovely and slightly disturbing at the same time.
The fact that it would be a surprise or a risk to cast or embrace a woman who looks like Bonnie is jarring, no?
Because by making a point of mentioning it, it suggests that Bonnie knows she is not the industry standard.
By thanking fans for accepting her as she is, she implies we’ve had to work really hard to get past her hideously normal frame. Like it’s been a challenge to think of her as beautiful when actually she looks every bit as stunning as everyone else on that red carpet.
It’s proof that this 24-year-old woman has been negatively affected by an industry that demands its female stars take up as little space in the world as possible. Because if Bonnie’s plus-size? What does that make the rest of us?
If you missed all the gowns from the Logies, they’re all here: