This isn’t a post about Lara Bingle. Or Michael Clarke or Brendan Fevola or even Max Markson. Take a step back for a moment. Yes, Bingle is now Single and everyone is selling stories and it’s only going to get uglier. I know there will be people who will comment on this post (I can hear them limbering up their fingers to hit the keyboard about….NOW) “I’m sick of hearing about this story, who cares about Lara Bingle and WAGS and blah blah and also blah…”
The thing is this. It’s not the media who are making this a big story. Trust me. The media (myself included) are reactive beasts, oh yes we are. There’s no point banging on with a story nobody cares about. There’s certainly no point in paying $200K (and yes, that’s how much Woman’s Day DID pay Lara) if you don’t think you can convert it into more $$$ via sales of your magazine.
I’ve seen the online numbers. This story has been the most clicked-on story on every news site in Australia FOR MORE THAN A WEEK. I’m not just talking tabloids, even The Australian. I haven’t posted on Lara for about 10 days and it’s STILL the #1 clicked-on story on Mamamia.
If you were out on the weekend, I bet the subject came up. It did at the birthday arvo tea I attended on Saturday and the dinner party I went to on Saturday night.
The weekend papers and TV news shows were full of it. I think we’ve moved a bit past the specifics of Lara and cricket dude now. I know I have. But like any celebrity news story, it’s raised some other issues and exposed some fascinating, surprising and ugly social attitudes. Like the one about the role of WAGS.
And THIS is interesting. Up until a few years ago, WAGS didn’t exist. Well, they did of course. Sports stars have always had Wives And Girlfriends (and mistresses and groupies). But they never had a catchy name and nobody really knew who they were. I know you’re not going to fall off your chair when I say that there is clearly a deeply entrenched sexism evident in sporting culture.