Abbie Chatfield has been able to enjoy the perks of a luxury that millions of Australians have been deprived of during lockdown: a haircut and colour.
Earlier in September, The Bachelor star shared a video to her Instagram showing off her new look. While usually something like this would rarely cause an uproar, it didn’t take long for her fans to notice her freshly dyed and cut locks since Abbie had complained previously about the “two inches of regrowth.”
The 25-year-old has been extremely vocal about telling her followers to abide by lockdown and urging Australian’s to get vaccinated, so understandably, her followers were quick to point out the hypocrisy of the situation.
One wrote: “How’d you get your hair dyed in lockdown?, while another said: “Who is your secret colourist? Sure a lot of Sydney Siders would love to get their roots done too.”
The reality star was quick to defend her new ‘do, explaining that it was done legally as a requirement for upcoming work.
“I am not running the country, but okay? Every person on TV has had their hair done, no one has requested it. I know it sucks not having access to normal things like hair, and it’s bizarre that certain rules exist for certain environments but not for others. That’s why I didn’t post about it when I got it done. I didn’t want to rub it in anyone’s face,” she responded.
“Media is still being produced, there are endless exemptions for travel, producers, camera/sound people, hair and makeup, catering, etc etc [sic] that you don’t see because it doesn’t have a permanent effect like getting your hair done does.
“All of these exemptions exist after MULTIPLE COVID tests the day of your exemption and the days before. We check in [sic], we distance, we wear masks,” she continued. “This is literally a requirement of my job. I am an employee for a large media company. I don’t know how else to explain that to you.”
Another follower then chimed in, saying: “I call double standard bull. TV or no TV, it’s bullshit IMO if you can’t see the issue there, I’m sorry.”
“Because it isn’t hypocritical. I’ve said to follow the rules. I’ve followed the rules,” Abbie responded.
One fan then pointed out that Abbie sounded a “bit Scmo-ish,” in reference to Prime Minister Scott Morrison who has made exemptions for himself on a number of occasions, ones that are currently not afforded to other Aussies.
As for Abbie, the backlash continued with hundreds of comments criticising her decision to dye her hair flooding in and even questioning her beliefs.
“I believe what many people have an issue with is that most people on TV would not normally call out this kind of anti-feminist requirement,” one fan said.
“I don’t know if you ever talked about this. But if you are the kind of person (which I assume you would be, like me and most women) who had a problem with Virgin requiring female flight attendants to wear makeup and skirts prior to them changing the rule in 2019, then you should have a problem with this hair dye requirement. Lockdown is just the second element to the issue really.”
“I feel sorry for all the hairdressers who can’t work currently. I can imagine most would agree to strict requirements like double-vaxxed, covid tests for all hairdressers and clients, room requirements etc. But they’re all out of work, except for the few, cherry-picked to work for the TV networks. If it was so safe for her to get her hair done, then why can’t that be replicated for everyone else to use?” they said.
“This is someone who made a name for themselves on the most anti-feminist TV show on air and is now trying to lecture others on feminism. Is her hypocrisy really that surprising?” another wrote.
One follower back up this sentiment and wrote: “I agree. 100% it’s rubbish. This is all discrimination.”
More recently, Abbie was announced as the Love Island Afterparty host on Channel 9, which presumably is the work she is referring to.
Taking to Instagram, she wrote: “Absolutely BUZZIN to be hosting the brand spanking new @loveislandau Afterparty this year! I can’t wait to get all of the exclusive content, gossip and interviews straight from the Villa, as well as chat to some opinionated panellists about all the dramas for the week.”
“Also, I’m going to obviously try and bring a little bit of balance if we have a villain, we can speak about why they’re doing the things they do and whether we should be off them,” she added on her Instagram story.
“At the end of the day, we’re all a villain in someone’s story you know? Can’t wait.”
Fans also pointed out that Abbie’s behaviour not only seemed to go against her “feminist” views, but also suggested she should have declined the opportunity to “stand in solidarity” with the rest of Australians.
“Question: why wouldn’t you say no to getting hair done as a stand in solidarity for all other Australians doing the right thing but unable to reap benefits of exclusions that ‘celebrities’ seem to be given,” they asked. “Isn’t your voice and what you want people to hear, not whether your hair looks good?
“The lack of solidarity with the general public after going so hard, in the best way, about lockdown laws is really disappointing.”
Another agreed, saying: “I think hair is super trivial to take up the offer when you have the privilege of saying ‘no’ as a person in the spotlight is important. Just a thought, that roots are a cooler image to rock and stand in solidarity with the majority of people then getting hair done for media stuff.”
Abbie replied to this question, saying: “You’re saying the only job you can think of is modelling, but I’m TELLING you that this job I have coming up requires it and you’re choosing to not believe me.
“I don’t know if you think I got it done illegally, but if you don’t think that, then your issue is with the government restrictions, not with me. I’m lucky to have had it done, but if it wasn’t a requirement for my job I wouldn’t think twice about my hair,” Abbie defeneded.
The person clapped back: “You have been advocating we should have been locked down harder early. Yet you advocate an exemption to get a touch up is OK?
Abbie responded, saying: “Again, have a look at literally anyone on TV. Are you commenting the same things on their posts? They’ve had their har cut-coloured, and have been in hair and makeup for at least an hour before being on screen.
“It is a requirement, but it’s in a Covid safe environment. If you want to unfollow me that’s totally fine! As I’ve said above, I understand it’s frustrating seeing a different set of rules for different people but I didn’t break any rules here.”
I personally wasn’t actually aware that reality or TV stars did have exemptions for beauty treatments because I have previously heard Carrie Bickmore complaining about her regrowth on The Project, and Lisa Wilkinson complaining about her chipped nails. However, a little look into this and it seems Sydney and Melbourne’s stars are able to continue getting their hair done for work appearances under the current health order, despite hairdressers being closed for months to the general public aka us plebs.
According to the public health order, the same rules don’t apply to celebrity newsreaders and presenters, who have been able to enjoy the perks of professional hair and makeup artists whilst millions of Australians go without.
“Media and journalism have an exemption under the current public health order, therefore due to the nature of productions, hair and makeup personnel are authorised workers,” it states.
I work in journalism. Does that mean I can go get my hair done too?
I mean, even if you are allowed, it’s probably not a good look to get your hair dyed during lockdown, especially when you have been so vocal about pushing COVID-safety and have even said you think lockdown restrictions should have been harder.
Harder for everyone else, just not for her and other celebrities?
Anyway, seems like there is a small loophole and Abbie is taking full advantage of it!
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