The pop-culture magazine Vanity Fair has caused outrage with a bizarre story about actress Margot Robbie that managed to insult most of Australia.
The article, written by Rich Cohen, hideously stereotypes Australia describing it as ‘America 50 years ago.
Worse than that it goes on to say its people are ‘throwbacks’ and that Robbie comes from a place where ‘a dingo really will eat your baby’, The Guardian reports.
I’m not sure if Cohen intended to be ridiculously insulting but I’m offended just reading this and I’m not even Australian. Amazingly though he somehow manages to get even more inadvertently rude.
In the toe-curlingly awkward piece Cohen writes:
[Australia is] sunny and slow, a throwback, which is why you go there for throwback people. They still live and die with the plot turns of soap operas in Melbourne and Perth, still dwell in a single mass market in Adelaide and Sydney.
In the morning, they watch Australia’s Today show. In other words, it’s just like America, only different. When everyone here is awake, everyone there is asleep, which makes it a perfect perch from which to study our customs, habits, accents.
I’m not sure if Cohen’s aware that Australia is a different fucking country from the U.S. and not some amusement park for him to belittle, but things get even worse when he begins to describe Margot Robbie.
He obsesses over the 26-year-old’s looks, describing her as looking like Audrey Hepburn and as ‘having a lost kind of purity’ who grew up in the ‘hinterland of the hinterland’ where ‘kangaroos and a dingo really [would] eat your baby’.
For the record Margot Robbie grew up in Gold Coast, Australia’s sixth largest city, so I have no idea what he’s talking about but we should probably just be thankful he’s not mentioned didgeridoos or drop-bears yet.
His description of Robbie is where he goes full fanboy though, writing prose so purple it could be mistaken for a particularity ripe plumb.
She is 26 and beautiful, not in that otherworldly, catwalk way but in a minor knock-around key, a blue mood, a slow dance,” he writes. “She is blonde but dark at the roots. She is tall but only with the help of certain shoes.
She can be sexy and composed even while naked but only in character. As I said, she is from Australia. To understand her, you should think about what that means.Advertisement
Words fail to describe how ridiculous Cohen’s article really is and his obvious fawning comes across as condescending nonsense, especially as Robbie has previously said she’s not comfortable as a sex symbol.
Unsurprisingly Australians and a number of others around the world have criticised the piece, posting it to social media and mocking Cohen on Twitter.