You may or may not know this, but I recently appeared on an Afrikaans dating TV game show* called Die Kliek on DSTV’s Via channel. It’s something I haven’t promoted much for two reasons. The first is that it was filmed during a week where I felt like a gross, puffy whale due to an intense course of hormones to blitz a medical issue that’s since resolved. The second is that it turned out to be about as fun and interesting as watching paint dry.
Still, there was one particular snippet that got me going – the bit where they completely assassinated my character in all of 2,5 seconds.
Upon being asked what I was like on a date I responded with something along the lines of ‘oh, I’m horrible, I kind of just sit there and do nothing ‘cos I’m just too pretty to try’. I immediately followed this up with a burst of laughter and stuck out my tongue because OBVIOUSLY I was joking. We did a lot of that in the interview room. They’d ask things like ‘what do you look for in a boy?’ and I’d say obnoxious stuff like ‘He has to be rich and hot and have a massive knob!’ Things dear old conservative Die Kliek would never put on TV, which is perfectly fine as we were kidding around.
Or so I thought.
When the show aired, the producers thought nothing of running my ‘too pretty to make an effort’ line but lopped off the bit where I make it one hundred and ten percent clear I’m totally joking. They thought nothing of purposefully making me look like a total doos in a way that spices up their show at the expense of my character.
Now, I just look like a horrid, stuck up bitch (I know, because viewers are referencing that comment and saying as much on the channel’s Facebook page) when every person in that room as well as the person who edited that footage knows the true context.
Maybe someone that side is reading this and making some justification along the lines of ‘oh well, she said it, she’s got to own it’ but I’m sorry, that’s just bull shit. I take ownership for every single thing that came out of my mouth on that show but you can’t serve up a warped version of a statement out of context that makes me look like kak and expect me to swallow it.
My parents are very much ‘don’t play to the haters’ and ‘rise above it and move on’ type of people and will probably wince when they read this post. They feel that to acknowledge something gives it more power and, while I understand that concept well, there’s an anger and sense of betrayal that’s been simmering inside of me and it’s finally bubbled up to the point where I realised I actually can’t bite my tongue any more. How Die Kliek’s editor chose to present that particular moment was, to put it simply, a dick move.
After my time was up on that bloody couch, one of the show’s producers wished me well and gave me a compliment in saying that she appreciated that I was ‘true to myself’ from the beginning. Such an irony considering that the show – by chopping off a vitally important context-changing aspect of my statement – couldn’t present me as such.
I’m aware I’m ‘lucky’ that not many people watch the show and that anyone who’s important to me knows I got thrown under a bus it still doesn’t make what they did okay. I’ve tried to suck it up and shake it off but, actually, it’s just not cool and I’m mad as hell. I know all about being a ‘bigger person’ when it comes to things like this but I also can’t allow myself to be a punching bag that doesn’t stand up for herself. So, this is me not letting this one slide. To hell with you, Die Kliek editor. I might be ‘too pretty to make an effort’, but you’re an irresponsible, thoughtless human who’s caused me embarrassment, anxiety and hurt.
*I know, I know. Random, right? But a friend of mine who works on the show approached me to do it (hi Kristin! And no, I don’t blame you for this) and it was a paid gig that looked like it might’ve been fun.
Update: Since this post went live I’ve seen that Via has removed a post on it’s Facebook page that featured a picture of me and my ‘date’ and asked people what they thought of us. This particular post really stung as it included a host of people throwing rocks at me for being a vain, high maintenance, issue-riddled cow who then felt entitled to attack my appearance. Apparently I’m ‘no oil painting’. While I’m glad this reached someone who realised stemming something so mean and ugly was probably a good idea I’m not going to hold my breath for a re-edit, an apology or flowers.