Popular blogger Constance Hall has confirmed she will appear on Dancing With The Stars in an emotional video highlighting her reasons for accepting Network Ten’s offer.
“Just be f*cking kind”
The mum of seven will appear alongside a bunch of famous types when the competitive dancing show premieres on February 18.
The many kiddo-ed Constance is married to Denim Cooke and is mum to Rumi, Snow, Arlo Love, Billie-Violet and Raja and step-mum to Sunny and Zeyke.
In a video shared to her Facebook page she told viewers that after initial misgivings, she decided to move forward with the twinkle-toed opportunity because a) she wanted to continue supporting and raising awareness for the charity Rafiki Mwema and b) she wanted to open up some broader discussion about bullying and abuse.
Con went on to discuss the terrible toll bullying takes on the community, highlighting the ever-growing culture of unkindness and the impact constant bullying has had on her.
She shared some statistics about the deaths of young people due to bullying, making it clear that she was going to dance for everyone who – like her – had been on the receiving end of death threats, dehumanising commentary and relentless trolling.
“Just be f*cking kind,” she pleaded at the end of the emotional video.
Read more about Constance Hall:
- Constance Hall compares herself to Duchess Kate – and honestly, same-same!
- Baby makes 7: Constance Hall and Denim Cooke welcome their first child together
- “I’ve never been this happy in my life” Constance Hall’s wedding
Happiness as a radical act
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I admire Constance so much. After some bumps in the road, she’s built a life that nourishes her – in the face of unrelenting criticism – worked hard on self-acceptance and freaking tirelessly encouraged other women to prioritise the happiness they deserve.
She has left relationships that made her unhappy and fallen in love with someone who loves her back.
This is still a radical act in many parts, with oppressive types who simply can’t accept vocal women or relationships that look different to their own determined to silence, shame or vilify her.
No matter that these trolling types may themselves still be learning on their feet, extracting themselves from unhappy relationships or gotten a bit sweary from time to time. Nu-uh. Do these things in the public eye in a flower crown and bare feet with a heart full of big dreams and you’re apparently fair game and must be cut down. This is a nasty ‘sport’ and it smacks of elitism as well as sexism.
Of course, Constance is not the only clever and passionate woman – and mum – who has been the target of these sorts of attacks.
British singer Lily Allen has had to deal with over a decade of similar abuse online and in the press – partly because she’s keen to talk openly about big issues and partly because the way she co-parents her two girls is perceived as unconventional. Lily talked about this at length in her memoir, My Thoughts Exactly.
Australian writer Clementine Ford – the mum of a sweet toddler boy – has been a target since she first started calling out ingrained sexism and the status of women and girls. She’s detailed a lot of this abuse on her social media channels, in an effort to spark some accountability and discourage the flow of hate.
These examples are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to outspoken women being maliciously targeted like this. There are plenty more. #ShoutOutToYumiStynes
The 2019 cast of Dancing With the Stars, from left: James Rees, Cassandra Thorburn, Constance Hall, Miguel Maestre, Olympia Valance, Sir Curtly Ambrose, Michelle Bridges, Denise Scott, Samuel Johnson, Courtney Act and Jett Kenny. CREDIT: NETWORK 10
While the perception is that high-profile types get used to the barrage of criticism, it’s simply not the case. In Constance’s video she details how deeply affected she is by the campaign of abuse against her.
What are people even THINKING as they blithely join the chorus of hate against her?
Perhaps looking at Constance grabbing onto the life she wants with both hands shakes up some deep feelings about their own bumpy life?
Perhaps they’re falling prey to a sort of contagion? Joining a hateful pack and excusing their own terrible behaviour because “everyone else is doing it”, and their threshold for critical thinking and compassion has withered away.
Perhaps they’re just assholes? It’s hard to know.
Roll on DWTS!
What I do know is that I’m really excited to see someone who is constantly under siege – someone who is obviously equal parts sensitivity and strength – being brave enough to put themselves out there for the greater good.
Because honestly, it would be so much easier to retreat.
Con’s campaign to a) fight back against the normalisation of bullying and b) learn to do the Pasa Doble in a sparkly frock deserves applause not abuse.
It’s enough already. Just stop that sh*t. When we treat women like this, we let every human down. Including ourselves.
Now roll on DWTS! Can. Not. Freaking. Wait!