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Paulini: Australian Idol’s infamous 2003 ‘fat shaming’ moment goes viral

Australian Idols’ notorious 2003 ‘fat-shaming’ incident has been blamed for causing a generation of women to suffer from body image issues.  

This week, footage of the infamous moment Australian Idol judge Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson told Paulini Curuenavuli to ‘choose more appropriate clothing and shed some pounds’ went viral, prompting a wave of outrage from women on social media.    

Paulini was just 21 years old at the time, and had chosen to perform her song in a show-stopping gold dress that stretched across her curves.      

‘This is why women have body issues’: Australian Idols’ notorious 2003 ‘fat-shaming’ incident has gone viral after Shameless podcast blamed the segment for causing a generation of girls to suffer from self esteem issues. Pictured: Paulini Curuenavuli on Australian Idol in 2003 

Celebrity podcast Shameless posted the footage to Instagram on Tuesday,  captioning the clip: ‘This is why every millennial woman has body image issues now, episode two: that time Australian Idol was actual trash.’ 

The post was soon flooded with comments from angered fans, including outspoken celebrities such as feminist author Clementine Ford.

‘It’s wild how much this was just the norm then,’ Clementine wrote.

Remember this? Footage of the infamous moment Australian Idol judge Ian 'Dicko' Dickson (pictured) told Paulini to 'choose more appropriate clothing and shed some pounds' prompted a wave of outrage on Instagram this week

Remember this? Footage of the infamous moment Australian Idol judge Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson (pictured) told Paulini to ‘choose more appropriate clothing and shed some pounds’ prompted a wave of outrage on Instagram this week 

Backlash: The post was flooded with comments from angered fans, including outspoken celebrities such as feminist author Clementine Ford (pictured)

Backlash: The post was flooded with comments from angered fans, including outspoken celebrities such as feminist author Clementine Ford (pictured)

Disbelief: 'It’s wild how much this was just the norm then,' Clementine wrote

Disbelief: ‘It’s wild how much this was just the norm then,’ Clementine wrote 

‘I mean, it still happens obviously. But it was so blatant then. No wonder we all hated ourselves,’ she added. 

Former Gogglebox star Evie Jones agreed: ‘I hated this moment soooooo much!!!! I thought (and still do) @paulini_curuenavuli looked absolutely stunning in this dress.’ 

She continued: ‘Record labels have so much to answer for. Men would make comments like this constantly to female artists. Hideous and dangerous.’  

Outraged: Former Gogglebox star Evie Jones agreed: 'I hated this moment soooooo much!!!! I thought (and still do) @paulini_curuenavuli looked absolutely stunning in this dress'

Outraged: Former Gogglebox star Evie Jones agreed: ‘I hated this moment soooooo much!!!! I thought (and still do) @paulini_curuenavuli looked absolutely stunning in this dress’ 

Unimpressed: Model Steph Claire Smith meanwhile commented with a simple face-palm emoji

Unimpressed: Model Steph Claire Smith meanwhile commented with a simple face-palm emoji

Take THAT! But it was Paulini herself who had the last laugh, commenting: 'And I’ve made many gold dresses look even better since that night in 2004'

Take THAT! But it was Paulini herself who had the last laugh, commenting: ‘And I’ve made many gold dresses look even better since that night in 2004’ 

Model Steph Claire Smith meanwhile commented with a simple face-palm emoji. 

But it was Paulini  herself who had the last laugh, commenting: ‘And I’ve made many gold dresses look even better since that night in 2004.’ 

Paulini, now 38, told Woman’s Day magazine in 2014 that Dicko’s words affected her tremendously at the time, admitting: ‘[It] really hurt my confidence. I went backstage and started sobbing.’

Rattled: Paulini, now 38, told Woman's Day magazine in 2014 that Dicko's words affected her tremendously at the time, admitting: '[It] really hurt my confidence. I went backstage and started sobbing'

Rattled: Paulini, now 38, told Woman’s Day magazine in 2014 that Dicko’s words affected her tremendously at the time, admitting: ‘[It] really hurt my confidence. I went backstage and started sobbing’

She later told News Corp that Dicko would never have been able to get away with his comments if the segment was filmed in a more recent setting.

‘I think it has changed a lot – there’s no way anyone could do that today. People would just be outraged. There’s no way,’ Paulini said.

‘And anyway, they shouldn’t be able to; these are often young kids standing up there being judged. We have so many problems with young girls who don’t think they’re skinny enough.

‘There’s so much pressure about this mould that you have to fit into – it’s all cr*p,’ she continued.     

Dicko finally expressed his regret in 2017, however, saying on breakfast radio: ‘I was trying to be nice at the time, can you believe, but I’m glad that you’ve gone on to do such great things.’    

'There's no way anyone could do that today': She later told News Corp that Dicko would never have been able to get away with his comments if the segment was filmed in a more recent setting

‘There’s no way anyone could do that today’: She later told News Corp that Dicko would never have been able to get away with his comments if the segment was filmed in a more recent setting

Sorry: Dicko finally expressed his regret in 2017, however, saying on breakfast radio: 'I was trying to be nice at the time, can you believe, but I'm glad that you've gone on to do such great things'

Sorry: Dicko finally expressed his regret in 2017, however, saying on breakfast radio: ‘I was trying to be nice at the time, can you believe, but I’m glad that you’ve gone on to do such great things’


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