Rita Ora's Cleavage Forces BBC to Apologize to Viewers, Because We're Still In the 1800’s
I would have chalked this one up to cultural differences, but I've watched Misfits and thus know that British television has a level of comfort with nudity that American primetime television is actually behind on. While we have to wait around for Game of Thrones Season 5 if we want to see gratuitous nudity on our TV screens, British shows like Misfits, Skins, Merlin and the like seem really comfortable with bare butts and that sort of thing. Which is why it's bizarre and a little offensive that BBC had to apologize for Rita Ora's boobs after Ora appeared on The One Show on Tuesday. If you think it's because Ora had a nip slip or something scandalous like that, think again. She was just showing too much cleavage for 7 p.m.
According to E! Online, BBC received nearly 400 complaints about the fact that the singer was wearing a low-cut blouse that gave the viewing audience too good of a look at her cleavage. A statement was issued on The One Show's website that reads, "We're sorry to those of you who were offended by Rita's choice of outfit on The One Show on 5 January. If we had been consulted on it we would have requested she wore something more suitable for 7pm."
Okay, maybe I should just chalk this one up to cultural differences. As an American, I'm used to the Kim Kardashians and the Rihannas and the Beyoncés — women who not only make such low-cut blouses as the one Ora was wearing seem normal, but also rock them with such passion and grace that I am genuinely envious of their body confidence. However, it doesn't sit well with me that anyone — audience or network — should feel that they are justified in policing the fashion choices of any young woman. This is The One Show, not an episode of Sesame Street. Ora being British herself knows the difference. She would have dressed appropriately for the latter, but, considering no one saw anything wrong with her outfit for the former until the complaints started rolling in, then I assume it's not a wholesome, kid-friendly program.
It's 2015 and a TV station had to make an apology for how their female guest was dressed? Not because of a nip slip, not because one of her breasts popped out entirely, but because she was showing cleavage? It blows my mind that something like that should still be an issue, that women should still have their own agency reduced to such a point that when they dress in perfectly tasteful outfits that happen to exude some sexuality they can receive over 400 complaints and an apology issued on their behalf: "Sorry about the boobs, guys. Had we known she had them, we would have told her to wear a habit."
But I'm not blaming BBC. I'm not even blaming the audience that sent in over 400 complaints. I'm blaming the fact that we still live in a society in which women can be slut shamed and criticized for owning their sexuality, at any time of day, when there are no such standards in place for men. I'm blaming the fact that Ora can be objectified on a regular basis, but when she makes the choice to show off her sexuality herself then she gets complaints, criticisms, and shamed. I'm blaming the fact that a woman doesn't even need to have a scandalous accident that bares more than she had intended in order to find herself in this kind of hot water. And I'm blaming the fact that this scandal overshadows everything else that Ora went on The One Show to talk about.
All Ora did was wear a suit that otherwise covered every inch of her but her cleavage. I can't imagine how many complaints she would have gotten had she been baring her legs at 7 p.m. as well.