Delta Goodrem has achieved a lot of amazing things in her life so far. She signed a record deal at the age of 15; landed a role in Neighbours; wrote her own record-breaking debut album, Innocent Eyes; battled cancer, chemotherapy and radiotherapy; launched a website for teenage cancer sufferers; starred in the critically-acclaimed musical, Cats, and landed a well-deserved spot on the judging panel of The Voice Australia.
So when her name started trending on social media this week, we naively assumed that people were talking about all the interesting things that the self-confessed feminist had to say or that she’d sparked a conversation about an act on the show.
Of course, we were sadly mistaken: indeed, the public had taken note of Goodrem’s appearance on The Voice Australia, but they didn’t care about any of the musical career advice she was dishing out.
Nope, instead they were absolutely losing the plot because – newsflash – Goodrem has breasts.
And, even more bizarrely, her breasts weren’t even visible in the episode.
#TheVoiceAu LIVES #3 🔥 #TeamDelta2017 I am so unbelievably proud of you xx 💕 🎼 #GetTheLook 💃👠 💍 Dress - @conilio.official Gold cuffs @christienicolaides Gold and green cuff and ring @cerronejewellers Fine gold rings @thomassabo Earrings @pierrewinterfinejewels Shoes @mode_collective Styled by @fleureganstyle #GlamSquad 💋💄@michael_brennan @nonimakeup @nailsbykelsydney @missbettyrose ❣️ 📸 by @joedadic xx
A post shared by Delta Goodrem (@deltagoodrem) on
The furore kicked off when cameras zoomed in on Goodrem wearing an aubergine halter-neck gown, sparking a wave of absolute panic across the world.
And it wasn’t long before the boob police were taking to their keyboards with trembling, excited fingers, keen to remind everyone that the mere sight of a woman’s bare skin is enough to destroy life as we know it.
One member of the public insisted that he was mentally disturbed (we don’t doubt it), writing: “I can’t stop looking at Delta’s boobs. It’s starting to disturb me on many levels.”
Others insisted that someone, anyone, needed to tell Goodrem to do her shirt up.
And the ridiculousness didn’t stop there:
@ashcraven24 if you want to see a serious wardrobe malfunction, Delta's boobs are millimetres from falling out of her dress on the voice— Georgia Pedersen (@pedersengeorgia) April 29, 2013
Delta really loves getting her boobs out on The Voice huh.— Brodie Kane (@brodiekane) May 18, 2013
And, under the guise of protecting the planet from an onslaught of mammary glands, some bullies even jumped aboard the bandwagon to drop in a few body-shaming comments, too.
Goodrem chose to rise above the senseless chattering and refused to comment on the outfit-shaming – which emboldened one infamous tabloid newspaper to jump aboard the misogynist bandwagon.
“Do your shirt up and put them away,” their headline blared, over a photograph of a serene-looking Goodrem.
It went on to imply that the “meltdown” fans of The Voice were having was completely justifiable by insisting that Goodrem had put on a “VERY busty display in a revealing cut-out gown”. Yes, they really did use capital letters. Yes, they really did think that a woman putting on an outfit was symbolic of her serving up her body as a visual treat for the masses.
Thankfully, there were a few voices of reason hidden amongst the mammary-addled madness.
One, reaching out to Goodrem directly, wrote: “Just want you to know I think you looked absolutely stunning and very classy on Sunday night on The Voice.
“Have a great day.”
And one feminist, after learning that Goodrem had been accused of behaving (and dressing) in an “inappropriate” manner, responded in the best possible way.
“Umm, Delta Goodrem is a woman,” she said. “Sorry to break it to you, but her boobs are always going to be around.”
Frustratingly, though, Goodrem is not the first woman to be attacked by the boob police – and we doubt she’ll be the last.
Earlier this year, Brie Larson – aka Captain Marvel herself – sparked ire amongst viewers of The One Show when she wore a low-cut top. Elsewhere, a famous fashion magazine boldly claimed that “the cleavage is over”, clearly under the assumption that women everywhere can pluck their breasts off and tuck them away under the bed until they’re fashionable again.
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has urged female staffers to “dress like a woman” – an incredibly sexist statement that sparked outcry on Twitter. And, as ever, men continue to go unscathed: remember when everyone tore into David Beckham for stripping down to his underwear? Of course you don’t: everybody thought that it was the perfect way to celebrate the male form.
Even outfit-recycling (a ‘fashion crime’ that so many in the spotlight are repeatedly shamed for by the press) is focused entirely on women. Michelle Obama, just like Kate Middleton, regularly made headlines for wearing her outfits on multiple occasions. Meanwhile her husband, President Barack, wore the same tuxedo for eight years and nobody batted an eyelid.
“They didn't comment that for eight years he wore that same tux,” the frustrated former FLOTUS pointed out, “and the same shoes, too.”
Elsewhere, a male TV presenter wore the same suit every day for a year to see if anybody would notice.
Spoiler: they did not.
While we’ve no doubt that misogynists everywhere would prefer women to don the shapeless, anonymous red robes worn by Elisabeth Moss’ Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale, we stubbornly refuse to bow to their sexist demands.
Instead, just like Goodrem, we will continue to rise above the noise and wear whatever the hell we damn please. They’re our bodies, our boobs and it’s our prerogative - so you’d best get on board with the fact that we will be dressing up however the bloody hell we bloody want to from now on, thank you very much.
Main image: twitter.com/deltagoodrem