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Debbie Harry’s fans really aren’t here for that sexist headline

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Lauren Geall
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Debbie Harry

In a review of Debbie Harry’s upcoming memoir Face It, a writer for The Washington Post described the book as proof that the icon is “more than just a pretty blonde in tight pants”. As expected, the internet had some strong opinions. 

Debbie Harry (aka one of the coolest women in the world) is finally releasing her hotly anticipated memoir Face It, and it’s a massive understatement to say we’re excited.

From her time in the underground punk scene of the 1970s to becoming the front woman of Blondie and helping to change the image of women in bands, the singer and all-around icon has a lot of material to cover. And that’s not forgetting her escape from the hands of serial killer Ted Bundy as a teenager, when the unsuspecting Harry accepted a lift from the infamous criminal.

So, when out of all that material one reviewer (who received an early copy of the autobiography, no less) decided to label the memoir as proof that Debbie Harry is “more than just a pretty blonde in tight pants”, the internet rightly went into uproar. 

The Washington Post review, which has since had its headline changed, quickly attracted the wrath of the internet, for pretty obvious reasons.  

“She never was ‘just a pretty blonde in tight pants’. What is this sexist junk?” read one response. 

“STOP IT,” started another. “Seriously?!? Do you write this crap about men? Rhetorical question because we know the answer.”

While the obvious problem with the headline is the fact that a male celebrity would never be described or stereotyped because of their hair colour or fashion choices, there’s also the issue that Debbie Harry was never “just a pretty blonde in tight pants”.

“Not a single person thought that’s all she was. Nobody,” replied one Twitter user.

“She wrote some of the smartest songs of the past 50 years and influenced most people in popular music,” added another. “You seem unaware of this.”

As we’ve already established, there is so much more to Harry than her fashion choices and hair colour, so the choice to lead with such a headline is nothing but a misogynistic insult. Whether the reviewer truly thought of Harry as “just a pretty blonde in tight pants” for the past 50 years of her career, or they were looking for a punchy headline, it’s clear that language like this is just not acceptable in 2019.

In response to the internet’s reaction, The Washington Post has since withdrawn the headline.

“We got this one wrong and we appreciate the feedback,” the short statement reads. 

Debbie Harry
Debbie Harry being iconic.

With all of this going on, however, there’s at least one reason why we can all rest a little easier. In interviews conducted when she announced the release of her memoir, Harry was clear that she didn’t care whether she received negative or positive comments as a result of it.

“I’m prepared for the best and the worst comments, much like when I have released an album or done a big show,” she said. “I don’t have a thick skin, but I do have a pretty good sense of humour.”

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Lauren Geall

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