‘I’m a female weather presenter, not a sex object!’ BBC forecaster slams how women are treated in the profession after pictures of her body were posted to an online fan club
A BBC weather presenter has slammed the ‘weather girl’ stereotype after her bottom was given its own online fan club.
Sam Fraser, who has worked as a stand-in presenter for BBC South Today since 2012, said she was initially flattered by the attention but it quickly became tiresome.
‘I had no idea that, within a fortnight of my first appearance, my bottom would have an online fan club and I’d feature on a social media channel entitled Babes of Britain,’ she told Radio Times.
‘At first, I’ll admit, I was flattered…but a little dive into the discussions about me – my chubby arms, muscular calves and other anatomical observations – soon put paid to that.’
Ms Fraser said she was shocked by how ‘fetishised’ the idea of the ‘weather girl’ had become when she looked the term up online.
Sam Fraser said she was initially flattered by comments about her appearance but they quickly became tiresome
Ms Fraser has worked as a stand-in presenter for BBC South Today since 2012. She is also a stand-up comedian
‘It took me to parts of the internet I hadn’t known existed. It opened my eyes to a world of casual sexism and misogyny that is the continuing legacy of the term,’ she said.
‘The ”weather girl” as an object of desire is a tenacious and dangerous stereotype. As long as the term is in use, it contributes to a culture of permission to demean, humiliate and objectify.’
READ MORE – Why is the BBC splashing out your licence fee on 22 weather forecasters when the segments last just two minutes?
The BBC presenter is also a comedian and explored the phrase in 2018 Edinburgh Fringe show, Stand Up, Weather Girl!
She’s now investigating it further a in new Radio 4 documentary, Scorchio! The Story of the Weather Girl.
Ms Fraser said weather presenters were much more than mere ‘dolly filler’, with many being qualified meteorologists who had worked with the likes of the Met Office, the RAF and Nasa.
‘At its heart, the role is one about communication. The best meteorologist won’t automatically be the best communicator,’ she said.
‘Presenting the weather is about telling a good story.
‘Most viewers aren’t aware that we ad-lib without Autocue, while also taking direction in our earpiece, ready to fill an extra thirty seconds. It’s a job which requires high-level brain functioning.’
Her new radio documentary will explore the treatment of weather presenters in the press, including Sarah Keith-Lucas, Laura Tobin and Carol Kirkwood.
The presenter is investigating it further a in new Radio 4 documentary, Scorchio! The Story of the Weather Girl
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