This is not a hot take: stop being jealous of Erin Andrews.
I’ve been thinking a lot about jealously lately. In an effort to be more self-aware, I’ve come to realize, to my surprise, that I’m kind of a jealous person. Not particularly in relationships; it’s way pettier than that. Like if a friend of mine gets a really cool new job, or a nice new car, or her apartment is more Pinterest-y than mine, my first instinct isn’t to be happy for her and the things she’s worked hard for. My first instinct is to be jealous. I have to work to be mindful to scale it back and express joy for my friends and the gratefulness for the things that my life has afforded me. That’s the appropriate response and generally just the right thing to do.
With that in mind, I mistakenly read the comment section in one of the news articles reporting that a jury awarded Erin Andrews $55 million in a lawsuit against a stalker who filmed her changing in a hotel room (after the hotel had honored the man’s request to stay in the room right next to her’s-NBD). Of course, a lot of people think that the whole thing was a publicity stunt. There were people claiming that the scandal “saved” Erin Andrews’ career. Others were claiming the hotel shouldn’t be held responsible for allowing a random creep to stay in the room adjacent to Andrews. A lot of commenters compared her to victims of more heinous crimes who go unnoticed and unpaid.
I get it. It’s super easy to be jealous of Erin Andrews. She’s 37 years old and smoking hot. She’s got beautiful blonde hair, her smile will blind you and she has the supermodel figure that so many aspire to have. More importantly, Erin Andrews has a job that a ton of people would kill for-myself included. She gets to travel around and interview high profile athletes and be right in the heart of it when the biggest sports moments go down. On the surface, she’s got it all and then some. To the nation full of haters, this lady is real easy to hate, even before she had $55 million dollars in her name.
The easy way out of this situation is to look and say that Erin Andrews won this settlement because she’s a pretty, wealthy, white woman who can afford good lawyers. These things may be partially true however that blame can be placed on capitalism as well as the good ole American justice system.
It’s also easy to say that the success and attention she’s received because of this scandal far outweighs any potential harm she might have faced. This is where that line of thinking is wrong and incredibly inaccurate. Try placing yourself in her shoes and imagine for a second if someone took photos or videos of you naked without you knowing.
I know, I know, you’re a nobody, no one cares about your naked pictures. So try to imagine, somehow, that you got tagged in those pictures on Facebook before you could take them down. All of your family members, including your grandma who doesn’t know the difference between liking and sharing, see the pictures without any context. All your coworkers see them. Of course, people will be understanding and nice to your face, but now nearly every single person you know has seen your naked body, without your permission. They now, unwittingly, see you in at least a somewhat sexual light, whether you want them to or not. From the standpoint of a woman in a professional setting, I don’t know how I would ever face my bosses and coworkers again, particularly the male ones.
Just from my small window of perspective, something has shifted with Andrews since the videos were released. During her testimony, she said ESPN wouldn’t let her back on the air until she publicly commented on the events. She cut her hair into a bob and often wears it up off her face. Her outfits while she’s on the air sportscasting are extremely conservative, not a collarbone in sight.
Stating that Andrews has benefited from this incident is ignorance on top of simply being jealous. Erin Andrews is smart, entertaining and has a good rapport with the athletes, not to mention being nice to look at – all of these are the ingredients for a very successful sports anchor. It’s highly likely that she would have found success regardless. Stating that Erin Andrews is playing the victim is completely wrong. She IS a victim of stalking and having her very private life made public without her permission. It’s time to stop being jealous and accept Andrews did what she felt was necessary to do. In the process she gave a voice to thousands of women who have been similarly victimized by creeps, women who don’t have the means and the platform she has.
It’s time to stop hating on Erin Andrews because it’s unnecessary, shameful, and really not a good look on anyone.