A body for radio

A story of regret by Kim Napier

Hawaii. 1998. I was on holiday sipping a Mai Tai at the bar listening to a conversation, or more a broadcast from an American man in his late 60’s, bald and with more than the beginnings of a paunch.
He was reminiscing about his last trip to Waikiki, and I quote, “Boy! You should have seen me; I was a knockout…I had hair n’stuff.”
I wasn’t sure what the “‘n stuff” was but I remember thinking at the time “tone it down a bit mate”.
However, I thought of that man the other day when I was asked to write a small piece on Maxim Magazine’s Hottest 100.
The list includes “an abundance of fine femmes who have wowed us with their aptitude, intellect, sexiness, humour, coolness, physical attributes, and overall mega-talents, for you to feast your eyes on”, including Wave FM’s Mel Grieg, 2DayFM’s Sam Frost, KIIS 1065’s Jackie O.
I know everyone says love yourself from the inside and it doesn’t matter what the outside is like.
In fact, Mel Grieg gave me that advice when we were discussing those that denounce such lists as objectifying women.
But just like the American man in Waikiki, as I looked at these hotties in the list, (more the Top 10 than those rounding out the 100 – yep I am being totally shallow) I started mourning the body I once had and began disliking the one I am morphing into as someone on the other side of 45 and in the media.
“I’m feeling ya, “said Mel, although a lot younger than me. “I’m up and down like a yoyo but your body does not define you as a person. The difference you make in life does and the way you feel on the inside, nothing is sexier than knowing who you are and what you stand for.”
This is when I start to sound like the guy at the bar in Waikiki.
When I was 27 (and didn’t have hair n’stuff – girls you know what I mean) I was asked to pose for a similar countdown.
Zoo Magazine Hottie of the Year Award, in the radio category, it was even reported by radioinfo.
Everyone told me not to, “it’s degrading, you’ll regret it, you’re married…”
I must have been a lot weaker in those days as I agreed with the naysayers and let my state down at the same time as when the finalists were announced there wasn’t one Tasmanian representative.
Now as a 49-year-old, I regret the fact I didn’t do it! Even if I was the token Tassie entry.
To have a professional pictorial reminder of yourself at what I call the height of your physical powers, let’s face it there is beauty in youth, would have been awesome to reflect on, like a time-capsule.
Also, as radio announcers we often turn up to work looking pretty rough. Everyone on television gets to have make-up, hair and wardrobe before they open their mouth.
Most breakfast announcers are lucky to remember to brush their teeth at four in the morning, in fact I have also been known to wear the same t-shirt to work that I slept in.
But I regretted not doing that shoot so much, perhaps more because of the fact I allowed myself to be bullied out of it, my on-air partner organised a “nude” – (you didn’t see anything) photo shoot as a fundraiser all played out on air and offered to the highest bidder.
Yes, I sold semi-nude photos of myself and was delighted.
As Mel says “Its always a nice feeling to be acknowledged for your hard work but the accolades need to go to my selfie stick for working the right angles.”
As for me coulda, shoulda, didn’t.
Thank goodness for the ACRAs for the opportunity, as people who are mostly heard and not seen, to frock up.
And as long as male radio announcers keep appearing in the Cleo Bachelor of the Year, long live any countdown of the hottest women.
If you get the chance and it’s tasteful do it.

Kim Napier

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