Letter to Editor of NY Post:
Shame on you, NY Post.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and you chose to respond to Mel B’s filing for a divorce from her extremely violent soon-to-be-ex husband with a tacky and irrelevant photo gallery on Page Six, “The Spiced Up Life of Mel B,” depicting her “happy days” as a performer and wife that did not show a single photo evidence of her decade of surviving trauma and abuse.
Your poor selection of photos leaves the subtle impression with reader’s minds that Mel B is clearly making up the charges against her ex, and clearly has led a famously successful and happy life; quite contrary to her divorce statement detailing control, manipulation, sexual and physical assault, financial and emotional abuse.
The very first photo you show of them together, photo 6, is of her smiling quite happily next to his handsome, gorgeous blue eyed face. There is nothing to indicate signs of an unhappy relationship in their matching satin black benefit outfits, arms around each other.
The next photo-Photo 7-shows Mel B ‘Reuniting with the Girls!!!’…Because clearly, a true victim of abuse would be unable to reunite and tour with her former band that made her successfully famous in the first place…Photo 8 continues this lovely subliminal myth of yours.
But let’s not stop there, Page Six:
Photo 9 is the poorest choice you made, where you show Mel B having her sexy leather clad breasts and torso being licked by a young, hot male dancer on stage, her arms thrown back in smiling ecstasy.
A woman so empowered to publicly promote her sexuality could never be a victim of domestic violence, could she?
Oh, and now for Photo 10!!! Here is cleavage enhanced Mel B holding a large birthday cake with her adoring friends and family! Surely, they would know if she was being abused and surely, she would not appear so appreciated…
Photo 12! The sweet, adoring, matching leather clad couple, arms wrapped around each other once more, affectionately “showing some PDA” for the camera!
Photo 13 and 14; the happy, laughing cleavage of Mel B in her new successful role as a judge on America’s Got Talent-
How could a former girl band member be so successful years later if she was truly being abused…?
Photo 15; the loving motherhood side of Mel B…(psst! She drinks Rosé!)
Let’s now move on to your extremely shameful choice-
Photo 16-you present Mel B “Rocking an Extremely High Slit with her Husband.”
Obviously, her claims of manipulation and control are a complete joke if she can publicly be seen wearing such a sexy dress in his presence…a true abuser would never tolerate such a high slit in the public eye.
Not once did the NY Post shown a single picture of Mel B’s battered face in a single article, or photo gallery. (Unless you count the article posted on April 4th, written and published by The Sun that included a picture of her puffy eye).
Your classier competitor, NY Daily News, managed to stay relevant to the news of Mel B’s divorce filing and included pictures of her with a bruised face, and of her walking alongside Stephen Belafonte pushing a stroller with a bandaged face.
NY Daily News also made certain to appropriately title their photo gallery, “Mel B’s and Stephen Belafonte’s troubled relationship through the years.” Their choices of photos in the gallery were tastefully selected depicting the family side of their life as well as photos of them as a couple.
Perhaps, your Page Six editor’s selections were not maliciously intended and perhaps, the NY Post simply wished to show Mel B’s life through the years.
But, the NY Post has ultimately failed victims of domestic violence by publishing a choice selection of what is obvious subliminal messaging that Mel B’s life was actually happy and perhaps, she is making it all up to simply get a divorce.
The Post should take into consideration that 1 in 3 women have been victims to physical violence by intimate partners and that 1 in 5 women have been victims of severe physical violence.
Victims who do find the initial strength to report intimate violence to police, cruelly discover the extreme injustice of our criminal justice system when only 36% of offenders are actually arrested by police, and of those arrested only a third end up being convicted.
Perhaps, if news outlets played their due diligence in coverage of domestic violence and did not offset articles of domestic violence of celebrities with glitzy, cheery, PDA selected photo galleries, more DV victims would feel secure enough to prosecute their offenders.
And just perhaps, accurate media depictions without patriarchal bias would compel prosecutors to bring more than a third of cases to trial.
We all have a role to enforce that domestic violence should never be tolerated and victims should never be shamed.