Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Jamie Diffley

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Jamie Diffley

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jamie Diffley

There's not too much you can say to people these days. Political correctness has been the saviour of many (and rightly so), while pure good manners covers most of the rest.

And if there is anyone that goes round upsetting certain kinds of people regardless of race, gender, size etc. they can find themselves hauled before the courts or a tribunal panel and end up in a whole heap of trouble.

It's not like that for hairy people.

When did you last hear of someone being done for hairist comments? When was the last industrial tribunal that centred on an employee being forced out because their colleagues made continuous references to them resembling a bear? Because it does happen. Believe me.

I happen to be part of the set of hairy people. A rather exclusive set, I like to think of it, and one, if set up officially, would have a worthy patron. Like Sky Sport's Richard Keys. Or Robin Williams. Both are high-profile masters of their fields. And both are ridiculously hairy.

Such a group would campaign for better rights for hairy folk. Those good old-fashioned law-abiding citizens who are so painfully misunderstood because of their genes. Because as it stands, we hairies are not a protected species.

Recently I was sent to a male-grooming salon. The first in the North East to cater specifically for men. I went along, spoke to the nice people, had a fantastic facial, and came back refreshed, ready to write an informed article.

But the powers that be wanted more. They wanted funny photos and demanded I return and have my back waxed. They knew I was hairy (I had mentioned it in passing), which made them all the more determined. "It'll look great in the pictures."

Those who were unfortunate enough to see the photos will know that it didn't look great. It looked awful. It looked like something had escaped from the zoo and was being pinned to a table.

And of course I knew it would. By "great" they meant awful. And to them that was what was great about it.

Imagine if I was fat. Say a new diet school had been launched and I was sent to cover that and I came back with enough for a well-informed piece. …

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