Georgie Parker ‘targeted’ by creepy men in her industry
AUSSIE television legend Georgie Parker has revealed she has been the target of unwelcome advances by men in the entertainment industry - and how bullying at school taught her to fight them off.
"I've developed a shield that warns men not to come near me, I tell them to 'F-Off'," the no-nonsense star told The Daily Telegraph.
She said she grew up tough after being diagnosed with scoliosis - the sideways curvature of the spine - at high school, making her a target for bullies in the playground.
"I wore a back brace for three years when I was 13 and first diagnosed with scoliosis. I looked different; I wasn't pretty and became a target for bullying, so I learned very quickly to get in first."
The two-time Gold Logie winner, best known as Roo Stewart in Home And Away, said the hard time she was given at school left her well prepared for handling the sometimes sleazier side of the world of acting.
"A couple of stage managers took me aside telling me to do this and that, but I told them 'I'm doing my job, so what are you doing?' I could sniff them out really fast and call out that kind of behaviour.
"I've come across it in TV too but I'm not a good target, I'm vocal, very direct, slight - but very muscular and can throw a punch if I need to. "
Her advice to women who have suffered sexual harassment is simple: "Believe in yourself."
"The #metoo movement is great. It's shed light on an issue women have endured for years. I know many women, friends in the industry, who have been hit on by men more powerful than them. It enrages me when I hear what young vulnerable women have to put up with."
Now 53, the stage and screen stalwart still suffers the effects of scoliosis, which usually strikes just before puberty and has no known cause.
"I have a 59 degree curve, it's shaved two inches off my height. I have a compressed torso and no waist," Georgie said.
It has made succeeding in an industry that relies so heavily on appearances even more challenging.
"As an actor, I try not to give in to the pressures of body image. I don't wear tight clothes because the back brace would show up under tight clothes and made me feel physically uncomfortable."