Abbie Chatfield on the 'unacceptable' I'm A Celeb bikini clash

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·8-min read

During an episode of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here last week, Abbie Chatfield pulled up former AFL star Robert 'Dipper' DiPierdomenico for comments he made about her choice of bikini.

The clash started when Dipper joked, "You're not going out like that?"

Abbie Chatfield has opened up about the bikini clash between herself and former AFL star Robert 'Dipper' DiPierdomenico in her podcast It's A Lot. Photo: Ten
Abbie Chatfield has opened up about the bikini clash between herself and former AFL star Robert 'Dipper' DiPierdomenico in her podcast It's A Lot. Photo: Ten

When Abbie asked him what the joke meant, it prompted an uncomfortable discussion about modesty culture and the idea that women should cover up to "protect" themselves from men.

Dipper told the cameras their differing opinions was due to the generation gap, and claimed he would have said the same thing to Ash Williams who had been walking around without a shirt much of the time.

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In her podcast It's A Lot, Abbie addressed the clash, saying she had no ill feelings towards Dipper, but was upset about "the overarching issue of slut shaming girls for having t**ties and wearing bikinis".

“On the show I guess we call it a confrontation with a certain AFL legend and Brownlow medallist," she said.

"I want to preface this by saying I love Dipper, he’s so funny, he’s the best value in camp. My confrontation was taken by some conservative people as me attacking him which it always is when a woman speaks back to a man, 'You’re attacking him, you hate him, how can you pretend to like him after you’ve humiliated him.'

“It’s like no I just had a conversation with him and the conversation wasn’t about him specifically, yes it was had with Dipper, it was more about the overarching issue of slut shaming girls for having t**ties and wearing bikinis.

Abbie explained that Dipper had actually made a joke every time she had been in a bikini and it got to the point where she wanted to address it. Photo: Ten
Abbie explained that Dipper had actually made a joke every time she had been in a bikini and it got to the point where she wanted to address it. Photo: Ten

"For those of you who don’t know what happened basically I’m in the jungle it’s approximately 40° every day, it’s humid as f**k," she explained. "I’m in my bikini, because we shower in our bikinis and obviously go for swims a lot. The men on camera are shirtless when they swim, obviously, as is tradition and the women are in bikinis... it seems ridiculous to explain.

"So whenever I’m in my bikini, Dipper would say, 'You’re not going out looking like that,' or, 'You’re not going out wearing that or something like that,' and every time I’d just go, 'Oh you know...' I think the standard response that women have is to just laugh things off and that something that I used to do in my old job when I worked in commercial real estate, which is a very male dominated industry and I had to really push back and train myself to question why people were doing things like telling me to get the paper in the morning when it wasn’t my role."

She explained that she was worried that if she said something she would be seen as the show's villain.

"No one is a villain on the show, [but] I still have this trauma from when I was on the Bachelor and everyone hated me. I was scared of everyone else not liking me, I was scared of being considered confrontational, being considered difficult or dramatic and I was also worried about the edit being that I was just starting drama or whatever.

"So, I left it the first couple of times, I was like you know what it actually isn’t worth it. So, this is like day four, I knew he was going to say something as soon as I walked out in my bikini so I tried to sneak around the corner from the toilet to the pool and Dipper said again, 'You aren’t going out looking like that'. I kind of push back before with Toni being like 'Dipper this is my most conservative bikini', which it is, I have full G bangers that I wear. To be frank if I’m at a random beach before I was on TV I would go topless. I was like, 'Oh come on Dip ha ha ha.'

Abbie said she didn't say anything sooner because she was worried she'd appear to be the villain of the show like she was on The Bachelor. Photo: Instagram/Abbie Chatfield
Abbie said she didn't say anything sooner because she was worried she'd appear to be the villain of the show like she was on The Bachelor. Photo: Instagram/Abbie Chatfield

"So, for the people on Twitter saying, 'You should have given him a chance, generation gap.' I did give him a chance, there are three or four times... So, he said it and I was like no I’m not doing it. I think the best thing to do when someone says something that is sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, transphobic or whatever it to get them to explain themselves because I think like with Dipper, I got trolled, people DM’ing me saying he didn’t mean anything and I said yeah I know he didn’t and that’s actually the whole issue."

Abbie continued, saying she "wholeheartedly disagrees" with the generation gap excuse.

"Do we say if you’re 50+ you’re allowed to say these things and we can just say it’s a generation gap? Where do we give them a pass to say these things, because there has to be a limit right? Someone who is 30 can’t say those things but someone whose 60 can?

“Like it’s okay for them to think that way? I don’t understand where the gap is and how I have to work in understanding the person who is making the comment, not the other way around, I have to work at accepting that this is a generation gap, I have to work on understanding Dipper, if it doesn’t have to work on understanding me. I have to bridge the gap, I have to go transport myself back to 1981 to a footy locker room, he doesn’t have to transport himself to right here right now, on national television, that’s the implication."

She explained how her dad isn't involved in her life after leaving when she was born, but she does have "an amazing uncle" who she's never heard speak in the same way to her or his daughters.

Abbie told her uncle about what happened and he asked: "Why the bloody hell would anyone say that to you?"

She added that nobody in her family has ever spoken to her like that, adding: "It isn't acceptable just because of your age."

Abbie said she "wholeheartedly disagrees" with the excuse of a generation gap. Photo: Instagram/Abbie Chatfield
Abbie said she "wholeheartedly disagrees" with the excuse of a generation gap. Photo: Instagram/Abbie Chatfield

The reality star added: "I think in doing that, we’re taking a step backwards and we are allowing a little part of us to keep living in 1981 and not pushing for change now."

She continued, saying she's received countless messages from viewers as young as 14, thanking her for standing up for herself.

"This isn’t just about me wearing a bikini on television," she said. "This is about the idea that women are sexualised without their consent from when they start puberty and sometimes even before, it’s a common notion and it’s a common thread within our society.

“Unless we question the low-level jokes, we don’t get to go up to the next part of the pyramid where we actually get to combat rape culture because saying someone is asking for it because they’re wearing a bikini is the basis of rape culture it is the absolute foundation in which further thought is able to fester and be perpetuated throughout society that women who are sexually assaulted were asking for it, not what Dipper was saying, I want to defend my boy Dipper but it is something that needs to be spoken about. It was such a weird moment to have on national TV of me crying so much and I just felt like such a f**king failure not being able to speak about it properly."

She finished by thanking those who sent her messages of support. "I’m glad the conversation has been had on national TV because a lot of people DM me saying they had conversations with their brothers or sons of boyfriend or husband or whatever the men in your life and they didn’t understand why that was a bad thing to say to them."

"Love you all, well you’ve had a conversation in which they understand that it isn’t okay to say. I’m looking forward to being slut-shamed even further throughout my life but hopefully, it’s a bit less and hopefully, if you’re being slut-shamed, you can just ask the question, just be like what do you mean by that and watch it all unravel… Don’t walk away and cry like I did."

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