A Gay Club's Anti-Women And Body-Shaming Photography Policy Went Viral. Now The Club Is Promising To Be More Inclusive
Poof Doof has apologised for the policy document, and claims it is several years old and no longer used.
The photographers' brief for a popular gay club in Melbourne, Australia, went viral on social media on Wednesday.
The document states staff should only take photos of boys, hot boys, and boys with muscles. "No one is here to see girls. Ever," the policy states.
It also explicitly states that photos should not be taken of "skinny boys in burgundy t-shirts and chinos".
"They are a dime a dozen."
Also no photos of "boys with bad skin" or "messy boys".
"Anyone who looks like they've poked down a 10-pack. Is OUT."
Poof Doof's "power poofs" photos are posted on the club's social media pages following events.
After the policy went viral on Facebook, people were mad about it.
"Wow. I am shocked and disgusted at this," one person said. "For a community that prides itself on inclusion this is horrible to see. Whether used or not. I’m happy to never visit this club again."
The club told BuzzFeed News that the document was old and unused.
"We are absolutely devastated that it has caused pain and upset to a community we love so much," a spokesperson said. "We have apologised for this and are now focusing on finding ways to better understand the concerns of our community to help them."
The club's general manager Susie Robinson told Star Observer that the brief was seven years old.
“Initially [in 2011] we started out with the tagline ‘a gay club for homos’, but now it’s ‘a gay club for everyone’,” she said.
“We’ve changed, and our crowd has changed. It’s a whole new Poof Doof now than it was years ago.
“It’s for the entire community.”
Robinson claimed that the policy was leaked by a former photographer who had recently had his employment at the club terminated. The former employee posted on Facebook that the brief had been circulated in a Facebook Messenger chat, and then shared publicly without his knowledge or permission.
BuzzFeed News also sought comment from the photographer.
In a post on Facebook on Wednesday night, the club apologised for the policy document, and promised to write a new, public one, based on feedback from the community.
"Truly, thank you for sharing and we see this as a fantastic opportunity to learn. For everyone who has ever felt discrimination in any capacity, we all know that feeling. If you have ever felt discrimination in our space, that’s not good enough and we are taking full responsibility to fix it," the club said.
Some people pointed out that while the club claims to no longer use the brief, a lot of the guys showcased in the photos online still matched the brief.
"I find it interesting that the 'brief' isn't used anymore, yet all the photos uploaded are of guys with that exact brief. Coincidence?" one person commented.
Others hoped it would actually spark change.
"Words can only amount to so much, your actions in the future will determine if you as a company can truly change and change the mind set of your fellow Doofers," one wrote. "People will be watching."