Sam Armytage is engaged, but still can’t escape the gossip
There's one problem that's always plagued Samantha Armytage, and it's that she's a magnet for the tabloids.
You'll likely see the Sunrise co-host's face splashed across homepages or on the front pages of magazines at the checkout for seemingly doing very average and normal things.
Armytage may have gone for a drive in her car or changed her social media settings on Instagram.
Sometimes, there might be a buzz around something the journalist said on breakfast television, a tiny snippet of her opinion condensed into a salacious headline tailored to garner clicks. On a really bad day, she might have a visible panty line.
But for a long time, the interest came down to the fact that Armytage was an Aussie celebrity in her 40s who happened to be single. I say 'happened to be' because this is just a tiny part of a much bigger story.
Armytage is a talented and seasoned media professional who has over three decades worth of experience.
Like all women in the public eye, she is more than just her relationship status. But if you read anything about her, you'd be quickly convinced that it's the entire plot from front to back cover.
The single girl narrative has chased Armytage for most of her public life and has intensified over the last few years, leading to stalking by the tabloid media on a near daily basis. This is, of course, by no fault of her own and she's made no secret about the fact that she doesn't appreciate it.
"A creepy paparazzi followed me (post-gym) INTO Woolies this morning to get (no doubt mostly unflattering) mundane photos of me doing my groceries," Armytage wrote on Instagram in 2019.
She accompanied her message with a very normal looking photo of herself, just like what the rest of us would like if we were out doing errands.
"So just to make sure they're worth NOTHING (to those dreadful Woman's Day/Daily Mail types) here's some free, mundane pics of me and my shopping. Oh and I threw in action shots of me stuck in Sydney traffic and (the best bit from the shopping bags) a pig's ear for Banjo. Don't say I never do anything for you. As you were," Armytage concluded.
Yet lately, there's only one story that seems to have eclipsed the interest in star's singledom, and that's her recent engagement to Richard Lavender after meeting just over a year ago.
If there's one thing the tabloids love more than a single story, it's a newly engaged celebrity. It's tabloid fodder that likely won't let up anytime soon, and most of us have already seen the photo of Armytage's hand on Lavender's chest with her engagement ring in perfect view countless times over since the news of the engagement broke last week.
Couple this milestone with the fact that Armytage has decided to step down to four days a week on Sunrise, and you can bet that will only equal more time for the paparazzi to chase her around.
Cue a catch-up with girlfriends being followed by a headline about her assumed bridesmaids, being followed to wedding dress fittings, and every lunch being followed by a question of whether or not 45-year-old Armytage is expecting a 'miracle baby'.
Armytage isn't the first (and probably won't be the last) to have her narrative distorted by the tabloid media. Jennifer Aniston and Kylie Minogue have proven that being hounded about marriage and babies, even when you're well into your 40s, is basically a rite of passage on the path of fame. Sadly, there's only one way that's going to be stifled, and it's something Armytage has called for many times.
"The silliness around my private life in the tabloids right now has reached peak stupidity. I ask you all to ignore (and not buy!) Woman's Day and The Daily Mail. The 'sources' quoted are made up. It's rubbish 'journalism' and should be illegal," she wrote on Instagram in 2019.
"Paparazzi sit outside my house and follow me around all day. The people in these offices BUY these photos and then make up stories to go with them. It's boring for me and no doubt for you too."
You'd think now would be the time Armytage could finally throw the shackles of the old, tired and false headlines that have followed her for years off and receive some respite, but it's an unfair truth that finding her so called 'happily ever after' hasn't freed her at all. If anything, it's thrown more petrol onto the flames.
Valentina Todoroska is a freelance writer, editor and former primary school teacher.
Originally published as Sam Armytage is engaged, but still can't escape the gossip