Hayley Brennan embodies the stereotypes of Gen Y, blonde and party girl. She seems to exploit these types intentionally, but I suspect she’s not fully aware of the messages she’s sending.

Brennan introduces her show by explaining that the next hour is about everyone getting to know one another. Thankfully, she exercises the Gen Y stereotype at this point by saying that this means she will tell the audience all about herself – there’s no need for us to return the favour.

Brennan’s show uses plenty of self-deprecating humour as well as talking about her promised obsessions of Harry Potter and Facebook. She is of the age where these two phenomena came along at exactly the right time, and the regular sprinkling of Harry Potter jokes are amusing.

One of the show’s themes is Brennan’s single status, which is a worthy subject for humour. Unfortunately it’s handled in a way that turns women – Brennan included – into sex objects, keeping the material firmly in the realm of easy jokes based on stereotypes.

Is it really necessary to talk about how if a girl is “f***ing ugly” then her attractiveness must be due to her “slut vibe”? While Brennan’s delivery is not bad, she seems to have missed the memo that a woman might be attractive to a man because of her intellect/humour/creativity/conversation.

Perhaps Brennan is being tongue-in-cheek, but it certainly didn’t come across that way. Although this brand of humour might be funny at one level, it’s neither witty nor clever, and it’s a pity that Brennan’s show merely reinforces sexist stereotypes.

Hayley Brennan – Attention Seeker is on at the Irish Times, Tuesday to Saturday at 6.00pm until April 21.

Suzannah Marshall Macbeth blogs over at equineocean.

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