Why the Hell Should We Care if Female News Anchors Want to Go Sleeveless?
5:13 pm, May 2nd | by Meredith Lepore
Over at Salon Libby Copeland made a fuss about female news anchors wearing no sleeves on camera. She said that for some notable anchors like Mika Brzezinski, Gretchen Carlson, Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford (I guess we can call them news anchors?) sleeveless dresses and tops could even be called defining characteristics for them. Yes, female anchors are less covered up than they were even 20 years ago (she mentioned that in her first few years at Today Katie Couric wore turtlenecks under blazers) but why the hell do we care?
I guess the argument is that women, even ones that are reporting the news, are still viewed as sex symbols while their buttoned up male co-anchors don’t get a second look (though they probably would if they wore a sleeveless shirt.) But of course women on the news are going to show more skin now. It is 2013. Everyone shows more skin now. Women don’t have to wear petticoats and stalkings. And heck, a little arm is more appropriate than cleavage? Even Copeland admits that the bare arm represents a type of “smart-sexy, look that women in positions of authority can pull off.” I may be odd, but I do not see being called “smart-sexy” as that much of a diss.
And let’s remember that these women are on television. There are a lot of people weighing in on what they wear and they know an attractive women in a sleeveless dress might get a few more viewers than one who is covered up. But is this really wrong? I mean, Roger Ailes doesn’t seem to think so. I’m not saying it is great that Fox may tend to encourage its anchors to sport big hair, red lips and short skirts with heels but is it wrong or not extremely smart? Not at all.
Yes, there is definitely a Fox News babe look and Megyn Kelly with her epicly long legs is at the forefront of it (the girl could give Cameron Diaz a run for her money) but I just don’t think this is that big a deal. And frankly I give more power to women who are, let’s say, over 40 and have great arms and want to show them off (I know a certain First Lady who loves to do this.) So I think it is actually really powerful when a woman choses to do this in the public eye. I say yes to Gwyneth Paltrow wearing shorts to fancy events and Katie Couric showing off her legs and Jennifer Aniston wearing halter tops until she literally can’t anymore.
What it really comes down to is whether the person watching chooses to focus on your legs or arms over your words.