349: Clothing Controversy

21 May 2016

The last time I was at my mom’s house, the rant about professional attire for women was happening in my mother’s living room, as she complained about constantly seeing Savannah Guthrie’s arms but Matt Lauer’s are never on display.

This time the controversy was in the twitterverse, as KTLA meteorologist Liberté Chan was handed a sweater while on-air. Rather than debate how this was handled, I’d simply like to point out that somehow we have decided that the female equivalent of the men’s suit is the cocktail dress.  And for Liberté, not just any cocktail dress, but one with tassels, which she showed off as she prepared for her broadcast:


Liberté Chan / © KTLA

And lest you think this is simply a Los Angeles la-la-land phenomenon, here’s Cheryl Scott, meteorologist at NBC5 in Chicago, in her body-huging ruching:


Cheryl Scott / © NBC5

I wouldn’t care what clothing Liberté or Cheryl pull on for broadcast news except for one thing: they are complicit in the message that says men trade on their brains and women trade on their bodies. And this message is beamed onto screens that are viewed by little girls who are trying to figure out who they want to be and who they can be in this big wide world. These women are telling girls that they can’t be anchors but they can be meteorologists, as long as they can rock the tassels.

Who else wears tassels?

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