News and broadcasting make it difficult for women to be more than a pretty face



A must watch that effectively discusses this pressing issue

I would be lying if I said I regularly fall witness to the news and sports media. Aside from the occasional clip on social media, or passing through my living room as my family dissects a football game, I am not a usual member of the audience. 

Yet, in watching the occasional news segment in class, or viewing the game show host in the background show at a restaurant, I see one dynamic prevalent in the hostess and duos that appear as the face of these shows. 

Stereotypically, an averagely attractive—if that—middle-aged man with a generic sense of talk-show-host humor runs the show. He is coupled by a conventionally beautiful young woman with long legs, a bodycon dress, and heels. 

Now, this is a broad generalization, yes, but I’m sure the image I have begun to paint rings a bell. 

Before I appear in a way contrary to my point, I want to make one thing clear: being viewed as pretty shouldn’t take away from one’s legitimacy. I in no way want to say that all women in the news and media are solely judged by their looks. I don’t doubt that they have talent in their field. 

Beauty is regularly used as an excuse for success. And while many might dub this complimentary, it is a complete disregard for one’s actual skill. Talent and personality are the same, no matter the face that represents it. 

My goal is only to address that they should be viewed as more than pretty faces, and they shouldn’t have to look or dress a certain way to gain attention and recognition. 

In the broadcasting industry, women fall victim to two sets of standards: those set for male news reporters, and general female beauty standards. 

Why is her male colleague seen as more than his appearance and she is recognized for nothing but? Talent is talent. 

Specifically, let’s talk about women in the past at Fox News. 

Some readers may be familiar with the movie Bombshell. If not, this highlights the true story of Fox News and the workplace sexual harassment allegations against Roger Ailes. Essentially, he was threatening pay and jobs for sexual relations with many of his female employees. Along with this, the women were pressured immensely to parade around in short and tight clothes, heels, and a full face of makeup.

I don’t think it’s necessary to summarize the entire plot, but I would undoubtedly recommend the watch.

Many label news reporting as a visual business which, in many cases, definitely plays an important role. Nonetheless, I can’t wrap my head around the concept that this is only important when accounting for—in many cases—primarily the male gaze. 

I question why the world has even worked to integrate this primarily male industry when truthfully, the current is more sexist than excluding women from the field as a whole.

It feels like women are hired for a smile and a leg, and their true ability can’t be shown because it is being dulled by the attention drawn to their outward appearance. I question why the world has even worked to integrate this primarily male industry when truthfully, the current is more sexist than excluding women from the field as a whole.

Terms such as “dumb blonde,” and “women aren’t funny,” fuel the building blocks of these constructs. They support the illegitimate belief that beauty and brains can’t coexist. I am beyond tired of the assumption that beauty undercuts intelligence. 

With this, it leaves one to assume that if a female host is on a show, they are there not to do their job and share information, but to smile and be charismatic. Because no matter what they say, they either only got there because of their looks, or they are too pretty to truly be intelligent. 

Truthfully, if this standard was held for men, in terms of stereotypical attractiveness and on the basis of age alone, men working in news should fear the stability of their jobs. Consciously or not, the bias driven into the society that only when a woman is conventionally attractive, do they have little to show by means of brains is old world and tired. These assumptions cast the shadow of the invalid acceptance that women are only hired for beauty; I simply thought we were past this in 2022.