Wednesday, September 06, 2006

TV's Aryan Sisterhood?

As promised, I remembered to find some more info about the glut of blonde women newscasters. Slate had a terrific article and slideshow (written/compiled by Jack Shafer) on this phenomena back in Feb '06, but I think with the ascension of Katie Couric to CBS, this trend is far from withered. Check it out, and then check out, a website he cites.

The double standard I pointed out (men can go gracefully grey, like silverback gorillas, and maintain power and wisdom--- nay, gather even more prestige with age, while women must stay forever young) is hardly limited to the nightly news. Take a look within our society. How many middle-aged women do you know dye their hair? How many guys?

Besides all of that, certain media outlets give their anchors/stars/newcasters "photoshop diets," making the women look even more youthful, vibrant and healthy. Here's a link to the now famous Katie Couric photos. The same thing happened a couple of days ago with Rosie O'Donnell's press photos for The View.

Unrealistic expectations and body images are being pushed upon the female gender, and while some progress has been made, I think that in certain instances, it's become even more insidious. People know it's sexist to shill beer with babes in bikinis, but fewer people realize that the equivilant is being done to the nightly news.

Some societies look upon older women as leaders and matriarchs. Clearly, that isn't the case with Western culture. Women newscasters (as well as the rest of us women) have to be able to let go of their personal Dorian Grays.

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