Each month the blogger group I belong to, Feminist Fashion Bloggers, selects a topic to write about that relates feminist ideas with fashion or beauty. This month we selected Women in the Media and Popular Culture.
While watching the news the other night I remarked at the shocking contrast between the women on camera and the men. The contrast I'm referring to is appearance. Men can appear older, heavier, and in some cases even unattractive. While women on the other hand must be young, thin, sexy, and pretty. Even if the woman isn't considered "young", she still must meet a much higher standard of beauty than her male counter parts. There are also no women in major network or cable news that are considered plus size.
Older male newscasters are considered knowledgeable and distinguished. If it weren't for women like Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer, women like Meredith Viera and Katie Couric would have never had a chance. They have paved the way. Their first class journalism has set a standard for men and women. However there is still that appearance double standard. Case in point, Lou Dobbs and Diane Sawyer were both born in 1945.
It's a stark contrast, don't you think? Diane isn't sporting a wrinkle. Lou definitely looks his age. I'm sure the pressure on women in news to look young and attractive is immense. The media is definitely about appearance. But why is it acceptable for a man to have wrinkles, bags, and extra weight but a women must look 35 even when she's 65?