Thus, the form-fitting sleeveless sheath has become a kind of uniform of Fox News women, favored by Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson, Martha Mac Callum, Michelle Malkin, and others.And thus, when Kelly, a high-profile Fox News anchor, was asked by in 2010 what she thought of the network’s shots of her behind a glass table, showing off her legs, Kelly replied casually, “Well, it’s a visual business.On Fox News, which has long pushed the sex appeal of its female talent further than other networks, it is typical to see a suited man next to a woman outfitted for lunch on some sunny Roman piazza, as if the colleagues are dressed not only for widely disparate occasions but for different climates as well.
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And women who’ve been on the air for decades tend not to go bare, either because they think it inappropriate to do so at their age or because they were schooled at a time when TV reporters didn’t do such things. You can’t imagine Christiane Amanpour leveraging her erotic capital on the air.
It does, after all, matter when female voices of authority disrobe.
As co-host of MSNBC’s , Brzezinski has on several occasions struck a blow against the trivialization of the news, most famously refusing to read a news item about Paris Hilton by shredding the script on air.
She’s also told the , network execs dressed her in clothing that was “short, skimpy, tight,” and she had to rebel and find her own look.
The female newscaster of today does sexy in a very specific way.
It is sleeveless sexy, an age-defying, loose-skin-defying means of telling the world that she worked out this morning and every morning, long before she went to hair and makeup and started broadcasting the nation’s news, long before viewers even considered waking up.
“Everything pops on the screen more, everything is eye candy.” Sleevelessness has become so commonplace, you barely notice it anymore.
It’s been adopted even by newswomen who are acutely aware of the symbolism of their clothing, as well as the collapsing distinction between news and entertainment.
Only in this precise sartorial moment could Melissa Harris-Perry, the eggheady Tulane professor who has her own show on MSNBC, tackle the angsty politics of black hair in a fitted, halter-neck dress suited to a night out in the meatpacking district.
The sleeveless look is especially jarring this time of year.
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