Dress to Excess

Maybe I’m turning in to a prude as I get older but I’m starting to take offense to the way female news anchors and reporters—at least on local Los Angeles stations—are dressing these days.

When did evening wear become appropriate clothing to deliver news? I don’t know about you, but I’m not really inclined to get my information about the world from a woman tottering in her 5-inch heels and squeezed into a mini dress. I don’t get the sense that she really cares about the latest bombing in Afghanistan (does she even know where that is or did her news writer spell it phonetically for her?) or about the bodies of eight CIA agents being sent home. She looks like she’s ready to bolt out of the studio and over to Studio 54 (yeah, it’s a dated reference; sue me) the second she’s done with her segment.

The line between entertainment and journalism seems to be a little blurred these days. It’s bad enough that the lead story on the 11:oo o’clock news is usually entertainment related, but it’s hard to take a woman dressed as Jillian Barberie Journalism Barbie seriously when she looks like she’s working for “Entertainment Tonight” or “Extra.”

Journalism Barbie

That’s not to say that female reporters and news anchors need to dress like men to be successful or taken seriously, but I do think dressing professionally is a level of respect—for both the viewers and the job itself. Maybe I’m just old-school that way. And, yeah, it’s totally judgmental. But think about it: Would Diane Sawyer dress like a Bratz doll with press credentials to interview Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Would you respect her if she did? Katie Couric doesn’t dress like a model in a Bebe catalog to get—or tell—the story.

Diane Sawyer

Maybe it’s because of the 24-hour news cycle—networks think they need something other than solid reporting to get (and keep) the viewers attention. Maybe it’s just the way the women feel like dressing. I don’t know.

Is it just me? Or has anyone else noticed? And are you offended?