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Blondes Have More Fun, TV Anchor Jobs

You know the phrase "blondes have more fun"? A somewhat bizarre story at Slate tips the idea on its head. The writer observes the dominance of blonde newscasters in the news business, calling it "TV's Aryan sisterhood." I'm not sure that's an appropriate phrase for it—nor, technically the most accurate—but he's definitely picking up on a trend.

The article mentions that "only one in 20 white adult Americans is a genuine blond, yet one in three adult American females has the look." Writer Jack Shafer goes on to jokingly complain that many female newscasters lie about their true hair color. While it's true that Katie Couric and Andrea Mitchell (who's married to Alan Greenspan, no joke!) haven't always been blonde, how many women over 40 haven't colored their hair? And what's wrong with doing so? To find out why this story has me in a tizzy,

By the time I finished reading the story, I wondered what the point of it was. I kept looking for a nuanced explanation of the cultural reasons this could be happening, something more than the no-duh idea that blonde hair can make women look younger. Instead, aside from a token mention of two male anchors who color their hair, the story just pokes fun at the female anchors' blondeness. Culminating with a few musings on the popularity of collagen injections—in which Shafer likens Rita Cosby's lips to "a pair of oily, red eels mating angrily"—it winds up making these women into a big ol' joke.

While I do have issues with TV news, none of them concern hair. Shouldn't women should be able to change their hair color without it being a strike against their professionalism or competence? Maybe we should be asking why TV anchors are judged on their appearance in the first place—as it should have nothing to do with their ability to do their jobs.


Join The Conversation
ishop2much ishop2much 9 years
I agree!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Redheads have more fun!
htiduj htiduj 9 years
oh my god, i think i just lost some brain cells reading that article. seriously. who cares if somebody dyes their hair blonde? has the writer stopped to think for just a split second that MAYBE just MAYBE older women dye their hair blonde because the lighter hue compliments their skin tone better? it is a known fact that as humans age everything gets lighter not just our hair. darker hair can look extremely harsh against older skin whereas blonde compliments it. as for good looking people being tv anchors. that isnt shocking. they want people who look good and who sound pleasant so that people will watch. think about it, and be honest with yourself - would you want to tune in everynight to watch a non attractive person talk about the sad bad things going on in the world? and even if you were alturistic like that, do you think most people are?
veggieangie veggieangie 9 years
That's the way it is. People are always going to be judged by the way they look. It's not a good thing, but there isn't too much anyone can really do about it. Beauty is important as far as people getting jobs (unfortunately so) and selling products. Then again, ask yourself this, do you want to see truly ugly people on television. I think many people don't, I guess they think it's a distraction. We live in a superficial world.
baltimoregal baltimoregal 9 years
Well, being a NATURAL blonde- I wonder how many of these blonde folks are natural or if it's done for tv...
pollypo pollypo 9 years
A. who cares? B. Katie Couric is NOT blonde. She has brown hair with highlights. If she's blonde, then yeah, there are a lot more blondes out there than I was aware of.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 9 years
I never thought of Katie Couric as being blonde. She's a brunette to me...and I actually can't think of many newscasters (aside from me when I anchored our college news, hehe) who are blonde (real or fake). Diane Sawyer...some woman on CNN Headline News...most of the female news anchors I see on either local TV news or national newscasts have brown or black hair.
larengirl larengirl 9 years
Perhaps the author of the Slate article has already noted, like many, that appearances are always judged in any public arena and so in this article asked for nothing more than why one particular public 'look' was far more than an other. True, like Bella said, this is adressing a symptom and not the cause (i.e. the human tendency to judge people based on their appearance)...but the Slate article, which is rather light-hearted, does not go any deeper than that. And to be this particular case, neither would I. If you choose to work in a public forum where your job involves presenting information in a trustworthy manner, then you should, at least, appear trustworthy. As such, I agree with Slate...why is it that one particular look (or in this case, hair colour) should convey this better than another?
karissajill karissajill 9 years
Actually, while this article is primarily about anchorwomen, it does also discuss anchormen. It mentions that while Anderson Cooper leaves his hair grey, there are also men who feel the need to go blonde. For example, Chris Matthews and Lou Dobbs.
Food Food 9 years
I wonder if there's been a study on blondes being friendlier than brunettes when it comes to TV news. I know that a lot of male anchors don't dye their hair when it goes gray because it's a bonus, they appear wiser and more mature. In a similar vein, it is so pathetic how women's clothing is scrutinized more than male clothing. Like krampa mentioned about hillary and cleavage, it's so depressing that we hone in on that over actual points of view and qualifications.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
as much as i feel some of those anchorwomen are full of hot air, it really trivialized their success as journalists and made it sound as if their looks are the only reason they're there. then he tacked on the part about big lips, as if he realized his peice didn't have much of a point, so he just gave another example of highly sexualized features. I don't think that the glam factor stops with news anchors. most women in the spotlight are affected by pressure to be more sexy.
krampalicious krampalicious 9 years
unfortunately, women in any media field (or any field at all, really) are subject to scrutiny of their physical appearance regardless of how it relates to their abilities or skills (see also, hilary clinton's cleavage). it just goes to show that no matter how far we think we may have come, we still have a long, long way to go.
total total 9 years
You're right on Bella. You would never see an article about how many male news anchors cover their grey or other such nonesense. It is upsetting to see women so harshly judged about something that has nothing to do with their professional integrity.
fashionhore fashionhore 9 years
Sadly, it's not just female anchors who are scrutinized for their looks. Male anchors are as well. Several male news anchors were dj for radio stations before becoming on-air anchors because they looked too young. According to a study, the audience will tune it to the news and listen better if a male anchor is a little older (and wiser) looking and if the female anchor is well put together and better than average looking. This is an interesting post Bella because when I did a research paper on female anchors I never once read anything about hair color. Great find!
Rugelach Rugelach 9 years
Um, if you want to take up for an misunderstood and marginalized people, I can think of a just a few billion more worthy of your advocacy than bottle-blond TV anchorwomen. But I guess sometimes it's not the cause itself these days, but just that you have one...
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