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, read more

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.

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