Chetry: “Are we perfect?”* Kiran Chetry looked luscious this morning as the former American Morning co-host returned to CNN as a guest on Reliable Sources. Paired with older beauty Judy Woodruff, co-host of PBS News Hour, Kiran seemed to make a deliberate decision to glam down, i.e., less makeup, flatter hair, and a more demure dress (sleeveless but with a higher collar and a lower hem). Perhaps, she or CNN’s makeup mavens decided to pander to a more politically correct meme and/or audience.
In his segment [vid via J$P], a “must-see discussion about women, television news and attractiveness”** (based on a HuffPo article about a British news anchor “who should hike up her skirts”), RS anchor Brian Stelter remarked, “Kiran, you’ve brought some notes with you all of the different things you have been told about how you to dress over the years.” Kiran answered, “When you…called and said…do you want to come join us to talk about this, I laughed.” Elucidating, she explained, “I think that attention to women’s appearance, I think that it’s not just news: I think that’s just sort of society, and we can take it with a grain of salt or we can get very insecure about it.
Sharing her own experience, Kiran explicated, “But, I laughed over the years: People said that I should buy a wig–which I’m actually thinking that I probably should have because my hair is too thin for TV, they didn’t like that–and then I was told not to bare arms but Michelle Obama changed that for all of us.” Of the proffered advice, she added, “Dye your hair blond, wear your skirts shorter…don’t wear pantsuits.”
Subsequently, as Judy bemoaned the inevitable emphasis on the looks of female journalists, Kiran responded, “There is a huge amount of emphasis put on looks: I don’t necessarily think [that] it’s a horrible thing [but] it’s definitely, it’s trying.” When Brian asked for specifics, Kiran related that when she was a twenty-two old anchor in an NBC affiliate (WICU-TV) in Erie, Pennsylvania, she posited the adiaphorous example of being encouraged to wear shoulder pads and “pouffed out hair” to look older.
Hoping for a more apt example, perchance, Brian asked, “When you were at Fox News, was there a more of a focus on your looks than there were at other places?”
Smiling and tilting her head alluringly, Kiran replied, “Yeah, one of my favorite quotes ever: Never mind, I can’t say it. I can’t, I just realized that I can’t say it. I’ll tell you later!”
Don’t hold out, Kiran! As to whether you look perfect, to paraphrase Alabama for your steadfast fans, “you’re close enough to perfect for me.” And, when you really return to TV, the author has a feeling you just might be.
* Reliable Sources – 07/13/14 (11:17 a.m. ET). [Re the subtitle, supra, Kiran asked at the beginning of the segment, “Are we perfect because we’re both wearing sleeveless?”]