Recently, I came across an article in my monthly Glamour delivery that really struck a chord with me. The article was about a news anchor from MSNBC named Katy Tur, who is actively changing the long-standing, unnecessary beauty rituals that are expected of news anchors. Katy explains that while on assignment recent campaign, she came to a realization regarding what is expected of her as a female news anchor. During the campaign, she had nearly no time to relax at all, let alone get dolled up for the camera. According to Tur, her epiphany surrounding these beauty obligations came after she was given a gift from her boss. Tur and her colleagues treated themselves to manicures and pedicures, but two days later her polish chipped. Tur had to find time to re-do her nails before her next time on camera. This did not settle well with her.
Tur explains that though the same outdated wardrobe and hair and makeup expectations have been present since the start of her career, they did not seem so ridiculous to her until years later. As a young news anchor trying to climb the corporate ranks early on, Katy felt as though she had to comply to a station’s beauty standards regarding the amount of makeup worn, her hair style, and wardrobe. She remembers that at one of her first jobs, they went as far as to tell her that she had to cut her hair to resemble a magazine photo of their choice. Can you imagine what the reaction would be if a man was required to cut his hair a more fashionable way in order to be considered for a position? I suspect not pleasant, probably because your haircut has no correlation to your ability to do a job well. Tur refers to these unnatural beauty and style expectations as “Fox-ifying” yourself. A full “Foxification” may include fake lashes, bright lipstick, a plethora of hairspray, and loud, distracting eyeshadow. This isn’t working for Katy anymore, and other news anchors are following in her footsteps.
Tur believes that the majority of the industry, including Fox News, is headed towards a more natural look. She attributes this to a cultural shift in more realistic looking beauty rituals, as well as people taking the news more seriously. It’s important to Katy, as well as other news reporters, to feel as though they are portraying the same person on and off screen. This can be hard to do with an added 10 pounds of makeup on screen. Now, Tur sticks to a blow out and light makeup. She notes that since this recent change, she feels as though the people she encounters through her work are able to better relate and connect, which is why she chose this career in the first place.
I think it takes a lot of guts to stand up for yourself and what you think is best for you. I am inspired by women like Katy who take a stand, no matter how frivolous the matter may seem. A better world for one woman is a better world for all women, and I thank the women before my time for blazing a brighter trail for all of us. Girl power, am I right?