January 22, 2018

I can't watch the TV news without getting completely distracted by the hair and makeup on the women.

Sometimes I've wondered why I write almost continually about the news but almost never watch it on television. Today, I saw the answer with great clarity.

Reading, I saw that the Senate was voting on the shutdown and decided this was one of those real-time events that I'd watch live. It wasn't really too lively. I immediately saw the vote tally on CSPAN-2, but instead of turning it off, I switched to one of the cable news shows to see what they were saying. I won't name the channel or the 2 women whose looks I'm going to talk about, but I was immediately saying: "Oh! X didn't have time to go through hair and makeup! You can see how she really looks. That's so weird." Etc.

The vote came up suddenly enough, it seemed that X had not undergone the full processing that normally forms her into the being I'm accustomed to seeing on camera. She looked like an ordinary woman, yet being on TV, she looked completely bizarre. Her hair was lank, her face red and ill-defined. And yet, she looked like the women I see on the street in my walking-around life.

Later, there was a panel discussion that included a woman, Y, who had, I think, gone through full processing and attained what I theorized was the post-#MeToo look for women. She wore a fully covered-up black get-up, something like what Frances McDormand wore at the Golden Globes...
... and she had very long, parted-on-one-side, dark hair — a style of the sort that was once associated with elementary-school girls. Her makeup was a no-makeup look and her mannerisms and speech were, I thought, exactly the same as the male panelists.

It's not that I didn't listen to what she and others were saying. I did. They said the same 3 or 4 things about the shutdown over and over again. If I were reading, I'd have it thoroughly skimmed in 20 seconds. Locked into the TV show's idea of time, I search for things to pay attention to, and I find myself plunging into the visual dimension, which you might consider shallow, but I find deeper than who voters will blame and whether Schumer can negotiate with Jello.

I got very chatty about how Newswomen of the Future will dress and act, and then I had to turn the flashy pictures off and get back to my iPad. The low-battery alert was taunting me, so I set that aside, laced up my hiking boots, got my umbrella, and went out for a late-January walk. I had my earbuds in so I could listen to the latest edition of the New Yorker. The story was "When Barbie Went to War with Bratz/How a legal battle over intellectual property exposed a cultural battle over sex, gender roles, and the workplace" by Jill Lepore. I made a mental note to show you this:
It’s no accident that #MeToo started in the entertainment and television-news businesses, where women are required to look as much like Barbie and Bratz dolls as possible, with the help of personal trainers, makeup artists, hair stylists, personal shoppers, and surgeons. Unfortunately, an extrajudicial crusade of public shaming of men accused of “sexual misconduct” is no solution, and a poor kind of justice, not least because it brooks no dissent, as if all that women are allowed to say about #MeToo is “Me, too!” The pull string wriggles.

70 comments:

YoungHegelian said...

...where women are required to look as much like Barbie and Bratz dolls as possible, with the help of personal trainers, makeup artists, hair stylists, personal shoppers, and surgeons.

As always, The Onion speaks Truth to Power.

Quaestor said...

Gawd, it's such a charade, is it not? The chicks are competing to get that Amish widow look perfection with as much sincerity as they teased us with suggested nudity on the red carpet. You'd have to be brain damaged not to remember this.

Achilles said...

More important than the make-up deficiencies are the talking point deficiencies.

They were not ready for the open borders side to capitulate in so humiliating fashion.

And they can't talk about Russian Collusion anymore...

So where do they go?

Achilles said...

The entire progressive movement looks like the awful fascist thugs they are. They wont be importing a new electorate and the one they have is going to demolish them in November. They will never have a senate majority again. After illegal immigration is stopped they wont be getting any new voters.

The violence is going to start sooner rather than later.

AllenS said...

Well, if that Amish widow look doesn't work, there's always tits.

buwaya said...

There are thousands of more interesting people on Youtube.
And they come up with their own material.

Patrick Henry was right! said...

She looks like a Puritan schoolmarm.

Which is what the Mee. too movement is as I'm about.

mccullough said...

Great post. Reminds me of David Foster Wallace observation that on 9/11, Dan Rather looked a bit purposefully disheveled.

buwaya said...

Daughter much preferred Barbie to Bratz.
She thought the Bratz ones were floozies (at age 5-6).
She is, of course, quite brilliant.

Achilles said...

Just remember these people thought between #MEETOO! and Russian Collusion they fully expected to have Trump impeached right now.

The people doing the make-up are only a part of the fa├žade.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The woman on cable news channels look like they are going to a cocktail party. I will give CNN this, they dress in what I would think of as professional garb. The stuff the woman on the FNC wear would be bizarre if worn in an office setting. Like they didn't have time to go home and change after being out the night before.

traditionalguy said...

It's not the Hair. The News Reader Bimbos are looking very low IQ these days. They only read stuff. Faced with an interview of a good communicator, they get a lost in the headlights look and ask stupid questions just to interrupt the flow of intelligent communications.

Martha McSally from Arizona danced circles around a Fox News Babe. Hopefully she wins the Senate seat.

Martha said the pathetic Dems need to stop Bloviating and Vote. That about summed it up like a Trump Tweet does. She is a fast talking intelligent lady.

rcocean said...

I find it almost impossible to watch TV news. The information given/Time spent ratio is slow low its unbelievable.

The talking heads are unbearable in any case.

I always find it interesting how women care about makeup, hairdos, clothes, etc. that men rarely -if ever - notice. Oh yeah, and shoes and purses and fingernails.

Going back to gender clues to a Novelist. If they write about a woman's purse or shoes they're either Gay or a Woman.

rcocean said...

I notice the Fox News Chicks are all blondes and the MSNBC ones are all Lesbian Brunettes.

Maybe CNN has the redheads.

traditionalguy said...

Can you imagine a 6 year old raised by Buwaya. She's going straight to the top of her class, if only an adult can think at her level.

rcocean said...

Megan Kelly has gone after dopey Jane Fonda, which is nice.

Hopefully, all the Drug Use/Pot Smoking will catch up with her, and Jane will going to the big Commie Commune in the sky soon.

David Smith said...

"If I were reading, I'd have it thoroughly skimmed in 20 seconds."

And that, in a nutshell, is why I don't watch news on TV, and don't watch spoken videos on the Internet. At 70, life is too short.

And, that is why I so appreciate it when you link to a transcript...when you do.

Thanks!

Carter Wood said...

I got distracted by Frances McDormond in Blood Simple, 1984. A tame photo.

rhhardin said...

I think Francis McDormand was one of the inexplicable tit shots in some movie.

(googles) Laurel Canyon (2002).

I have my talking heads bookmark (click an F page) showing that women on TV are indistinguishable

http://www.gogomag.com/talkingheads/msnbc.php

Big Mike said...

whether Schumer can negotiate with Jello

Schumer has been pretty formidable over the years. But when it comes to negotiating he's up against the person who wrote the book, and who has only marginally more scruples than he has.

EDH said...

Earlier, I made a crack about McDormand at the Golden Globes looking like she was about to be burned at the stake.

Then SNL did a sketch...

SNL Takes Aim at E! and Its Refusal to Evolve on the Red Carpet

The skit also saw an appearance from Kate McKinnon as Frances McDormand, who won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama. But of course the E! hosts couldn’t resist only talking about what she was wearing. “Are you wearing the same dress from the awards?” asked Strong. McKinnon replied, “Yeah, this is the dress. It’s from a production of The Crucible that I did in ’92.” With a slew of awards shows coming up, hopefully this parody will serve as a hard lesson learned for red carpet reporters.

https://www.vogue.com/article/saturday-night-live-golden-globes-e-hosts

Jim at said...

And, that is why I so appreciate it when you link to a transcript...when you do.

Hear, hear.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

Interesting. I don’t even see their hair, their makeup, or their clothes.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I always get a laugh out of the News Babes hairdo's, especially if they have long hair. In order to make it look like they have a lot of hair, or that their hair is very thick, they do this trick.

They part their hair in the middle in the back of their heads and then 'artfully' drape the hair over their shoulders towards the front. Often they will have done some sort of curling iron effect to keep their hair from being just lank limp hanks dangling down their chests.

They must look so ridiculous from the back with their backwards part and the wires from their earpieces and other electronic stuff being hidden behind their heads.

I get the feeling that they are basically stage props like those buildings on a play stage.

All front, no depth and completely fake.

Bad Lieutenant said...

http://www.thefashionspot.com/celebrity-fashion/428531-nearly-naked-celebrities-red-carpet/#/slide/1


Ugh! 90% unfuckable and what were the remainder thinking? When you have uglified Heidi Klum, you've accomplished something. Nothing good, but something.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

whether Schumer can negotiate with Jello

Like that saying. Trying to nail Jello to a tree

You are going to spend a lot of time and energy and in the end....the Jello will win.

MadisonMan said...

That SNL skit made me chuckle. Nice to see the Entertainment Industry's circular firing squad. Very overdue.

Now, if SNL would attack the Clinton crime family, then I'd know it was trying to be funny again and relevant.

pacwest said...

They did a song about bubble-headed bleach blondes awhile back.

mockturtle said...

What I find distracting, both on TV and in person, are blindingly white teeth. It's really hard to see anything else about a person when their teeth are flashing at you. People have gone overboard on the whitening thing, IMO.

mockturtle said...

It's not the Hair. The News Reader Bimbos are looking very low IQ these days. They only read stuff. Faced with an interview of a good communicator, they get a lost in the headlights look and ask stupid questions just to interrupt the flow of intelligent communications.

And most of them have that awful nasal little-girl voice that grates on me like fingernails on a blackboard.

mockturtle said...

Tradguy opines: Martha McSally from Arizona danced circles around a Fox News Babe. Hopefully she wins the Senate seat.

Martha said the pathetic Dems need to stop Bloviating and Vote. That about summed it up like a Trump Tweet does. She is a fast talking intelligent lady.


McSally is impressive but a latecomer to the Trump party and has a history of amnesty proclivities. I'm supporting Dr. Kelli Ward in the primary but, of course, I'll vote for McSally if she gets the nomination.

Inexplicably, Joe Arpaio has entered the race, as well. He shouldn't. I always liked his law-enforcement philosophy but he's not what we need in the Senate.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What I find distracting, both on TV and in person, are blindingly white teeth

Yeah. We laugh about that as well. Watching a movie or show set in past times, like Vikings, or some other Medieval setting, we make jokes about what a great dental plan those peasants, serfs, vikings, mongol raiders had.

The teeth are so blindingly white and so completely out of context to the historical era. Totally ruins the immersion into the atmosphere of the movie.

Makes for some good jokes about the teeth. Also great times joking about how those pioneer women crossing the salt plains of Utah, managed to get their make up on every morning.

Earnest Prole said...

Shorter Althouse: Meeeeeeee-ow!!!

Art in LA said...

I'm always distracted by the crazy long eyelashes many of the women have! Betty Boop-esque, right?

Fernandistein said...

I don't know, but I been told,
A big headed woman ain't got no soul.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

People have gone overboard on the whitening thing, IMO.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f6vMAp8Oqw

rhhardin said...

Troubles in perspective.

On being informed of the impending end of the universe, the disinterested hero says "It had to end sometime."

The rest of the movie is incomprehensible but involves authoritative announcements all the time.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Action figures for boys, OTOH, are entirely realistic physical specimens.

The things grown women say about dolls suggests they don't actually know what girls think about them. Women are deeply concerned with cultural messages that they think the dolls are sending. They are thoroughly wrong about what is happening.

JMS said...

I, too, find myself staring at their faces, but it’s because their mouth is the only part of their face that moves. Between the Botox and the perfectly contoured makeup, I think most of the women in TV news look like robots. Check out the robot in this YouTube video. Fake news should have fake news readers, yes? .... and they would cost a lot less too.

Francisco D said...

The FNC babes seem to be somewhat hotter and smarter than the usual lib newscasters.

That's a great business model: Hire smart good looking women rather than dumb somewhat good looking women.

Is that sexist, Inga?

I may need re-education.

JMS said...

Forgot to post the video. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fXaaprU9DhY

Mark said...

A Clinton spinster just came on one particular cable show. And the first thing out of his mouth was BS spin.

How thankful we can all be that we are not being treated to this 50 times a day like we did with Bill. Then again, the once every so often is bad enough.

Mark said...

Meanwhile, Cannery Row is on TCM. Thanks too that I don't have to read any more Steinbeck. There's nothing about his writings that should make him required reading in high school.

Freeman Hunt said...

Television appears totally bizarre if you don't watch it for a long time and then see it somewhere.

mockturtle said...

Meanwhile, Cannery Row is on TCM. Thanks too that I don't have to read any more Steinbeck. There's nothing about his writings that should make him required reading in high school.

He is overrated for sure, Mark.

Danno said...

I agree that tv wastes so much time that you could use more productively by skimming/reading many more articles.

anti-de Sitter space said...

"I agree that tv wastes so much time that you could use more productively by skimming/reading many more articles."

Ha ha ha ha ha.

As if reading jabber pays more dough than watching jabber.


Y'all are funny.

anti-de Sitter space said...

Presumably reading Althouse really adds to the GDP.




Silly people.

Gahrie said...

Action figures for boys, OTOH, are entirely realistic physical specimens.

Really? They must have changed a lot...they were literally totally emasculated when I was a kid....mo penis, no scrotum. I never particularly noticed or cared at the time...but looking back it seems kind of weird...and a feminist's dream.

Ralph L said...

That was the best part of the first Batman movie, watching the newscasters' looks deteriorate after their makeup and hair products are poisoned.

William said...

They hire the smartest women in the babe pool, and such women are not usually the brightest of all women.. The problem with good looks is that they don't last forever. I won't be ungallant and name names, but I see some women on tv who were legitimately hot ten years ago but now have gained a few pounds and some unattractive sags and wrinkles. These women were never hired for their keen insight into the events of the day. They were hired because they were hot and now they're not And their employers are stuck with them. There should be some quiet, merciful way of putting these women down...,..What I'm saying is also true of many male newspeopke. It's not so surprising that there was no downturn in the ratings when Matt Lauer and Charley Rose got canned. Those guys stud muffin days were long over. Charley Rose could mimic intelligence, but who can remember a single smart or insightful thing either one of them ever said.......I just hope that our educational system can teach young people, especially boys, to value movie stars for something other than their looks. Our movie stars are unrealistically good looking and fit. We need more drab, overweight movie stars in our romantic comedies and action flicks.

anti-de Sitter space said...

BTW, here is how to disparage a gal:


Donald J. Trump: You know and ...

Unknown: X used to be great. X’s still very beautiful.

Trump: I moved on X, actually. You know, X was down on Palm Beach. I moved on X, and I failed. I’ll admit it.

Unknown: Whoa.

Trump: I did try and fuck X. X was married.

Unknown: That’s huge news.

Trump: No, no, X. No, this was [unintelligible] — and I moved on X very heavily. In fact, I took X out furniture shopping.

X wanted to get some furniture. I said, “I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.” I took X out furniture —

I moved on X like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And X was married. Then all of a sudden I see X, X has now got the big phony tits and everything. X has totally changed her look. But, after that X was on the tube w/o being made up, she looked like a shithouse. But, I'd still grab me some Y pussy........and urethra. When it's time to get messy in Russia.



Earnest Prole said...

Presumably reading Althouse really adds to the GDP.

If that's your measure it seems designed to kill joy in most of its forms.

anti-de Sitter space said...

Earn P,

Maybe so.

But, as best as I can tell, re joy: I'd rather be loaded than trying to test the idea that normalness = joy.

Presumably there's some sorta comfort re not knowin' what ya don't know.



I dunno.



wildswan said...

"Mark said...
A Clinton spinster just came on"

I was wondering what "a Clinton spinster" was? Did she dress in that MeToo-Amish way? But why was she a "Clinton" spinster. Did she wear a big red H on her unattractive black dress? Or was she unattractive because she hadn't brushed her hair because she thought she could sleep in (as Althouse speculates) and so Mark saw this unattractive woman as a Clinton spinster? Was she different from an Margaret Atwood handmaiden?

But then I read on and realized these mysterious spinsters were spinmeisters who had been degendered with the usual messy results.

Comanche Voter said...

Hair, makeup, clothes? Who cares? Spoken like a person lost in toxic masculinity syndroome. As long as a female is fairly neatly dressed (I'm not into the whole strategic holes in $1,200 denim jeans thing) I don't pay much attention to how a female is dressed. As for makeup and hair? Well I'm put off by green or purple hair and or multiple facial and ear piercings--but other than that I don't pay much attention.

Now there is an old joke about how a woman can get a man's attention--with the punch line being "show up naked with a cold six pack of beer"---but I'm beyond that stage in my life.

Ultimately it boils down to what a person---of either the male or female or any other sexual flavor--has to say. Does it make sense or is it a load of codswallop (there's a lot more of the latter on offer these days)?

Feste said...

Hairdoo Halt functions demonstrated with Turing lambda calculus correlates “Trump's Timline of Offending Women” to hairdoo flip-flop gates in master-slave configurations, affecting negative functioned non-cutie Maddow-scales, without yet accounting for unintended ratchet-extension effects of Trump’s Hermippus Redivivus.

sane_voter said...

I saw about half of the back of Martha McCallum's head tonight on her show, it was normal looking.

Mary said...

We don’t have tv so I can only imagine what you’re describing. I haven’t watched tv in years, we’re internet only here. When it comes to make-up it’s damned if you do or damned if you don’t depending on the circumstances. Sounds like you got a bit of both, ha ha. I wish news anchors could be more casual and free spirited. But even Bill Maher has to get gussied up in a suit and tie and slick back that hair.

James Graham said...

Probably OT but I view BBC News and their female newsreaders are frumpier than any American counterparts even those in secondary (or smaller) markets.


AllenS said...

A BJ Clinton spinster would walk funny because of the cigar.

Earnest Prole said...

Presumably there's some sorta comfort re not knowin' what ya don't know.

Tru dat.

Speaking of what you don't know, if you leave too many line spaces in your posts a Mean Girl will come along and delete them.

Mary said...

@James Graham said...
"Probably OT but I view BBC News and their female newsreaders are frumpier than any American counterparts even those in secondary (or smaller) markets."
Maybe the US should get into frumpier news anchors, could be a whole new thing! I'm ok with boring bordering on interesting yet informative.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Commercial TV news could never decide whether it was show business or what. The bosses certainly had no confidence that viewers would have long attention spans or attention to detail in the news itself. To be on the safe side, let's have women whose looks are a cross between an upscale secretary or receptionist in the old days, and a Vegas hooker. National news used to be different: the authoritative aging male, a bit glum most of the time. Whatever it is, it's probably not good. TV is a dying business, I guess some of the TV news is getting an uptick thanks to Trump.

Sigourney Weaver's dad was one of many people who had hopes that TV would deliver intellectual and cultural content. Today there are high-quality nature docs, the best being Attenborough's, Brit costume drama, cinematic TV/video series, but otherwise the wilderness of reality TV, game shows, talent shows, talk shows ..... One would have thought even in show business terms, people wouldn't watch ordinary people leading ordinary lives with just a bit of coaching; but they do. Similarly there was an old joke that you wouldn't want to be stuck in an elevator with an actor; the idea was they just talk about themselves in a shallow way. Now there is lots of interest in being stuck in a confined space, watching a screen, while an actor blathers away.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Earnest Prole said...
Shorter Althouse: Meeeeeeee-ow!!!

1/22/18, 5:23 PM

Shorter EP: Meeeeeee-ow!!

If you ever actually have anything to say, Earnie, do let us know.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Wait wait wait...


Earnest Prole said...
Presumably reading Althouse really adds to the GDP.

If that's your measure it seems designed to kill joy in most of its forms.

1/22/18, 8:07 PM


YOU??? Said THAT?!?

Words fail, bubba, yes they do.

BillyTalley said...

1) This overcorrection has knocked fashion out of entertainment and few are commenting about it.
2) Patrice O’Niel talked about men and women and the bear working next to a honey covered salmon.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jdrYKnIUX_M

Mike said...

The woman on cable news channels look like they are going to a cocktail party. I will give CNN this, they dress in what I would think of as professional garb. The stuff the woman on the FNC wear would be bizarre if worn in an office setting. Like they didn't have time to go home and change after being out the night before.

The enforced sameness is distracting to me. I wonder what they point is of those 6" high heels when the anchorettes are always sitting anyway. And they ALL wear the same shoes like that. When someone new comes along, like Katie Pavlich did as a contributor to FNC a few years ago, they seem like a "normal" female. Katie was a bit plumper than standard TV chicks, still very good looking, and she was a good writer and had smart takes. She even dressed like a real human. Now, couple years into it and they have starved her into a starlet shape, lightened her hair and she's wearing the damn Fuck-me shoes they all are issued. Conformity. There was nothing unattractive about Original Katie. But she got Foxed.

mockturtle said...

Mike, at least Catherine Herridge looks and sounds like a professional journalist. She's not an anchor, though.