Isn’t it time to stop holding women to a different standard?!?
The fat comments, the ugly comments…I’ve heard it all over the years. Yep, it comes with the territory when you’re in the public eye—people are going to judge you.
Here’s the thing—out of the countless rude messages and emails I’ve received in my career, only one has been from a female. Every other negative comment about my appearance has been from a men.
It was the middle of the newscast, when I received a notification from a man. He wanted to know if I owned any other dresses, that I wear the same style every night on the news.
My initial thought? SO WHAT. I would hope that people trust me on the news and watch because I’m a good journalist, not because of what I wear. I have dozens of dresses in my closet, but I’m not there to be a distraction. I dress conservatively, I go for comfort and I know what works for me (and my 40 year old body…thank you stretchy dresses!).
But that didn’t stop this man. Truth be told, after a lengthy back and forth, he apologized and realized that he shouldn’t have criticized a professional woman.
So what did I say? I simply asked him if he would ask the same question to my male co-anchor? Men can wear the exact same suit every single day, yet they aren’t criticized for “not changing it up”. Men can have wrinkles and aren’t told to get Botox. And they can carry an extra 20lbs of weight and not be told that they are fat and ugly.
Women, not just in my industry, are often held to a different standard. We’re criticized for our looks and our attire, and we’re sometimes criticized for having a family and trying to juggle it all.
That needs to stop. It’s 2020.
That picture you see? It’s me smiling and feeling good because 13 months after having a baby, I’m finally fitting into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes. What you don’t see is the struggle I faced for months after realizing that the weight doesn’t come off as easily the older I get. You don’t see my feelings of insecurity and stress because I wasn’t feeling like myself postpartum. And you don’t see the pure exhaustion and anxiety that comes with being a working mom with one child home e-learning and a baby up all night teething.
No, you don’t see any of that. Because as women, we are good at masking the insecurities behind a smile. We are good at juggling a thousand things at once, because as moms, we know how to manage the chaos.
Here’s the thing- You never know what someone may be going through. As I look at this picture, I see a woman, confident in her role as a mother, and as a professional. I don’t see the same old dress she may have worn four weeks ago, I see someone proud of who she is and comfortable in her own skin.