Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Too Much Makeup on Fox News

 

Women wear too much makeup on Fox News, and it’s a sign of only one thing: sexism. So says a contributor to Broadly, the female-aimed webzine sister to Vice:

That the women who appear on Fox News are very young, very beautiful, and very heavily made up is news to no one. And despite the often combative nature of the on-air segments, the backstage experience seems to be much more relaxing. “Honestly,” says Basse, “99.9 percent of guests are jazzed about being there because it’s almost like a mini-spa. They do full hair and makeup [at the Fox News studio], and the people there are nice. They’re just nice.” But, she continues, not everyone who sits in her chair wants to have their makeup done. “Sometimes a guest is more low-key and low-maintenance, and they’re really nervous, and all I’ve ever said is, ‘Makeup is meant to make you look your best,'” she says. “I let them think I’m giving them exactly what they want, but in the end, I always get exactly what I want. Because I know what the producer’s looking for. If for some reason I get someone who’s really pushing back, I’ll tell them a little bit more about what’s going on instead of just slapping something on their face.”

But this, of course, is just the drumroll to the real complaint:

[Former Fox News contributor] Dr. [Caroline] Heldman is more critical of Fox News’ beauty rules. “They never write anything down, but there are unofficial rules, like you can never put your hair up,” she says. “They’re definitely looking for certain physical types. There’s not really any doubt about that.” She added, “When you go on Fox you’re automatically not legitimate. You’re there as eye candy and to be scoffed at. That is your role on Fox if you’re a woman.”

And then the regular Fox-haters show up:

Hannah Groch-Begley, a research fellow at Media Matters, devotes her time to tracking how conservative media in general—and Fox News specifically—talk about women, treat women, and report on policy topics that are of concern to women. She and her team are constantly tracking and documenting particularly glaring examples of sexism, from Fox News’ guests all the way up to its chairman and CEO, Roger Ailes. “What we really find is that sexism is rooted in Fox’s DNA,” she tells me. “If you look particularly at the things that Roger Ailes has said, it becomes clear that the culture of the network permits, and I think in some cases encourages, degradation of women and a dismissal of the serious issues that are facing women today.”

According to Groch-Begley, we can categorize sexism on Fox as falling into two categories. First, there’s the sexism that’s rooted deeply in Fox News’ business model—including recorded examples of how Roger Ailes treats the women on his channel, from high profile hosts to guests of the network. “There’s repeated evidence that he treats them as objects that are there purely for their physical value,” she told me. “They’re there for their physical appearance. They’re there as eye candy. And maybe they’ll say something interesting, maybe they won’t.”

But can’t the same be said about Steve Doocy? Or Shepard Smith? And it’s not as if CNN was thrilled to have Candy Crowley on the air.

From my perspective, as someone who has done some time in the Fox News Hair and Makeup Department, there are only really two conclusions: 1) There’s only so much any hair and makeup professional can do. Whenever I get a glimpse of myself on camera — something I try hard to avoid — I’m always struck by how even and un-red my skin tone is, which is a welcome change, and how imperative it is for me to lay off the bread. And 2) That almost all of the women I’ve ever seen in the hair and makeup chair know exactly what they want and exactly what the professional should be doing.

And then there’s this complaint:

Heldman argues that the particular subset of the population to whom Fox News caters on a nightly basis—a majority of their audience is white, male, and over 68 years old—like to see her get attacked and cornered by Republican men on air. “The Fox viewers are older and male and white,” she says, “And so I think that those audience members, at least for me, really enjoy me getting piled on 3-on-1 or whatever.” Male liberal guests do not face the same set up situations and do not experience close to the amount of trolling, Heldman tells me. “A lot of the commentary is sexist—it’s about my hair, it’s about my weight, it’s ‘dumb blonde’, ‘bleach blonde’, ‘you’re a prostitute’, all of this gendered

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. And it also happens any time I say anything controversial about race: I get ‘N-word lover’…on and on, constant sexist stuff. So the sexism comes out from fellow panelists, it certainly comes out from the hosts, who are condescending, and it comes out also from the trolls and the audience.”

Which boils down to, basically, conservative men are pigs. But if Dr Heldman thinks that she’s unique in getting nasty comments after an appearance, she should check out my Twitter timeline sometime. Or, ask Katherine Timpf, from NRO:

More than a month ago, I made some jokes about Star Wars on Red Eye, a satirical political comedy show that airs at 3 a.m., and it has resulted in me being verbally abused and told to die by a mob of enraged fans for the past four days now. The capital-offense comments were: “I have never had any interest in watching space nerds poke each other with their little space nerd sticks, and I’m not going to start now.” And: “Yesterday I tweeted something, and all I said was that I wasn’t familiar with Star Wars because I’ve been too busy liking cool things and being attractive.”

Kat is a very very funny and sharp commentator and I always enjoy being on TV with her. But here’s what she got after making those comments:

I received a few death threats right after I posted the aforementioned tweet — which, by the way, was why I was saying Star Wars fans were “crazy” in the first place. Overall, though, it wasn’t a big deal, and I kind of forgot about it. Then, this week, one Star Wars super-super-super fan who calls himself “AlphaOmegaSin” made a ten-minute (!) video brutally ripping me apart.

And here’s how she reacted:

Obviously, the totally insane whackjobs who have been attacking me don’t represent most Star Wars fans. But the fact that so many adults have responded with so much unhinged emotion astounds me. After all, I have a cat, and would never have reacted this way to someone making a joke based on the stereotypes about cat ladies being crazy and lonely or whatever. You know what I would have done? Absolutely nothing. Because I have a life, and seriously, who cares.

Kat, by the way, always looks terrific on TV.

There are 44 comments.

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  1. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RedEyeMakeUp

    • #1
    • November 30, 2015, at 2:05 PM PST
    • 1 like
  2. EThompson Inactive

    Ann Coulter, rock on! And Ayaan Hirsi Ali should continue to wear those Louboutins…

    • #2
    • November 30, 2015, at 2:11 PM PST
    • Like
  3. Rob Long Founder
    Rob Long

    EJHill:RedEyeMakeUp

    And it works!

    • #3
    • November 30, 2015, at 2:15 PM PST
    • Like
  4. Sabrdance Member

    Um… everyone on TV has too much make-up by the standards of every day living. Because TV isn’t every day living. The lights are brighter, the colors are sharper, and the camera is extremely near-sighted. The whole point of the make-up is to make it so you look good on TV -but in person it makes you look a bit like a zombie who can’t frown.

    (I remember the first time I talked to a news reporter live and in person. It was surreal. Like, “what is this thing in front of me that is trying to pass itself off as a person” but then I watched the report later, and they looked perfectly normal -that is some serious talent.)

    • #4
    • November 30, 2015, at 2:15 PM PST
    • Like
  5. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Eye candy. And why not?

    • #5
    • November 30, 2015, at 2:16 PM PST
    • 1 like
  6. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    Is it any coincidence that the name of that feminazi webzine is “Broadly”?

    • #6
    • November 30, 2015, at 2:36 PM PST
    • Like
  7. Hoyacon Member

    Media Mutters has research “fellows”? How sexist is that!?

    • #7
    • November 30, 2015, at 2:43 PM PST
    • Like
  8. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hannah Groch-Begley

    But of course.

    • #8
    • November 30, 2015, at 2:56 PM PST
    • Like
  9. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    I love eye candy, and don’t mind at all if Fox News continues to provide it.

    • #9
    • November 30, 2015, at 2:56 PM PST
    • Like
  10. I Walton Member

    Hardly a surprise that it drives liberals crazy that the Fox women who are so much more educated and intelligent than any main stream female reporters are also more beautiful.

    • #10
    • November 30, 2015, at 3:03 PM PST
    • Like
  11. TKC1101 Inactive

    Television is theatre. 93% of human communication is nonverbal and that is why television dominates other media. To ignore that is to wish away human biology. We respond to visual cues, it defines our receptivity to what we hear before we hear it.

    I learned a long time ago that one can be pretty and stupid and do well, one can be smart and pretty and do well, but if one is ugly, you better be really smart or really scary.

    • #11
    • November 30, 2015, at 3:13 PM PST
    • Like
  12. Hoyacon Member

    Charlotte:

    Hannah Groch-Begley

    But of course

    Since Ms. Groch-Begley is engaged in “research,” I wasted five minutes “researching” her background. It appears that she’s now moved on to greener, if no more reputable, pastures, and is now (drum roll) Research Director for NARAL Pro Choice America, a move possibly motivated by the desire to get that “fellow” out of her job title. Nothing that I could find in her background other than time at Vassar qualifies her to pontificate on media sexism, but perhaps the Soros $$$ don’t go as far as they used to. You can follow her at @grouchybagels (seriously).

    • #12
    • November 30, 2015, at 3:22 PM PST
    • Like
  13. A-Squared Inactive

    Meh. TV Anchors are unthinking talking heads who primary job description is to convincingly read the teleprompter or repeat what is whispered in their ear (as William Hurt did in the film Broadcast News).

    That is, the only thing the anchor adds to the equation is attractiveness, in other words, they are “eye candy”, and if they have a problem with that, they are in the wrong business. You have to be fairly detached from reality to complain about the thing that got you the job in the first place.

    It’s a little like a runway model complaining that they are only hired for their looks. Duh.

    • #13
    • November 30, 2015, at 3:47 PM PST
    • 1 like
  14. blank generation member Inactive

    Charlotte:Hannah Groch-Begley

    But of course.

    My first thought. Positively Dickensian.

    • #14
    • November 30, 2015, at 4:06 PM PST
    • Like
  15. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Just as much as men, women expect that women being viewed by an audience will make an effort to get as close as they can to a beautiful appearance. Just as much as men, women don’t demand this as much of men. For as long as I can remember, feminists have been trying, and failing, to change our tendency to expect that women, putting themselves out there to be seen, will make that experience as painless as possible. ( Funny, just the other night, I was viewing a woman on You Tube, trying to listen to what she was saying, and thinking : why didn’t she make her flat, stringy hair look fuller, and wear it more brushed away from her face.)

    I don’t think the women on Fox news look like they’re wearing a lot of make-up. Though, of course, I know they must be.

    • #15
    • November 30, 2015, at 4:29 PM PST
    • Like
  16. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    Hoyacon:

    Charlotte:

    Hannah Groch-Begley

    But of course

    Since Ms. Groch-Begley is engaged in “research,” I wasted five minutes “researching” her background. It appears that she’s now moved on to greener, if no more reputable, pastures, and is now (drum roll) Research Director for NARAL Pro Choice America, a move possibly motivated by the desire to get that “fellow” out of her job title. Nothing that I could find in her background other than time at Vassar qualifies her to pontificate on media sexism, but perhaps the Soros $$$ don’t go as far as they used to. You can follow her at @grouchybagels (seriously).

    She just popped to the top of the list of chicks not to date, sporting that name.

    • #16
    • November 30, 2015, at 4:35 PM PST
    • Like
  17. Zafar Member

    Politifact gets into it:

    A Facebook post used an image of female Fox News anchors to say that the network lacks diversity in its staff. We found that for those women who are anchors or hosts in any capacity, about half are blond. And while most [93%?] are white, not all are.

    The Facebook image gives the strong impression that all female Fox News anchors and hosts look alike. That’s misleading. We rate the claim Mostly False.

    • #17
    • November 30, 2015, at 4:45 PM PST
    • Like
  18. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Left leaning commentators wear a lot of makeup too.

    140924-andrea-mitchell-1132_212b886d4bafc7c30a24a88b6c6ae81e.nbcnews-fp-1200-800

    So I think the real complaint isn’t makeup but attractiveness. And I am pretty sure Democrats like good looking women as much as Republicans do.

    • #18
    • November 30, 2015, at 4:54 PM PST
    • Like
  19. Kim K. Member
    Kim K. Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Haven’t watched Fox in awhile, but the last time I did I wondered how Kimberly Guilfoyle was able to keep her eyelids up with those huge (gotta be fake) lashes.

    And I loved Brit Hume, but Bret Baier is considerably easier on the eyes.

    • #19
    • November 30, 2015, at 5:28 PM PST
    • Like
  20. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Re # 18

    I’m sure it’s true women in front of an audience gain more from the advantage of beauty than men in front of an audience do. Is the unspoken complaint here that women on Fox are younger?

    • #20
    • November 30, 2015, at 5:30 PM PST
    • Like
  21. Hoyacon Member

    Zafar:Politifact gets into it:

    A Facebook post used an image of female Fox News anchors to say that the network lacks diversity in its staff. We found that for those women who are anchors or hosts in any capacity, about half are blond. And while most [93%?] are white, not all are.

    The Facebook image gives the strong impression that all female Fox News anchors and hosts look alike. That’s misleading. We rate the claim Mostly False.

    This one of those kerfuffles that Politifact uses to show that they have “balance.” In the general scheme of things, who gives a flying saucer whether Fox “lacks diversity”? Now, having established their balanced bona fides on the great “blondes at Fox” controversy, Politifact can proceed to rip every Republican candidate for everything they’ve ever said.

    • #21
    • November 30, 2015, at 5:33 PM PST
    • Like
  22. Hoyacon Member

    OK, I detect pancake, blush, mascara, and perhaps “unnatural” eyelashes. And is that shade of brown “real”? Not to mention, the fetching open jacket and rather low cut top. Rachel-Maddow-08-NBC01

    • #22
    • November 30, 2015, at 5:45 PM PST
    • 1 like
  23. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Why single out Fox? There’s just as much made up on all the other news networks, too.

    Oh, wait . . .

    • #23
    • November 30, 2015, at 5:48 PM PST
    • Like
  24. blank generation member Inactive

    Hoyacon:OK, I detect pancake, blush, mascara, and perhaps “unnatural” eyelashes. And is that shade of brown “real”? Not to mention, the fetching open jacket and rather low cut top. Rachel-Maddow-08-NBC01

    Not to mention the breast enhancement surgery.

    • #24
    • November 30, 2015, at 5:53 PM PST
    • Like
  25. LC Member
    LC Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’d rather watch those attractive women on Fox over that Ron Reagan, Jr. look-alike Rachel Maddow,

    Vance Richards:

    140924-andrea-mitchell-1132_212b886d4bafc7c30a24a88b6c6ae81e.nbcnews-fp-1200-800

    and this one any day.

    • #25
    • November 30, 2015, at 6:14 PM PST
    • 1 like
  26. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Re 24 and 25,

    I doubt how they look physically has much to do with why we don’t like looking at them.

    • #26
    • November 30, 2015, at 6:22 PM PST
    • Like
  27. Suspira Member

    It’s apparent that attractiveness is one of the qualifications for on-camera talent at Fox News. So what? It’s also desirable for receptionists and pharmaceutical sales reps. How is this sexist? Serious question. That accusation rarely comes attached to “because…” I need help to understand their argument.

    • #27
    • November 30, 2015, at 6:32 PM PST
    • 1 like
  28. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Their argument : You don’t like us as well because you’re threatened by substance and a sucker for young, white, painted women. (We know this because there is no other possible explanation.) Your preference for Fox proves how superficial you are and how very much we need to eradicate sexism in our society.

    • #28
    • November 30, 2015, at 7:12 PM PST
    • 1 like
  29. Funeral Guy Inactive
    Funeral Guy Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dr. Caroline Heldman should thank her lucky stars that she possesses a certain degree of babeitude. Without it she’d be just another boring doctrinaire leftist spouting her outdated Marxism to the fifteen viewers who put their bongs down long enough to find MSNBC on their televisions.

    • #29
    • November 30, 2015, at 8:15 PM PST
    • Like
  30. Funeral Guy Inactive
    Funeral Guy Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I must admit that Maddow person is a rather handsome young fellow.

    • #30
    • November 30, 2015, at 8:19 PM PST
    • Like

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