Kanoa Lloyd’s job is to present the weather for us every night on TV3, so why do people care so much about her clothes? Anny Ma tells armchair fashion critics everywhere to sit down and shut up.
I can safely say that my life is made more spectacular from seeing Kanoa Lloyd’s face light up the tellybox every night. If you haven’t experienced her radiating sunshine already, Kanoa is the fantastic presenter who delivers the weather on Newshub at 6 with grace and aplomb every evening.
See, I’m a fan of seeing women present current affairs. I’m also a fan of women excelling in their fields. This makes me a huge fan of women who excel at presenting current affairs. However, I’m not a huge fan of people who find themselves more concerned with what the presenter is wearing.
Land of the Long White Moan, am I right?
A while ago I watched Kanoa speak at a Pantograph Punch story-telling evening, where she was scheduled to deliver an impassioned tale about her integration of Te Reo into her weather reports, and the nation’s consequential reaction.
However, events did not proceed as planned, after an agitated viewer emailed her at the last minute. The email featured a breakdown of exactly what was wrong with how Kanoa dresses to present the weather, and how imperative it is that she dress more to her figure.
Let me reiterate, this email was not from Trinny nor Susannah, but from a viewer. Of the news. Despite having an early career in retail, I don’t think I’ve ever felt it’s my place to go out of my way to tell a stranger that their clothing looks terrible. So why do they do it?
The reality is that this one example in a constant flood of ‘feedback’ that people think they’re entitled to dump on women, despite us having to deal with other apocalyptic matters like ageing and weight gain. It’s this perception that a woman’s appearance is always up for public debate, that what she is wearing has consequential links to her potential for respectability, success, acceptance, and ‘standing’ in society.
I stopped doing maths in high school when it was no longer compulsory, but I’ve dug out my NCEA Level One Math skills and created a venn diagram to look for the correlative point between Kanoa’s dresses/shoes/hairstyle and her (superb) ability to do her job:
During her chat, Kanoa reiterated that she is not the only woman in the history of the news to ever receive this thoughtful and well-intentioned viewer feedback. Kanoa offered us heart-warming anecdotes from her fellow women presenters of ridiculous misogyny, such as advice on one woman’s bone structure. Her male colleagues had no such stories.
Let us cast our minds back to when a male Australian TV host sent waves across the world for wearing the same suit for an entire year to see if anybody would notice. Karl was sick of the unsolicited, unwarranted, and unfair feedback co-host Lisa was receiving. His subsequent experiment conclusively found that: [Breaking News Alert] The World is Actually Very Sexist!
In addition to having to work much harder to prove ourselves as capable and functioning members of society who don’t just laugh at salad all the time, women also have to deal with their appearance being used as a yardstick for success. Maybe sometimes women don’t want to wear heels to work. Maybe we need sturdier shoes to traverse the shards of the broken glass ceiling.
Perhaps there will come a time when we don’t spark outrage over the amount of skin we have exposed whilst reporting on The Olympics, despite the backdrop being an arena full of men in speedos. Maybe one day, when we attend a red carpet ceremony, we won’t get called ‘fat and ugly’.
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For now, all we can do is fight back.
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