Wrinkly women in the media

Yet there is a basic injustice that we have allowed to take hold in our public life and that is the removal of older women from it regardless of whether they have relevant life experience or expertise.

Sigh.

It is necessary, as the phrase goes, to look at this in the whole.

A pleasant looking young bird has more chance to get on the TV than a not pleasant looking young bird or a young man of any degree of pleasantness. Attributes such as big tits, nice bum, long legs, shiny hair, all help.

Perhaps this should not be so but it is.

It\’s therefore not a surprise that when some of those attributes which created the job opportunity in the first place fade away then so does the job opportunity.

As and when being young, pert and good looking is not an aid in getting into TV in the first place then we might indeed reasonably complain about the absence of those factors being a reason for not being on TV.

It\’s a fact that young and pretty whores get more punters than old and ugly ones. Why should anyone think it different for media tarts?

26 comments on “Wrinkly women in the media

  1. I was more astounded by the statement further down that article that: “It may not seem similar at first, but witness Liam Fox’s latest outpouring in the Financial Times, where he argues for a relaxation of labour protection laws for businesses, which should be allowed to choose their own staff and do with them what they will. A nanny state which dictates the age or diversity of a workforce is simply political correctness gone mad for libertarians.”

    Businesses shouldn’t choose their staff? Not hire and fire based on requirements of the business? This is ludicrous.

  2. I always wondered what happened to PE teachers between the ages of, say, 45 and whenever it is that teachers retire (50? Just kidding). Always assuming the geography department was full.

  3. It’s a fact that young and pretty whores get more punters than old and ugly ones. Why should anyone think it different for media tarts?

    Do they? I would think, having little experience in this field, that young and pretty whores would turn those assets into fewer clients. Fewer but richer. In some cases, one even.

    It would be the older and droopier ones that are blowing a dozen truck drivers a day.

    Quite how that would work with media tarts I am not sure. But I am sure that these women think it is sexist to say so.

  4. Actually, for all my roaring hatred of the Feminist movemnet, I’m inclined to agree on this one. Other than overtly sexy stuff like Naked News or something, I don’t care what a bird looks like who is doing some other telly job. Or many other jobs. I do thus have to agree that it’s Not Good to hire people for those jobs on the basis of their tits and glossy hair.

    As a sorta example, consider Ann Wilson of the rock band Heart. She went through hell because she is naturally higher of mass than is hegemonically desirable. She also has one of the great classic voices of rock and roll, and I would prefer she be judged on that. But if you look at Youtube videos, the comments underneath frequently do the whole stuff about whales and all sorts of nastiness. Makes me weep, really does. I’m a music lover and also like most males fond of pretty girls. But I want my singers chosen on whether they can sing or not. I’d much rather listen to Bessie Smith than some talentless bint with her tits falling out of her bra, really I would.

    On this one, I’m a feminist. The only point I agree on is that it’s abit rich for women whose career was made by being totty complaining later on about not getting the work when they’re post-totty. But it still comes back to hiring policy.

  5. Actually I think there are two points that are more deserving of comment than the actual article.

    One is that Mr Bean demands special protection from discrimination laws for the so called “creative industries”. This is mildly outrageous. There is nothing special about luvvies. If we want good cars or fish and chips or banking services, they are as entitled to hire on merit as anyone else.

    The other is someone else wrote an article on the Guardian site called “Gender and the tyranny of the ‘normal'” by Philippa Perry. So it is clearly not just this woman who is struggling with reality.

  6. Ian B – “Other than overtly sexy stuff like Naked News or something, I don’t care what a bird looks like who is doing some other telly job. Or many other jobs. I do thus have to agree that it’s Not Good to hire people for those jobs on the basis of their tits and glossy hair.”

    Come on, they read the damn news. They do the weather. I think that it makes a difference if the totty is tottable or not. Maybe not such a big difference, but it does make a difference. And even if we agreed it didn’t, the news people have every right to consult their audience and give them what they want.

    Myself, I prefer to fly Singapore or Cathay Pacific specifically because they are not forced to hire, or rather keep on, aging hags with bad attitudes. I won’t pay a lot more for it, but I will pay something because it does actually matter. It makes a noticeable difference to the hell that is long distance travel.

    “As a sorta example, consider Ann Wilson of the rock band Heart. She went through hell because she is naturally higher of mass than is hegemonically desirable. She also has one of the great classic voices of rock and roll, and I would prefer she be judged on that.”

    By all means. But it is not an either/or situation is it? I like Adele’s voice. I prefer Kylie in hot pants. Why can’t I have both? Why do I need some bint with sagging tits and a bad attitude telling me that I can’t have one or another? What possible business is it of anyone else?

  7. SMFS-

    Well, the reason you can’t have Ann Wilson’s voice in somebody else’s body is that it’s Ann Wilson’s voice. Or Bessie Smith’s voice. Or Ella Fitzgerald’s voice. Or Mrs Mills’s piano playing come to that.

    I sometimes think maybe I’m more content with ugly women because I’m happily out of the closet as a pornonerd, as such I don’t need to slyly get my jollies looking at girls doing other things; if I want to objectify somebody sexually, I can go somewhere where that’s the overt intention. I strongly suspect that the ever greater dependence on totty in the media is not due to the mythical “pornification” but the opposite; in a puritan society people have to seek out slightly-porn because they’re too ashamed to just indulge in the real thing, and the media has to supply that. Thats one reason women are experiencing more and more appearance pressure. If I am correct, then a more relaxed attitude to the real thing would mean everyone would be more able to go “I want to look at some totty, so I’m going to find some totty to look at with tits and bush and everything, and then later I’m going to watch the news and not give a tinker’s cuss what the person reading it looks like”.

    Basically, if I want to have somebody tell me what’s going on in Towelheadistan, I don’t care if I’m being told it by Reggie Bosanquet’s toupee. If I really can’t get through that half hour without staring at some tits, I’ll find some of that and put it up on another monitor. I really don’t need the news from Towelheadistan as told by a fabulous rack, you know.

  8. Ian B

    Well, the reason you can’t have Ann Wilson’s voice in somebody else’s body is that it’s Ann Wilson’s voice.

    That is not what I mean. I mean I should be allowed to watch Kylie’s hotpants on Channel A and listen to Adele’s voice on Channel B. As the mood takes me. It should not be laid down by law or regulation which I must have.

    I really don’t need the news from Towelheadistan as told by a fabulous rack, you know.

    You know, I take your point about the porn-ification of modern society. It is shame that we no longer take less attractive women seriously. But when it comes to reading the news from Towelheadistan, the qualifications are somewhat low. If some 10 million people in these Bless’d Isles could do it, you need to add some other qualification to narrow down the field. A nice pair is a useful criteria. You may not like it, but some people will. And it is mildly pleasing to the eye. I don’t need it either but it does not hurt. What else does a news reader need? They just read the autocue.

  9. In the interests of fairness I demand that all newsreaders wear a burqa and have their voices adjusted a la Stephen Hawking. Wouldn’t that make TV really worthwhile !

    Alan Douglas

  10. SMFS-

    Of course, I wasn’t arguing for regulation, even if such regulation were possible. I was just saying that in this case I do sympathise with the frustrations of those doing the complaining. Sort of in the same way as I don’t think racist speech should be against the law, but I entirely sympathise with somebody pissed off at being called a nigger.

  11. Wouldn’t that make TV really worthwhile !

    No. It would make news, which is one of the few bits of modern TV that isn’t already utterly infuriating, utterly infuriating.

    But that’s just my personal opinion.

  12. Ian B,

    Other than overtly sexy stuff like Naked News or something, I don’t care what a bird looks like who is doing some other telly job.

    You’re missing the problem which is that it’s about comparing 2 people who are equally matched in terms of what you need for a job.

    None of these women are Joyce Grenfell, Tina Fey or Maggie Smith who can be described as having an extraordinary talent. They present to camera reading words on a script, do some lightweight interviews with someone that no-one cares too much about. You need someone with a few years experience in TV to do it.

    So, which option do you pick as they can both do the job? The one that is more likely to generate PR for your programme, or the other one? The one that might keep dads watching or the other one?

    Your analysis is somewhat right and somewhat wrong. There’s a trope in TV known as “parent service”. It’s not so much that blokes tune in to see Amy Pond in Dr Who, but that they’ll be a lot more willing to let the kids choose it if they some eye candy (it’s generally reckoned that the whole thing of young female Dr Who assistants and their sometimes revealing costumes was “parent service”).

  13. “Basically, if I want to have somebody tell me what’s going on in Towelheadistan, I don’t care if I’m being told it by Reggie Bosanquet’s toupee. If I really can’t get through that half hour without staring at some tits, I’ll find some of that and put it up on another monitor. I really don’t need the news from Towelheadistan as told by a fabulous rack, you know.”

    I challenge someone to put that up on Komment Macht Frei! See how long it lasts, even though it’s supportive of the article’s premise…

  14. I think a female TV presenter’s looks only become an issue if the lady in question is particularly shite at the job she’s been hired for. ie. if she’s beautiful but stutters over an autocue, then it probably means she hasn’t been hired for her presentational skills..

    I have to say I haven’t come across this scenario too often though, Nina Hossein on ITN, Natasha Kaplinsky over at BBC News or Becky Mantin who reads the weather are all examples of fine looking women who are very good at their jobs I would say..

    Tim adds: OK, to make my point in another way. So, how many ugly women are there on TV doing these jobs?

    Well, quite, so looks do have something to do with it so there can be few complaints (or rather, one should not complain) if the fading of the looks leads to not having the job.

  15. I understood your point Tim and I concur, the additional point I was trying to make though was that as long as these women haven’t acquired their positions solely on their looks (which by and large I suggest they haven’t) then there really is nothing to complain about, is there?

  16. You should also consider that you may not actually be the target audience.

    On the rare occasion I watch the news on TV I just want the latest facts not a pretty face but I’ve given up on papers and I rely on the internet for most of my information so I assume that puts me in a minority anyway.

  17. KJ,

    I suspect you’re missing the point slightly and Tim Almond has it.

    Within a bunch of people who interview well for the job, is there going to be an unannounced “the prettiest gets it” criterion? The chances are that this is true for both men and women, although I would guess it is more significant for women. So it isn’t solely on their looks but looks are, indeed, a substantive factor in their original selection.

  18. The handsome and the pretty are favoured everywhere in life, as are the strong, the talented, and the big spenders – not to mention those with sane and sober parents. And if you start with “positive discrimination – you don’t know where to stop. I read on some US economics blog that some half Asiatic girl in the USA claimed to be White when applying to a university, because heavier “positive discrimination” is now levelled at Asiatic people at this university than against Whites (when Blacks also are considered). One has to ask: next stop Jews?

  19. Johnny,

    Where are you going to find enough Tories at the BBC to discriminate against?

    They’re only permitted as an overt comedy turn (eg Clarkson) or appointed by a Tory government (eg Patten).

  20. Jeez, Tim, you must be watching some Johnny Foreigner stations.

    Haven’t you cottoned on to the preferred BBC bird?

    Admittedly, Madhur Jaffrey would struggle to get a look in, but crumpet with a touch of 39 ethnic heritages is in any programme like a shot, warts and all.

    Or is that all warts?

    I forget.

  21. Does it not all depend on why you watch such TV programs. As a voyeur go for mammary.
    But if you want people to believe what you say – the pert are just irritating.
    An old face is a a credible face.

  22. Ian B – “I was just saying that in this case I do sympathise with the frustrations of those doing the complaining.”

    But why? Being pretty is more or less a criteria for the job. If someone stops being pretty, it is cruel, but life is often cruel. Act of God, not of man. She needs to be replaced. Notice that they are arguing for an entirely unfair generational advantage – they got their jobs because they were crumpetlicious. Now, having displaced an older generation of dolly birds, they want to prevent an even younger generation of dolly birds replacing them.

    They should have listened to their grandmothers and realised that pretty girls need something more than being pretty because the pretty doesn’t last.

    12Tim Almond – “None of these women are Joyce Grenfell, Tina Fey or Maggie Smith who can be described as having an extraordinary talent.”

    I expect that actually we are too kind to older women. Part of Britain’s fading tradition of being a gentleman. Maggie Smith I suppose you could argue for, up to a point, but if these others were men I don’t believe anyone would call them extraordinary talents. Helen Mirren may look good in a bikini but actually she is not a good actress. Tina Fey is not that funny. We just all say they are.

    19Jahn – “One has to ask: next stop Jews?”

    It is utterly outrageous that the impact of US affirmative action falls on Asians. Historically victims of discrimination in America. If they were at least consistent they would lift Jewish Americans out of the White category – as they have lifted Filipino Americans out of the Asian category – and restrict their numbers to reflect society. But of course they do not have the guts to do that. It would make what they are doing a little too obvious.

    20johnny bonk – “… no, tories.”

    Oh come on. As if any American university admits a Tory if they can avoid it. I bet if you put in two identical applications – the same in every way – except one volunteered for Obama and one volunteered for Rick Perry, the Perry girl would get rejected every time.

    23john miller – “Admittedly, Madhur Jaffrey would struggle to get a look in, but crumpet with a touch of 39 ethnic heritages is in any programme like a shot, warts and all.”

    Well they can give Konnie Huq a programme any time they like. I won’t complain. Although I have seen enough of Alexa Chung and I have never seen a single one of her programmes.

    24john malpas – “Does it not all depend on why you watch such TV programs. As a voyeur go for mammary. But if you want people to believe what you say – the pert are just irritating.
    An old face is a a credible face.”

    I bet that is not true. An older man is probably credible, but an older woman? Besides, this applies to viewers? They are the ones watching. And I think they do not watch to be convinced, but to be informed. Even the BBC.

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