On Wednesday, FishBowl DC's Peter Ogburn wrote a post attacking Michelle Fields of the Daily Caller for taking "one giant leap (backwards) for womankind." What in the world did Fields do to deserve the attack? She looks like a young woman, not a person who is biologically a woman wrapped up in a boxy pant suit so people "take her seriously." She has her own style, rather than looking like every other suited-up worker in D.C. (not to mention I personally don't buy the idea that every conservative woman should be wearing a string of pearls at all times). Ogburn also criticized the Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation for hiring Fields for a series of web videos about the economy, implying their only goal was to put a "relatively young, attractive woman" in front of camera not to sell economic ideas, but to look hot. Ogburn also seemed upset the center only used one male for the video series. With all due respect, maybe he doesn't realize the populace as a whole is a bit sick of white males lecturing about conservative economic policy.
Nothing really stands out about the material, but we couldn’t help but notice that almost every video is hosted by a relatively young, attractive woman. In fact, 14 out of 15 videos feature a young, attractive woman. Only one features a man. ALL of the videos with the women feature shots above the waist. Some even go out of their way to show off cleavage. Because when I think Keynesian economics, I think Titty City. Pretty weird, I know.
I'll give Ogburn some credit here. Young women going "out of their way to show off cleavage," in economic videos is inappropriate, but it was unfair for him to lump Fields into that category. The photo they use on the FishBowl post is of Fields wearing a business dress, and, in the video he criticizes her for, I see no blatant showing of cleavage. Fields looks like an attractive young woman--that's all. His comment that all the videos "feature shots above the waist" shows he doesn't know much about camera angles and filming. Turn on any news program--CNN, Fox News, MSNBC--and you'll find anchors are generally shot "above the waist."
While Ogburn criticized Fields for her performance in the video, he also unnecessarily attacked her appearance.
What’s weirder? The latest video is hosted by Michelle Fields, from the Daily Caller. It’s no secret that Michelle knows that she is gorgeous and has great hair, but this is super weird. The camera work seems to be largely inspired by the early works of the Al Qaeda hostage tapes.
If you want to be taken seriously, maybe just be good at reporting and stop showing off your legs and cleavage.
Do you remember that time Diane Sawyer showed off a bunch of cleavage while reading the news? No?
Remember when Diane Sawyer was really boring? I do. And yes, Fields is gorgeous and has great hair. If you've ever seen her in person, you understand she is naturally beautiful. She's the girl everyone jokingly hates because she just rolls out of bed looking fabulous, she's smart and she does great work. Want proof? Remember this video?
Or this one:
Think she's only good on camera? Think again.
Does Ogburn want her to be hideous with a bull cut? In the particular video and work Ogburn criticized, Fields is neither "showing off her legs or cleavage." Women in the political world can look feminine and be successful at the same time. Fields does a great job of representing this.
My question for Ogburn is this: Do women like Fields have to "ugly" up to be taken seriously? Would someone with less than fabulous hair and a gorgeous face have seen as much criticism based on a poor performance?
I don't think so. In defense of women who look like women, keep it up. If there is more pressure on feminine-looking women to do a better job than women who choose a more manly look, so be it, but to attack Fields for being attractive rather than solely focusing on her quality of work is pathetic.
I invite Ogburn to embrace the beauty, rather than tear it down.