Of course, I'm being facetious.
Many moons ago when I worked as an impressionable 20-something reporter, one of our main anchors told us he thought women shouldn't be on television after the age of 30. The comment stemmed from a discussion on our appearances, and the gist was that the looks of an aging woman can lead to a distracting presentation which can take away from the actual story.
As I've aged, I've gone back to that incident in my mind. Over the years, I've ramped up my skin care regimen, gone on extreme diets, gotten rid of my gray hair and used fake eyelashes to fill in the ones that have naturally fallen out.
But recently, I've been thinking... why are we so hard on ourselves? And why do we let others be so harsh to us? This is not a new argument, in fact, we see a plethora of women striking back to the fat shamers and the internet trolls... and even the media folks who can't seem to ask an woman celebrity more than "who are you wearing?"
You don't have to be on television to know it's tough to own lady parts.
Recently, many of you came to my aid because someone on Facebook wrote that it looked as if I had gained weight. My first instinct was to respond with:
"Yes, I've gained a few cheese curds."
"Nope, always chubby."
Instead, I went this way--
My husband gave me a significant eye roll when I told him that I responded.
He hates it when I respond to some comments but I always feel the need to let people to know 1) I'm here and 2) I care. That is what makes interaction so amazing at times. Anyone can post something but do they respond? I have made "access" my calling card.
However, the truth is, I have gained a little weight. It started when I first moved to Wisconsin and discovered what it's like to live in a true foodie city. But also, I started taking fertility drugs a few months ago and that changed my body and spirit. Over the winter, I became depressed over "failing" to get pregnant, I strongly disliked maneuvering in cold weather and I grew tired of the long commute. Turning 36 this fall and inheriting "Korean fat genes" doesn't help either.
I don't have to explain this to anyone but I just wanted to put it out there. I'm an aging woman.
Interestingly enough, it happens to all of us women in the newsroom (and it's happened to several of my former female co-workers in other newsrooms across the US.) Just look at a recent letter my colleague Charlotte received after raising awareness of breast cancer screenings:
Occasionally, we get intense voice mails as well. This "guy" calls me and several of my peers:
In the past, I remember a viewer calling in to complain about me covering a Memorial Day service. "Get the damn Jap off the air--it's disrespectful for our veterans!" By the way, I'm Korean-born, American-raised and thankful to all our veterans.
Eric Franke even jokes with me that it's tough to be a woman in a newsroom. The women regularly receive comments about their clothing, their hair, their weight (A reporter in our newsroom got asked if she was pregnant!)
So, just stop. If you haven't learned by now, don't ask anyone EVER if they're pregnant.
The one thing I wanted to say - that you've heard before - is be kind. Be great to women. And be great women. If it's not uplifting us as human beings, then maybe it shouldn't be shared in such rapid fire.
By the way, I'm not sure if that news anchor ever changed his mind about aging women. I certainly hope he did... since he ended up marrying one. Nonetheless, I think it's time, after all these years, to leave that moment behind. I do think we need to be kinder to each other but I also feel like we have to push ourselves forward...woman-to-woman, I hope you'll heed this friendly advice I also got on Facebook: