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October 6, 2015

Katie's got a new haircut; does it matter?

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 6th 2008 2:31PM
KatieEarlier this week, I was watching the CBS Evening News while I was at the keyboard. That means I wasn't really watching the TV screen; I was listening to the tube while working on the Mac. Therefore, I didn't even notice that Katie Couric had a new haircut. Then, from the other room, my husband called to me and asked what I thought. "Thought about what?" I answered.

That was how I heard the "big" news that CBS anchor Katie Couric has a new look. Really, what does it matter? Why should it matter? She's presenting the news, not selling hair gel or mousse, right?

Well, no sooner had my spouse told me that it would be the big story in the papers the next day then it came to pass. Do a Google search and you'll find lots of stories about Katie's hair. It's the biggest news Katie has stirred up since her interview with Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. That interview, straight and clean and not filled with any "gotchas," exposed the Governor as ill-prepared for the position she was seeking. I'm not the only person who believed that.

But back to Katie, is it right that a change of hairstyle should warrant such attention? Does that make us a superficial public? And is it sexist to make a big deal about her hair just because she's a woman?

The answers are no; no; and no.

First, anytime somebody in the public eye -- a TV star -- makes a change in the appearance, we notice. Nothing wrong with that. If Charlie Gibson let his hair grow and sported a Prince Valiant 'do, it would make news.

Second, the public should be attentive. We're not disaffected out here in TV land; we're engaged. New appearances, new stars with different looks that catch our eyes doesn't mean we're superficial.

Third, sexist? I think not. Like I said, if Charlie Gibson stopped visiting the barber, or Brian Williams opted for a buzz cut, we'd be talking about them, too. Gender has nothing to do with our reaction.

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I agree with your first two points, but I do have to disagree with the idea that if one of the male anchors changed their hair slightly we'd notice just as much. For one, if they changed it as much as Couric has, it wouldn't make nearly the amount of news that her change has. Their change would have to be far more drastic (military buzz cut, dyed pink) to get comparable attention. And I'm not usually one to call sexism as much as many of my other girl friends. It's on the exact same level as when the fashion choices of Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama, and Hillary Clinton make news. Yeh, 'cause I really do care so much about pantsuits, optical brands, and pant suits.

And WHY does it matter what you thought of the Couric/Palin interview?

December 07 2008 at 12:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Katie's comment

I seem to recall that very thing happening when Matt Lauer cut his hair. I may be wrong because I don't care a whit for any of the network news or morning shows.

December 07 2008 at 1:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

was it really necessary to share your political beliefs in a post about Katie Couric's new hairstyle?

December 06 2008 at 11:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Elizabeth's comment

Palin being stupid isn't a political belief, it's a demonstratable fact.

December 07 2008 at 8:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Greg the Paladin

When Trebek went sans 'stache, people noticed. So this is no different, I suppose.

December 06 2008 at 4:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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