Posts Tagged ‘dress for success’

Are Latina TV reporters too sexy for the job?

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

When social media explodes around the question of, “Who was that ridiculous Latina chick in the red dress at the Super Bowl media day,” I pay attention. The chick in question was Marisol González, the reporter for Televisa Deportes.

Wearing a super tight, red mini-dress with her luscious, wavy brown hair flowing down to her waist, the striking reporter was at the media event interviewing players along with all the other reporters. But of course, she didn’t look like any of the other reporters.

Her outfit was just as sexy as those favored by her competitor, Inez Sainz, from TV Azteca, who last year was at the center of an investigation following a “locker room incident” where some players made jokes and comments about her appearance. I wonder why.

The fact that these two reporters are not only allowed but very likely encouraged to flaunt their great attributes by their employers speaks volumes of the deeply engrained sexism in the Hispanic culture. I know many men who don’t speak a word of Spanish but watch the morning shows and the evening news to see the sexy hostesses and the weather girls.

There’s nothing wrong with leveraging what you’ve got to achieve your goals. Hey, men tilt the scale in their favor using their deep, authoritative voices, taking up more space and even faking self-confidence when necessary.

The problem with übersexy reporters who pose in bikinis and wear skimpy clothing to do their jobs is that you can’t take them seriously and they devalue the profession. When Inez Sainz describes herself on her website as the “World Hottest Sports Reporter” who “is best known because of her sexy looks” and “is hot, talented and has a great smile,” it makes me wonder, why not chose a career as a model, spokesperson for a sun block brand, or even have her own variety show? If her body and her looks are her best attributes, then she’s miscast as a reporter.

Why do I care? For two reasons: First, because the journalistic profession requires people who take their job seriously. Until the industry stops sanctioning looks over substance there will be limited opportunities for the thousands of brilliant female journalists who work hard to get in front of a camera. And second, because this lack of professional attitude (and attire) impacts all of us. Playing to the sexy Latina stereotype contributes to smart Latinas not being taken as seriously as they should be.

I hope this piece encourages a healthy debate on the subject of what is appropriate dress for different professions. But until some changes are made, it’s only fair that all the Spanish TV networks demand that their male anchors, sportscasters and weathermen show some skin. What about some six packs and a tight pair of black briefs for us ladies to look at? Old-Spice man anyone?

This blog first appeared on Fox News Latino.

Do Latinas dress too sexy for their own good?

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

mariela-with-jacket1

    In a recent post on the Latinos in College Facebook page we asked if Latinas dress too sexy for the workforce or for a professional environment. It was interesting to read our fans reactions. Here’s a sample:
    “We have curvy figures and everything just looks great on us!” – Carmen Guerrero“

    “I think we just have great taste and “consequently” what we choose to wear accentuates our bodies… I mean when I watch Good Morning America on NBC and Despierta America on Univision I’m like there is no comparison. Latinos are looking fresh all the time.” Faustino Hernanez

    “I think it’s just the shape of our bodies. I can wear something really baggy and you can still see my curves.” Vikki.

    Yes, Latinas tend to be curvier and pay more attention to their appearance. (Full disclosure: I wore lipstick to the ER a few weeks back!) But that doesn’t mean that they are always dressing appropriately when it comes to the workplace or any professional environment. This is true not just for Latinas but for many young ladies who have some difficulties distinguishing what kind of clothes to wear for different occasions. If you don’t have female role models who work in a professional setting, it can be a challenge to figure it all out on your own.

    Here are a few pointers that might help.

  • 1. Use the heavy makeup for a night out. For a job interview, an internship or a professional conference, try a more discreet do. The same goes for your accessories. The principle here is “less is more.”
  • 2. Skirts should be to your knees or below. Not above. Favor those that are not too tight so that the shape of your butt doesn’t become part of the conversation once you walk away. Choose skirts that are either a solid color or subtle prints. And fabrics that are not see through or lacey.
  • 3. Blouses or shirts should not show cleavage, they should fit you nicely but not too snuggly. Again, choose solids over busy prints and favor fabrics that are not see through, shiny, or have inscriptions. Do you really want a contact who could be your future boss read: “You say bitch like is a bad thing” printed on the back of your shirt?
  • 4. Wear a bra even when you don’t need one.
  • 5. Wear stockings whenever possible. Even in 2011 bear legs are still too informal for most professional environments.
  • 6. Choose your shoes carefully. You want to wear pumps with a regular heel (about 3 inches.) We all know you’ll be on the next season of Dancing with the Stars, but for this occasion, it’s better to leave your dancing shoes at home.
  • 7. If you wear a pant-suit (or pants and a jacket), chose slacks that are not stretchy and this includes any clothes you’d use to exercise, or go on a stroll with your mom on a Sunday morning. No thighs, no leggings, no palazzo made of stretchy cotton, or velour, no sweatpants, you get the picture.
  • 8. If you look awesome in a dress with a jacket, go for it! Nobody said you had to wear a suit. As long as the dress is not a little tiny summery thing, with spaghetti straps… Then we’re back to: leave it in your closet for that date you have coming up next weekend.
  • 9. And while we are talking about pasta, no tops with spaghetti straps that adhere to your body like a suede glove.

    The secret is to embrace your figure, find clothes that fit well but not too tightly, that highlight your best features and make you look elegant and project the image of a leader. When I have to dress for a business meeting, I always find a way to show my personality, either with some unique accessories, or wearing an unusual jacket that still looks professional.

    It’s not only about feeling confident and great in the clothes you choose, it’s also about what others perceive when they see you. So, when you look at yourself in the mirror ask yourself: “If a woman came to me looking like this, would I trust her to lead others? Would I assign her responsibilities? Would I coach her to grow in the company because I see potential in her?” These questions will help you look at your appearance differently.

    In an increasingly diversified workplace, it is to be expected that eventually, people will be more open to Latinas flashier style, but this shift hasn’t happened yet, so if you want to have as many opportunities open to you as you deserve, you will have to do some adjusting. I’m not suggesting that you become someone you are not. Only that you don’t let your clothes do all the talking before you even open your mouth and let the world know how smart you are.