A female sports broadcaster dyed her hair, and faced an onslaught of sexism
It's a well-known fact that being a female broadcast journalist is a tough gig. You can't even wear a sleeveless dress without someone telling you to cover up, or show off your baby bump on television without throngs of people freaking out. And don't even think about wearing a short-ish skirt or a shirt with thin straps.
Now, according to Charissa Thompson, a reporter for Fox Sports, female reporters can't even dye their hair without sparking a national controversy.
In an interview with HBO's Real Sports, Thompson recounted what happened when she decided to dye her blond hair brunette and don glasses in 2008. "I was just sick of being blonde and I wanted to rid myself of the Barbie thing," Thompson said.
So she went to her local CVS, dyed her hair black, showed up to work and then, swiftly, enraged the masses. Soon afterwards, a Deadspin article was published about her transformation with the headline, "Charissa Thompson Continues Down Suicidal Path to Frumpyville."
"If this is an attempt for Thompson to be taken more seriously as a sideline reporter, somebody should shake her before this goes too far," Deadspin wrote.
In fact, according to Thompson, this wasn't just an attempt to be taken more seriously, but for people to possibly start paying attention to what she was saying, and not just her looks. Obviously, the experiment had failed.
"Now, I'm doing this for credibility and I'm not getting the credibility," Thompson told Real Sports. "I'm just getting attention now for being ugly."
After Thompson dyed her hair back to blond, Deadspin published an article with the headline, "Charissa Thompson Wisely Returns to Hair Color Preferred By Boner-Popping NFL Viewership."
Thompson's comments come just months after the hashtag #MoreThanMean — created to draw attention to the cruel comments sports reporters like Julie DiCaro of 670 the Score and Sarah Spain of ESPN get on a regular basis — made the rounds on Twitter. There was even a viral video created with men saying these comments directly to the women's faces.
Clearly, sexism in sports journalism — and, hey, any broadcast journalism at all — is still running rampant. If a bottle of hair dye can really send viewers into a tizzy, what's next?
You can watch Thompson's extended video below: