A Chicago TV reporter has committed the crime of aging in public, so one of her viewers helpfully warned her that she could lose her job to a younger, thinner woman.
Marcella Raymond has been at WGN for 18 years and recently received an anonymous letter, in which a concern-troll points out (“with great respect”) that she has “gained too much weight,” which “makes people look older than they actually are” and “interferes with [her] real message when reporting.” The writer goes on to say that the note was sent purely out of concern for Raymond’s continued employment. “It’s hard enough to keep jobs in TV; why make it more difficult on yourself?”
Raymond went on air to respond to the viewer’s grievance of having to listen to a non-skinny, middle-aged woman deliver the news. “It’s unbelievable to me in this day and age — and maybe we haven’t evolved as much as I’d like to think — that there’s this sexism, ageism …” she said. “I’m 50 years old, and I’m not going to look like I did when I was 23. And I can’t compete with those girls. It’s not feasible.”
Plus, her appearance shouldn’t matter that much in the first place. As she told WGN Radio: “Our main job is not to wear a swimsuit or to look like a beauty queen. Our main job is to deliver the news in the best way we can. It’s not about being the prettiest girl on TV.”
Raymond says she shared the letter on Facebook to shame those who might utter such things. “To me it’s fine, it didn’t really bother me, it just made me mad, I didn’t take it personally. But to a little kid, they’re going to take it personally. So we need to stop that. We need it to end.”
Somehow we don’t think it’s ending anytime soon, but calling out the trolls isn’t a bad start.