Would you notice if your favorite newscaster wore the same outfit day after day for a whole calendar year? Based on an experiment conducted by Karl Stefanovic of Australia’s Today program, the answer largely depends on whether the subject is a man or a woman.
Stefanovic recently revealed he had been doing just this, sporting the same blue suit for nearly every morning newscast for a year. But as he told his female co-anchors over the weekend, the stunt went virtually unnoticed.
“I’ve worn the same suit on air for a year, except for a couple of times because of circumstance, to make a point,” Stefanovic said. “I’m judged on my interviews, my appalling sense of humor – on how I do my job, basically. Whereas women are quite often judged on what they’re wearing or how their hair is.”
Stefanovic’s point is a well-documented problem. From the very lack of women represented in journalism to blatantly sexist coverage of female politicians, we’re plagued with countless examples of sexist scrutiny playing out in the media. This experiment is yet another clear instance of such.
“No one has noticed; no one gives a shit. But women, they wear the wrong color and they get pulled up. They say the wrong thing and there’s thousands of tweets written about them.”
Stefanovic goes on to explain the experiment started as a show of solidarity with co-anchor Lisa Wilkinson, who says she is routinely criticized for her fashion choices by viewers.