It's well acknowledged throughout the media world that female Fox News anchors are typically more, er, coiffed than their liberal counterparts. There are YouTube videos dedicated to Fox women's short skirts, a fully functioning website called www.FoxNewsGirls.com and Allure once penned a feature declaring, "With its bevy of babes, the network should be called the Foxy News Channel."
Miniskirts aside, the main difference is the makeup. The female anchors of Fox News, Liza Mundy writes for the Atlantic, wear significantly more makeup than any other network's anchors. While MSNBC's Rachel Maddow does a light, nearly-no-makeup look and C-SPAN doesn't even have a makeup room, Fox News anchors -- as well as female guests -- get the full bronzer, eye shadow, lip liner, gloss, etc. treatment. When Mundy herself was a Fox News guest, she was coated with "so much [eye]shadow that I felt I should be wearing a sash and tiara."
Mundy's not the only one to have noticed. An online thread entitled "Fox News Anchor Women" features gems such as, "Do they think they are in a Las Vegas floor show?" and "With all that lip gloss, they look like hookers on the make for a trick."
Fittingly, it's been said that Fox is the only network that employs a full-time "image consultant" for its on-air personalities. A female Fox regular told Mundy that "she gets more calls from network management about her hair, clothes, and makeup than about what she says." Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, after all, once boasted "I hired Sarah Palin because she was hot and got ratings." Fox network execs know how this game works.
But Ailes isn't the only TV executive to acknowledge that sex sells. So why don't C-SPAN, CNN and the rest dip their female reporters in liquid bronzer and touch up their highlights? Mundy suggests that "the best explanation for Fox glam may be the channel’s largely conservative audience." Because, she reasons...
... the Fox News audience skews old. (Ed. note: do old conservatives like pretty women more than old liberals?)
... the audience skews female. (Ed. note: do women like looking at pretty women more than men?)
... "conservative women are typically less squeamish than progressive ones about... using your looks to get ahead."
Mundy invokes Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann to support this last stance, which seems just steps away from Ann Coulter's assertion that "all pretty girls are right-wingers."
Conjecture all you want (allowing your biases for or against Fox News to heavily influence your opinion, natch). To see for yourself, check out our slideshow of female anchors across several major news networks. Do the Fox News women seem more made-up that the rest? And is that a bad thing?
Fox News - Megyn Kelly
Host of 'America Live' and co-host of 'America's Newsroom' (Youtube)
Fox News - Gretchen Carlson
Host of 'Fox & Friends' (Youtube)
Fox News - Martha Maccallum
Co-host of 'America's Newsroom' (Youtube)
C-Span - Susan Swain
Co-President of C-Span and occasional host (Youtube)
C-Span - Greta Brawner
Host of 'Washington Journal' (Youtube)
C-Span - Libby Casey
Host of 'Washington Journal' (Youtube)
CNBC - Maria Bartiromo
Anchor of 'Closing Bell With Maria Bartiromo' (Youtube)
CNBC - Michelle Caruso-Cabrera
Chief International Correspondent (Youtube)
CNBC - Julia Boorstin
Media and Entertainment Reporter (Youtube)
CNN - Erin Burnett
Anchor of 'Erin Burnett OutFront' (Youtube)
CNN - Brooke Baldwin
Host of 'CNN Newsroom,' weekday edition (Youtube)
Anchor of 'CNN Newsroom' (Youtube)
Bloomberg - Betty Liu
Anchor of 'Bloomberg Television' (Youtube)
Bloomberg - Stephanie Ruhle
Anchor for 'Bloomberg Television' (Youtube)
Bloomberg - Scarlet Fu
Chief Markets Correspondent for 'Bloomberg Television' (Youtube)
MSNBC - Rachel Maddow
Host of 'The Rachel Maddow Show' (Youtube)
MSNBC - Melissa Harris-Perry
Host of 'Melissa Harris-Perry' (Youtube)
MSNBC - Andrea Mitchell
Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent (Youtube)
ABC News - Diane Sawyer
Anchor of 'ABC World News' (Youtube)
ABC News - Cynthia McFadden
Co-anchor of 'Nightline' and 'Primetime' (Youtube)
ABC News - Elizabeth Vargas
Anchor of '20/20' and 'ABC News Specials' (Youtube)
PBS - Gwen Ifill
Senior Correspondent for 'PBS News Hour' and Managing Editor of 'Washington Week' (Youtube)
PBS - Margaret Warner
Senior Correspondent for 'PBS News Hour' (Youtube)
PBS - Susie Gharib
Co-Anchor of 'PBS Nightly Business Report' (Youtube)
Ann Curry Steps Down as Co-Host of 'Today'