CommCore Blog and News

The Big Bangs Theory

We acknowledge that at this week’s Inaugural events in Washington predictable attention was paid to the famous designer gowns and hairstyles worn by women at all the events, and particularly at the star-studded balls.   (How much can you say about a man’s classic white tie tuxedo?)

But thenews coverage” of First Lady Michelle Obama’s choice of gowns and the new bangs she sported, for example, also highlights a longstanding theory that is supported by a 2010 study by the Women’s Media Center and She Should Run. It showed that even in this day media scrutiny of newsmakers’ physical appearance – though it does include men – still disproportionally focuses on women, and often in what many accomplished women consider to be an overtly sexist and negative light. 

Cynics might tut-tut about the importance of emphasis on HER fashion selection over HIS. But the truth remains stark: as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other female leaders will attest, accomplished women are judged on their overall physical appearance more than male leaders.

To us at CommCore, the lesson for our clients is clear: Leadership is not just about ability, it’s about perception, especially for women:

·         Communication Style (Public Speaking, Media Interaction)
·         Non-Verbal Communication (Gestures, Eye Contact, Body Movement)
·         Appearance (Dress that is appropriate for the occasion and natural for  the wearer)
·         Gravitas (Executive Presence)
·         Self –Awareness (Finding and Fixing Your Achilles Heel)

As Michelle Obama seeks to take on a more visible role in her husband’s second term as President we’ll be watching to see how she fares in news coverage, and not just about her bangs.