Back in 2007, Hillary Clinton, then a senator for New York, stirred up unwanted attention with her wardrobe choice. While she wanted to talk about the burdensome cost of higher education, her audience were distracted by her outfit. Clinton was wearing a rose blazer and a black top but the neckline sat low on her chest.
“There wasn’t an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable,” the Washington Post reported.
A news anchor in China has also been raising eyebrows for showing too much skin. Huashang Daily reported in late October that CCTV news anchor Dong Qian, 43, has drawn more attention than she had probably anticipated by appearing on the news dressed in deep V-neck suits.
“Did anyone notice that Dong Qian’s recent outfits are very revealing?” one netizen asked on weibo.
In April, CCTV’s sports channel anchor Zhu Xiaolin also stole the spotlight by wearing a deep-V dress that even seemed a little see-through, the Beijing News noted. It brought back memories of 2011, when another TV hostess displayed a little more than viewers may have expected when she wore black underwear beneath a white shirt.
Some netizens have joked that the outfits are a ploy by CCTV to boost ratings. The national broadcaster has long been accused of producing programming that are horribly dull compared to the satellite networks that tend to be more popular across China’s different provinces. In fact, it wasn’t until 2010 that CCTV relaxed its dress code for news anchors and allowed them to use hair dye and accessories. But high-minded critics say audiences should focus less on the newsroom’s attire and more on what’s being said on screen.
“Are we looking at beautiful people or paying attention to the content? I think the audience should pay less attention to what the hostesses wear and more on what the programme is about,” one commentator rebuked.
But that hasn’t stopped the sniping. “The reason everyone is talking about the cleavage of CCTV’s anchors is because CCTV’s news gives us nothing to talk about,” one wrote.
Indeed, Hong Kong’s Ta Kung Pao newspaper reckons that no amount of skin is going to save the broadcaster in the ratings unless it revamps its programming.
“It’s not only changing the wardrobe that can reform CCTV. Until it reforms its production process – that is, finding a balance between being the government’s official propagandist and developing content that people want to watch – it is doomed,” the newspaper opined. “Dong Qian’s cleavage can’t save CCTV.”
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