The New York Post is reporting that Air America radio host, Rachel Maddow, will be subjected to a "makeover" for her new show set to air on MSNBC. Maddow, who has been out since the start of her career, often wears tailored men's clothing and her signature thick black-framed glasses for public appearances. This look has been altered slightly when she does political correspondence work with NBC and MSNBC, turning a brilliant and attractive butch lesbian into an awkward femme. With all the media attention the announcement of Maddow being awarded her own show received, it was hoped that MSNBC would let Maddow's mind steer the program. Instead they have hired a "glam squad" and there is even talk of putting her in a skirt.
This is upsetting and condescending and unfair to Maddow and her viewers. I want my political analysis and commentary to come from someone who is being authentic. Forcing femme clothing on someone who is not comfortable in it jeopardizes the networks credibility and Maddow's. I had hoped that we were past all of this. That executives and viewers learned that you can't pigeonhole someone into something that they are not. After all the restrictions and limitations The View put on Rosie O'donnell's appearance, or even the manufactured image Ellen Degeneres adhered to during her sitcom days. I think most of the country is past being shocked and dismayed by a confident woman with short hair that refuses to wear a skirt.
Infamous gossip site Gawker also reported on the NY Post's story, but instead of reacting in outrage, they say the "makeover" could be "fun" and just what Maddow secretly wants.
I don't think a Rhodes Scholar is going to reach enlightenment and peace by putting on a new shade of lipstick and layering her hair. I get the feeling that Rachel Maddow measures success differently.