CCTV dress code dilemma

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

View­ers have com­plained against and even crit­i­cized Zhu Xiaolin, a fe­male an­chor on CCTV sports chan­nel, for her at­tempt to break es­tab­lished norms by wear­ing a deep-V cut dress. But the way fe­male an­chors dress de­serves un­der­stand­ing rather than crit­i­cism from people who are used to see­ing “tra­di­tional” pre­sen­ters on TV, says an ar­ti­cle in Qian­jiang Evening News. Ex­cerpts:

The com­plaints re­veal the com­pli­cated at­ti­tude of Chi­nese TV view­ers to­ward China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion. They want to see CCTV as a mod­ern me­dia out­let but, at the same time, ex­pect it to fol­low es­tab­lished norms when it comes to the “dress code” of its an­chors. TV an­chors have been ap­pear­ing on screen in suits and ties, and view­ers have be­come so used to their im­age that they flinch at the first in­stance of change. It seems Chi­nese view­ers will never get tired of con­ven­tions.

As a re­sult, CCTV re­ceives com­plaints and crit­i­cisms ev­ery time it musters the courage to do some­thing dif­fer­ent, be with its pro­grams or the dresses of its an­chors and pre­sen­ters. In fact, CCTV had ceased to at­tempt any change fear­ing that view­ers might com­plain against it.

There are no hard and fast rules on what fe­male sports an­chors should wear. It is ac­cepted, though, that an­chors for en­ter­tain­ment pro­grams can wear fancy (which many con­sider re­veal­ing) dresses. Sim­i­larly, it’s okay for a fe­male an­chor to wear a suit or a one-piece dress if she is pre­sent­ing pro­grams other than news and sports.

To tide over the prob­lem, CCTV should use its ad­van­tage to turn it­self into a plat­form of­fer­ing rich con­tents to suit the de­mands of view­ers. No viewer will pay at­ten­tion to what an an­chor is wear­ing if the con­tent of the pro­gram she or he pre­sents is great.

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