You may have already seen it by now — the dress that has “gone viral” among TV meteorologists. The dress is sold on Amazon and was shared in a private Facebook group for females in the business and soon became a favorite among the women that deliver your weather every day.
There are a lot of women meteorologists who own the dress, now collage-d in Reddit fame.
Link to the dress: <a rel=”noreferrer nofollow” target=”_blank” href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0142M5M72?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B0142M5M72&linkCode=xm2&tag=meteojennimye-20″>http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0142M5M72?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B0142M5M72&linkCode=xm2&tag=meteojennimye-20</a>
The dress is pretty great. The cut is super-flattering to most — if not all — figures, and the colors are many. Tack on to that a $23 price point and you have a winner. So it’s no surprise that when this dress was shared in the Facebook group for female on-camera meteorologists, they snatched it right up.
And actually, this classically simple and inexpensive dress also says a lot about the every-day wardrobe challenges women face in the TV meteorology business.
It’s universally flattering, because people are jerks. Well, some people are jerks. They’re the kind of people that will send messages to women after their broadcast ends, commenting on what they were wearing, or the way they did their hair, or maybe just how particularly phenomenal they looked during their weather segments.
Basically, female meteorologists get a lot of email from people who should really just keep their opinions to themselves.
Lest you think that only a certain number of women are being heckled in this way, I present the bullied, pregnant meteorologist Kristi Gordon of British Columbia’s Global News.
“Nowhere on North America TV have we seen a weather reader so gross as you,” an anonymous viewer wrote to Gordon, who was well-along in her pregnancy earlier this year. “Your front-end looks like the Hindenburg and your rear-end looks like a brick [obscenity] house.”
“Buy some decent clothes, and have more respect for your unborn child,” another heckler wrote.
Enter: the dress. It’s feminine, it’s flattering and it doesn’t reveal too much — something that is becoming harder and harder to find in clothing today. Most of all, it probably doesn’t elicit quite as many inflammatory emails and messages from rude viewers.
It’s cheap. This may come as a surprise, but 90 percent* of TV meteorologists are not rolling in dough. They are not raking in the big bucks. When a meteorologist graduates from college, he or she will likely head to tiny markets in rural states, making little more than $25,000 per year.
Of course this is not to say that 25 grand wouldn’t sound amazing to the 15 percent of Americans who are currently living in poverty. But it becomes a little burdensome when your wardrobe is a fundamental part of your job, even though your employer does not provide a stipend or allowance for clothing.
There’s an exception to this for a small percentage of meteorologists in the highest markets — mainly places like New York and Los Angeles. But there are even meteorologists in the Washington market who do not get wardrobe stipends. It’s something that’s typically negotiated in contracts, which means there are winners and there are losers.
Thus, cheap is a must, especially since you also can’t wear the same five dresses every week. Viewers notice.
*This statistic is less based on measurable fact and more based on the author’s personal observations and experience.
It’s plain. One of the first thing women are told when they enter a career in television is to stay away from patterns. Florals, plaids, houndstooth — gorgeous in-person but terrible on TV. The effect is even worse when the clothing in question stands in front of colorful weather maps.
You probably already know that a TV meteorologist’s clothing cannot be green because they would disappear into the chroma key weather maps. But chroma keys don’t have to be green, necessarily. Technically, they can be any color, but green is used most frequently, followed by blue. Sure, cutting out green from your wardrobe might seem like no big deal, but blue? There’s a lot of blue out there! It tends to flatter everyone.
And it’s not just solid green or blue that needs to stay in the closet — it’s every pattern or hue that has a touch of that color, which means a lot of clothing out there gets an immediate veto.
It’s tried and true. Imagine having to create a daily wardrobe that will not offend, provoke comment or clash with TV technology. It’s a lot to ask, which is why many women turn to their counterparts — competition, even — for advice.
It may have come as a surprise that a group of female TV meteorologists formed a Facebook group that could help and support other women in the business, but it was bound to happen. Meteorology is a small field. Even smaller when you narrow it to women in media. The great part about this group is that it encompasses women across the entire spectrum of markets — from tiny to mega — and the most senior of these women have been through it all. There’s a lot of advice to be had, and not just about fashion.
And if there’s an inexpensive, flattering dress that other women in the business have had success with, of course it’s going to “go viral.” With the day-to-day restrictions that female meteorologists face, it’s no wonder.