A news anchor who regularly wears pants on air fired back after a viewer told her to try 'dressing like a normal woman'

KGW-TV/Maggie VespaMaggie Vespa.

A news anchor in Portland fired back at a viewer who told her she should try “dressing like a normal woman” after she went on air wearing high-waisted pants.

After a male viewer criticised her look on Facebook, Maggie Vespa, a reporter and weekend anchor for KGW-TV, spoke about the pressures women face daily in an on-air commentary about dress codes.

“I’m a pretty secure person but 10 years ago this would have rattled me,” she told USA Today. “I probably would have stopped wearing whatever that guy was criticising and I would have gone out there with my minuscule paycheck and tried to buy some more clothes and tried to adjust. I remember that time, and I just thought if someone is starting out and getting comments like this, me calling it out for what it is might make it easier for them.”

Vespa said she received two messages from a male viewer who criticised her pants. In one message the viewer said her pants “ride halfway up your torso.”

“Please change your wardrobe. You’re way too pretty to look so foolish,” the viewer wrote.

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In another message, he wrote: “OMG you really looked uncomfortably (sic) tonight. Try dressing like a normal woman. Doesn’t KGW pay you enough for a wardrobe makeover?”

In response, Vespa wore five different pairs of high-waisted pants during newscasts throughout the weekend and also sparked a conversation about policing women’s bodies.

In her commentary that she later posted to Facebook, Vespa said: “The thing is, I posted about this on Facebook and Twitter and it really hit a nerve with people. Hundreds are sounding off on the pressure that women obviously face, especially those in the public eye, to embody the epitome of physical attractiveness at all times. If we don’t, it’s somehow seen as a sign that we’re less credible, or less capable, and by and large, guys don’t have to deal with this, as my awesome male coworkers can and have attested to.”

Vespa said she wants women and girls everywhere to dress how they want.

“And if anyone tries to make you feel less than because of that, that’s their problem, not yours. In other words, there is no one way for a normal woman to look or be,” she said.


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