Former prime minister Kim Campbell testifies before the Oliphant Commission in Ottawa, Wednesday, April 29 2009. Campbell is admonishing female news anchors who wear sleeveless dresses on the air, calling the bare-armed attire “demeaning.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Kim Campbell says sleeveless dresses ‘demeaning’ for TV broadcasters

TORONTO — Kim Campbell is admonishing female news anchors who wear sleeveless dresses on the air, calling the bare-armed attire “demeaning.”

The former prime minister tweeted her displeasure with the fashion choice on Tuesday morning by saying “bare arms undermine credibility and gravitas.”

She faced quick criticism and one tweeter pointed out that former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama frequently wore sleeveless dresses.

Campbell replied that she was specifically referring to female broadcasters.

She pointed to an essay by U.S. speaking coach Nick Morgan for back-up, who asserts in a blog post that “if you show up in front of us with skin exposed, we’re going to think about your body.”

He also takes issue with men who wear an “expensive, cool-looking casual T-shirt” for an important speech.

On her verified Twitter account, Campbell said: “I am struck by how many women on television news wear sleeveless dresses — often when sitting with suited men.”

“I have always felt it was demeaning to the women and (Morgan’s blog post) suggests that I am right. Bare arms undermine credibility and gravitas!”

Her position elicited dozens of replies, most of them in protest.

“Please be joking, Kim,” tweeted one user.

Another pointed out that Canada’s first and only female prime minister — who was in office from June 25, 1993 to Oct. 24, 1993 — once bared her shoulders for a provocative black and white photo in 1993 in which she held up a suit of lawyer’s robes in front of her body, as if naked.

Again, Campbell replied she wasn’t presenting the news at the time.

“Photo was art — juxtaposition of bare shoulders (femininity) and legal robes — (male dominated power structure),” she tweeted.

The controversy harkens back to a similar uproar over female attire on the now-defunct Sun News Network.

That flap erupted soon after the right-wing all-news network debuted in April 2011, with National Post columnist Tasha Kheiriddin deriding the network’s female journalists for dressing like cocktail hostesses in “low cut, sleeveless” attire.

At the time, Luiza Ch. Savage of Maclean’s magazine also called the all-news network “Skank TV” in a tweet that was eventually retracted.

Just Posted

Red Deer’s indoor trampoline park announces closure

Citing mounting costs, Red Deer’s indoor trampoline park recently announced it was… Continue reading

WATCH: First Red Deer Market of the year

Hundreds came out to the first farmers market of 2018 Saturday

Bighorn Backcountry ATV users in wait-and-see mode on future of West Country access

As off-highway vehicle users started a summer of trail riding on the… Continue reading

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wed in Windsor as millions watch

WINDSOR, England — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gazed into each other’s… Continue reading

Canadians rise for early-morning royal wedding celebrations

It was a thrilling first glimpse of Meghan Markle on her wedding… Continue reading

Red Deer Silhouettes prepare for year-end show

Synchronized swimming team will perform its last show this season May 30

WATCH: First Red Deer Market of the year

Hundreds came out to the first farmers market of 2018 Saturday

Canadian families among throngs of royal fans camping out for glimpse of newlyweds

WINDSOR, United Kingdom — Intense security measures, massive crowds, jet lag and… Continue reading

Swiss stun Canada, Sweden crushes US in ice hockey semis

COPENHAGEN — Switzerland stunned title favourite Canada 3-2 to reach only its… Continue reading

Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

HAVANA — The only three survivors of Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Lacrosse action heats up in Red Deer

More than 50 teams from across Alberta took part in the Tradition… Continue reading

Canadian royal watchers heartened by unusual wedding role for Prince Charles

An unconventional wedding entrance for an unconventional bride sits just fine with… Continue reading

Street Tales: Life according to music

At Tuesday supper we had the privilege of hearing not one, but… Continue reading

Hay’s Daze: Four hippies in a garden shed

It was way back in the Hippiezoic Era when guys had long… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month