When Lisa Wilkinson’s job on The Today Show came up for the first time in 10 years, the rumours of who would replace her started rolling in thick and fast.
With each new suggestion we were presented with an intelligent, experienced and accomplished woman. But they also had another thing in common: they were all attractive and blonde.
So why do so many women on television all look the same?
Journalist and author Tracey Spicer spoke to Mia Freedman on the No Filter podcast and explained it has less to do with creative decisions and more to do with the sex drives of male bosses.
LISTEN: Tracey Spicer talks about why we don’t see a more diverse range of women on television. Post continues below.
“Traditionally, male, middle-aged, white executives choose women based upon… their penises and their gut instinct. So they chose young pretty blonde women they want to have sex with,” Spicer said.
If male bosses only hire the type of women they are attracted to, it makes sense that we end up with a serious lack of diversity on our television screens left over from a time when only women with blonde hair fell into the ‘sexually attractive’ category.
It has put us behind the rest of the world.
"Overseas at the BBC they've got targets not only for gender diversity on air and behind the scenes, but for cultural diversity," Spicer said.
"Television executives [here] are still stuck in the 1950s and 60s and they think it worked for them 30 years ago maybe it'll work now. I've got a message for them - it won't work because people are angry they can't see themselves on screen."
“People want to see people who look like them on television - the true diversity of the community," Spicer said.
Listen to Tracey's full interview with Mia Freedman here:
Buy Tracey's book The Good Girl Stripped Bare at apple.co/mamamia or here.