On Tuesday, journalist Jana Shortal, of Minneapolis station KARE 11, had a difficult job. She had to report the heartbreaking story of a man who admitted to abducting and killing an 11-year-old boy named Jacob Wetterling in 1989.
It is a missing person case that has haunted Minnesota ever since the young boy went missing.
However, instead of listening to a journalist perform her job, some focused solely on what she was wearing.
In fact, a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune was so concerned by her skinny jeans, she wrote about it.
The column, which has since been removed, read that Shortal "flubbed [her] fashion statement" as if that is what we should be focusing on during this report. She went on to write,
She looked great from the waist up in a polka-dot shirt and cool blazer, but the skinny jeans did not work. I was among a number of media types who found them inappropriate and, given the gravity of the day's subject matter, downright jarring... I would think that hipness wouldn't be a priority while covering one of the biggest, saddest stories in Minnesota history.
Literally, who cares what a woman is wearing? Why, why, why are you focused on that?
The columnist even reached out to Shortal on Twitter about her attire.
Ironically, Shortal wrote a piece at the beginning of this summer about the "lady uniform" and how she formed her career without wearing it.
The headline read, "I'm a TV newswoman, and no thanks on the lady uniform." In it, she wrote about the insults she received on her hair or the way she dressed from viewers on the Internet, saying,
It hurt... I just wanted to find the me everyone wanted. So I could focus on telling my stories again. But the truth is, the pressure was not just external. It also came from within. Something in me chose to listen, something in me wanted to conform to viewers' expectations. And that's how I lost a part of myself, a part of my identity. When I looked in the mirror I no longer saw the real me.
But then, KARE 11 started a new show, "Breaking The News," with a new mission -- to tell stories differently. Shortal dressed they way she preferred, she wore her hair naturally, and she became more herself.
Shortal took to Facebook to air her grievances about the focus on her pants instead of Jacob's story.
Shortal put it best when she wrote,
You wrote about clothes in the darkest moment of Minnesota news history.
C.J. did not back down.
In turn, people took to Twitter to support Shortal.