Corporal Kristine Tejeda has been branded “too pretty” to be a soldier on PR material by one female Army Colonel and the claim is bringing controversy to a US Army only recently allowing women on the front lines.
Colonel Lynette Arnhart has courted controversy by asking the question of whether or not the military should allow attractive women to appear on military ads. The Colonel used a photo of Cpl. Tejeda as an example of a solider that may be “too pretty” to serve in that role.
Corporal Kristine Tejeda
Colonel Arnhart wonders if only “ugly” women should be allowed on promotional material. Of course, this begs the question of just who will be the one to determine which female soldier is acceptably “ugly” and which is “too pretty,” doesn’t it?
The Colonel has a reason, though. She worries that attractive women don’t convey an image of competence in promotional material. This, she feels, undermines the advertising efforts and may also undermine the country’s faith in the military.
“In general, ugly women are perceived as competent while pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead,” Colonel Arnhart said in an email exchange with other officers.
Arnhart went on saying,
There is a general tendency to select nice looking women when we select a photo to go with an article (where the article does not reference a specific person). It might behoove us to select more average looking women for our comms strategy.
‘For example, the attached article shows a pretty woman, wearing make-up while on deployed duty. Such photos undermine the rest of the message (and may even make people ask if breaking a nail is considered hazardous duty).
Unfortunately for Colonel Arnhart, her email was forwarded to hundreds of officers. Her original email was only sent to two other officers as part of a personal conversation about what the army should or shouldn’t do as integration policies evolve.
The U.S. Army rushed to note that this was just an internal conversation and the thoughts here do not serve as Army policy.
But it does show that the Army is still struggling to figure out just what the new integration policies will mean, how they’ll work, and what they’ll do to the effectiveness of our forces. Obviously, the debate continues.
What do you think? Is the Colonel right? Tell us below.
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