“The best thing that WAGM-TV can do for business news is get Kim off the air,” one viewer emailed. “Not only does she look like a drug addict, she constantly looks like the camera is above her head.”
That encapsulates my first TV hate mail.
Previously, I simply reported on day-to-day newscasts, but the station had promoted me to delivering a weekly “business news” report.
Fudge! That feedback crushed my 20-something-year-old ego.
Still, I posted it in my cubicle for both inspiration to improve and to recognize that some critics couldn’t be pleased.
Shortly after, the news station promoted me again to morning news anchor. What the? How was I to cope?
Fixing a camera angle was easy. Curing my on-air appearance proved more difficult. The veins under my eyes that emanated black and blue under the glare of studio lights (drug-addict like) had been there since childhood.
With the help of our station manager’s wife, a Mary Kay rep, my stage makeup techniques improved. Her tips minimized my luggage-ridden eyes, but there’s only so much cosmetics can do.
Other physical descriptions of me, such as “rail thin” and “stick figure,” came to mind, but honestly, they couldn’t matter once the station named me newscaster.
Shit, I had a job to do, regardless of the criticism!
I arose everyday before the crack of dawn.
“Good morning! You’re fantastic! I’m fantastic! Here’s the news…” became my mental ritual.
After years of repetition, I like to think that I improved in both content and delivery, although the latter never emerged as a strong point.
One morning, in the early darkness, I dug into my closet and pulled a relatively unused suit from the fray. Its red fabric glowed, as if exclaiming “yes, I’ve been rediscovered.”
Coworkers commented on its greatness. “New suit!?” they asked.
“No, just one I haven’t worn in a while.” I responded. “It’s got a lot of looseness going on,” I said, grabbing the excess fabric in the front crotch area. “I wonder if I’ve gotten thinner or something? Weird?”
After successfully completing the newscast and repeatedly having similar interactions at work, I went home at noonish (my evening) and relaxed on the toilet at home.
That’s when I uncovered an unexpected discovery. The pant suit I’d worn all day was on backwards (at least partly). The looseness in my crotch area came from the pants’ “ass” being “forward,” not from weight loss.
Aghast, I couldn’t determine which was worse: the fact I was so stupid that I put on them on wrong that morning or that I was so thin, my ass so flat, that I could wear them backwards for hours without anyone noticing the difference.
Six months later, after I moved back to Florida, the people who know, love and sometimes hate me the best addressed those dilemmas during my extended 30th birthday celebration:
- I was “not a dumbass” and actually a “smart gal” despite my delusional backwards dressing decision at 3 a.m. a few months prior,
- After decades of being a stick figure, I’d spontaneously grown an actual “badonkadonk!,” as supported by an ex-boyfriend’s comment on a photo I posted on My Space (yep, I did that).
In short, I’d moved back to the Sunshine State and grown a full moon. Yipee! Screw my “your too thin” critics! The realization that my flat ass had inflated was one of the first pseudo gifts I received in my 30s.
This represents my 1st of 30 30-somethings during my weekly countdown until turning 40. Celebrate with me as I reveal other lessons or humbling experiences from the past decade.