Portland TV anchor gives on-air response to man who told her to 'dress like a normal woman'

A TV anchor in Oregon responded to a male viewer who criticized her outfit choices, calling out the "dumb" comments during a live broadcast.

Maggie Vespa, a weekend news host for Portland's KGW-TV, spoke about the situation while on the air Sunday, explaining the situation and defending her attire.

The anchor said she received the criticism from a viewer on Facebook last Thursday. The viewer, identified only as Jeffrey, questioned Vespa's decision to wear pants while on the air.

"Hi Maggie, just wanted to let you know that the clothes you've been wearing, especially those crazy pants that ride halfway up your torso, are not cool looking, in any way!" Jeffrey's message said. "They look ridiculous on you. Please change your wardrobe — you're way too pretty to look so foolish."

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Vespa said that Jeffrey then followed up the next day, telling her she looked "uncomfortable" during a broadcast. 

"Try dressing like a normal woman," the message said. "Doesn't [your station] pay enough for a wardrobe makeover?"

The comments led to Vespa sharing a number of now-viral posts to social media. In one, she revealed five separate photos of her wearing high-waisted pants.

"This weekend, I wore a different pair for every show just to prove — there’s no one way to dress/look/be like a 'normal woman,'" the tweet read.

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Dozens of users responded with kind words and support, with some even showing solidarity by posting photos of themselves wearing similar outfits. 

Vespa, who has worked in broadcasting for nine years, said her male colleagues were shocked when they heard about the messages. By Sunday, the story had grown so popular that the station decided to address it. 

"Our goal here is to send a message," Vespa said during Sunday's broadcast. "To women, to girls, to everyone: Dress how you want — look how you want. And if anyone tries to make you feel less than because of that — that's their problem."

She went on to tell viewers that there is "no one way for a 'normal' woman to look or be."

"10 years ago if I had heard from a Jeffrey, I would've needed someone to remind me of that," she added. "Now I'm very comfortable letting it roll off my back — while I wear my high-waisted pants."

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