News anchor Maggie Vespa has words for the viewer who didn’t like her high-waisted pants
Portland, Oregon news anchor and TV reporter Maggie Vespa is like a lot of other female news anchors in that viewers are weirdly invested in what she wears. She’s definitely not the first female anchor to go viral for a brilliant response to a jerk’s comments on her wardrobe choices, but she might be the best at this particular kind of clap-back. Her on-air reply to a guy’s comments about her high-waisted pants is getting raves for its empowering message, and let’s just say, you’re going to want to wear pants exactly like hers in solidarity.
It was after receiving messages from a dude named Jeffrey that Vespa decided to take action and explain to viewers the kind of crap she was taking behind the scenes for the (adorable) high-waisted pants she tends to favor. Instead of listening to his idiot fashion critique, she doubled down and wore that style pant five days in a row, documenting each outfit with a photo. Then, she took to the camera to tell the story.
It seems good old Jeffery has a little too much time on his hands and decided to message Vespa to let her know that he wasn’t into her pants. “Hi Maggie, just wanted to let you know that the clothes you’ve been wearing, especially those crazy pants that ride half way up your torso, are not cool looking, in any way! They look rediculous on you. Please change your wardrobe. You’re way too pretty to look so foolish,” he wrote. How nice.
Jeffrey wasn’t done, though. He messaged her yet again and this time, told her to “try dressing like a normal woman.”
In her on-air statement, Vespa was having none of it. “This is dumb, we know that, these are my pants. I like them. I bought them,” she quips. Vespa then explains that she posted about Jeffrey’s trolling on her Facebook page and received a huge response. She says, “… hundreds are sounding off on the pressure that women obviously face, especially those in the public eye to embody the epitome of physically attractiveness at all times. If we don’t it’s somehow seen as a sign that we’re less credible and less capable and by and large, guys don’t have to deal with this as my awesome male coworkers can and have attested to.”
Then, she explains, she decided to make a statement. “Five shows, five pairs of pants,” Vespa says. She wore a different pair of the high-waisted style bottoms for each show that weekend and had her producer document it with photos.
Vespa isn’t merely trying to troll Jeffrey back — she had a larger purpose in mind with her little 5-day high-waist pants experiment. “Our goal here is to send a message — 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, not yours,” she says. “In other words, there is no one way for a normal woman to look or be.”
It seems Vespa is aiming to reach people who were in her shoes when she was first on television, before she had the confidence to laugh off comments from the Jeffreys of the world. “10 years ago, if I heard from a Jeffrey I would’ve needed someone to remind me of that,” she says. “Now, I’m very comfortable letting it roll off my back while I wear my high-waisted pants.”
Vespa also recalled the struggles of her own mother, a former news anchor, telling The New York Times, “She talked about getting horrible, toxic comments from people and unbelievably sexist things that make this look pale in comparison,” she said. “So I just thought, ‘Let’s say something.'”
People are pretty thrilled that she did with support pouring in from all corners of her industry and the rest of the internet.
It’s 2019 and women can wear whatever the hell they want. Vespa’s message is a poignant one in this age of stupid school dress codes and internet trolling. Be you and never apologize for it.