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This Is The Kind Of BS That Women In Television Have To Deal With

Jul 07, 2014 | Updated Jul 07, 2014

This is Susanna Reid.

susanna reid

Reid is a very successful television journalist in the UK. She is so successful, in fact, that she was poached from the BBC's very popular morning show to front a new show over at rival station ITV.

Unfortunately, the new show, "Good Morning Britain," isn't doing so well in the ratings. In fact, it's getting comprehensively trounced by "BBC Breakfast," the show Reid used to host.

Now, this is nothing new. "Good Morning Britain" is the third show in a row that ITV has tried to put up opposite "BBC Breakfast" — all without success.

So, what are ITV executives doing to prop up their sagging show? The answer, it would seem, is "microscopically analyze every aspect of Susanna Reid's body."

An ITV source said: “Helen is putting effort into training the presenters, who aren’t focus-testing too well. Susanna has been told to nod more, look more sympathetic and engage. Even her dresses are analysed to the nth degree. Her skirt length is checked and the colours now need to be brighter and lighter. A lot of people think she’s too harsh and intense. There was a discussion about lightening her hair. Most of their big-hitting presenters have been blonde – Anthea Turner, Kate Garraway, Fiona Phillips. Holly Willoughby is held up as the perfect nodder during interviews and she’s as opposite to Susanna as you can get. It’s a serious business getting GMB and Susanna Reid back on track.”

This follows an earlier "controversy" over how much leg Reid should be showing on air.

From the way Reid's every move is talked about, you wouldn't know that there are actually three other people hosting "Good Morning Britain" alongside her. Reid's primary male counterpart, Ben Shepherd, does not appear to have received the same kind of micromanagement. His nodding abilities, it would seem, are just fine.

Of course, this kind of thing is nothing new for women in television, who find their every gesture scrutinized to an unbelievable extent. Reid's predicament is strikingly reminiscent of that of Ann Curry, who found that she could do nothing right on "Today" and was summarily forced out.

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