This September, I happened to catch the segment of "The View" that featured Barbara Walters awkwardly asking Kim Kardashian the "tough questions" about Kardashian's relationship with Kayne West.
"What about marriage?" she probed, "Do you want his child? Where are we?"
Kim then tried to deflect these touchy questions only to be met with a new set of them.
"Do you [and Kanye] talk about children? Your sisters have children."
Now Walters is being criticized for asking Chris Christie if his hefty weight will impede a future presidential run.
After witnessing both of these awkward interviews, I couldn't help but associate Walters with those older relatives who corner you at birthday parties to ask the same intrusive and mildly insulting questions.
With all due respect, I think both Walters and "The View" could use a "new perspective." For example, why not do something really crazy and include a co-host from my generation? "The View" is not the only show of this genre lacking younger representation. Both "The View" and "The Talk" lack representation not only from women in their 20's, but from women in their early 30's. Both shows lack perspective from a younger voice that needs to be heard. How is it that they've chosen to discount the 20-35 age group entirely?
Both shows have made sure to have diversity as far as color and race, but not age. Most of the women on "The Talk" are in their 40's and most of the women on "The View" are over 45. The youngest person on "The View" is Elisabeth Hasselbeck, age 35, and the youngest person on "The Talk" is Sara Gilbert, age 37. Both of these "babies" have children and talk a lot about family life, thus leaving the integral group of young, single and professional women out entirely. How could they leave out a group that continues to grow as women continue to put off marriage and having children later and later?
"The View's" failure to represent diversity amongst American women has not been addressed since the youngest member of the show was part of this younger generation! Let's infer that Ms. Hasselbeck, who happens to be the youngest member of the team, is suppose to be the co-host that attracts and represents the voice of the younger American women.
If that is so, it must be based solely on the fact that she is the youngest, because in ways of common interest, she differs greatly from the average American woman. Hasselbeck is a staunch Republican. Her political affiliation removes her even further from the neighboring age demographics of female Americans. Women are more likely to be Democrats to begin with (41%, vs. 28% Republican and 34% Independent, Gallup). And on average, the political affiliation of younger Americans significantly consist of higher amounts of Democrats than Republicans. Generation Y (ages 18- 29) is made up of 14% more Democrats than Republicans and generation X (ages 30- 34).
Perhaps the age discrepancies on both "The View" and "The Talk" have more to do with their intended demographic, which I can only guess is a demographic that is getting smaller and smaller: modern housewives. That may be true, but failing to appeal to a younger generation will not go unnoticed forever. Look at Oprah Winfrey's new OWN network. Ratings have been consistently low despite continuous attempts to generate interest. Could this be attributed to a failure to appeal to the younger generations?
The "The View" and "The Talk" have always advertised their hosts as a diverse group. When the term "diversity" is used in context to these shows, our minds immediately visualize the co-host's faces, which display an obvious array of color, race and ethnicity. This lack of age diversity is really an afterthought. I was only reminded of how out-of-touch these shows might actually be when Barbara, the host and creator of "The View," posed questions to both Chris Christie and Kim Kardashian that only a grandma or great aunt could get away with asking.
Bottom line: They really need to get a young up-and-coming professional or two on there. As usual, I'm certainly up for the challenge...
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