30th January 2014
This week CBBC executive Melissa Hardinge talked about how female presenters on CBBC shouldn't appear ''too sexy''.
What I wore on air was something I always thought about while working at the children's channel. I presented Newsround between 2006 and 2011 and during that time I was fully aware how important it was to make sure our audience connected with me. This meant dressing in a way that they could identify with. I wanted to look like an older sister, not their mum or their teachers.
To achieve this I only ever wore clothes bought on the high street. After the show, kids would email or message us on the CBBC message boards, sometimes commenting on our clothing and ask where it was from. I wanted to make sure my style was accessible to them.
Too much cleavage or heavy red lipstick isn't my style anyway so dressing appropriately wasn't hard. Not that red lipstick should be banned on children's telly. I think everything should be judged on a case-by-case basis.
Why concentrate so much on the appearance of children's presenters you may ask. Well, you can write the best script in the world, but not many 6-12 year olds will listen to it or take anything in if the person presenting the information hasn't engaged them in some way first. And sometimes that has to be done with styling.