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Fans of Ann Curry never got an official explanation for why the Today anchor was booted from the show in June. Did it have something to do with her shoes? That's what Curry hinted in a Ladies Home Journal interview, conducted shortly before she was fired.
"I'm encouraged by my bosses to wear these ridiculously high-heeled shoes because women say, 'I love your shoes!' So if it makes women happy, I'll wear them," the TV personality admitted. "But I'm still going to be me...I've tried to wear clogs and flats on TV and it hasn't gone well with my bosses."
Well, that doesn't seem fair. Ellen DeGeneres wears sneakers every day to host her show. But apparently, Today has strict ideas about what its anchors should wear -- down to how many colors they should be sporting at one time.
"One day I wore a multicolored dress and someone asked if I was trying to be Toucan Sam. But I chose it because I thought, 'This will perk up America,'" Curry recalled.
Another thing that reportedly didn't thrill NBC: the anchor's refusal to dye away her gray hairs.
"I've decided not to buy into the idea that I want to stop aging. I've got gray hair because I won't dye it," she told the magazine. "But I don't want to change the fundamental parts of me because it means changing who I am."
Needless to say, NBC hasn't applied the same standard to its male anchors; neither Matt Lauer nor Brian Williams has been fired for going naturally gray.
It's a little sad that TV's most successful women aren't free to wear the clothes they find comfortable. Katie Couric had the same problem at the CBS Evening News, where the sharp dresser was instructed to wear conservative suits in order to appear more serious.
“I don’t have to dress like a man anymore,” Couric told iVillage after leaving the Evening News last year. “It’s been really liberating. I can wear pretty sweaters and dresses, and not feel like I’m going to work at a bank.”
Now that Couric is getting a daytime talk show, Katie, she's back to wearing the tailored-yet-comfy (and yes, sometimes even brightly colored) clothes that she loves. Maybe Ann Curry can break out the clogs if she gets her own show?