Army says call for ‘average-looking women’ in photos is not its official position

The official spokesman for the U.S. Army distanced the organization from a colonel’s message to PR representatives about the attractiveness of female soldiers in publicity photos.

The U.S. Army is saying a colonel’s email recommending that the female soldiers pictured in PR photos are “average-looking” is not its official stance.

The comments were “were an internal email conversation” and “not an Army position,” spokesman George Wright told Politico.

A source leaked the original email from Col. Lynette Arnhart, which read, in part, “In general, ugly women are perceived as competent while pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead.”

She continued:

There is a general tendency to select nice looking women when we select a photo to go with an article (where the article does not reference a specific person). It might behoove us to select more average looking women for our comms strategy. For example, the attached article shows a pretty woman, wearing make-up while on deployed duty. Such photos undermine the rest of the message (and may even make people ask if breaking a nail is considered hazardous duty).

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