Emmy Award–winning journalist and former ESPN coanchor Jemele Hill discussed overcoming stereotypical beauty standards during the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture with LaChina Robinson and Cari Champion.
Hill, who referred to herself as “a typical neighborhood tomboy” while growing up, admitted that she didn’t wear makeup or have her ears pierced before starting her career at ESPN and that she had to learn “the TV look.”
“There was no one on TV that necessarily, you know, looked like me,” she said.
Hill noted that White women with blond hair were the only type of women executives believed would appeal to a consumer base of White male sports fans.
“There was nothing that indicated that I would ever get a television show based on what I looked like,” said Hill. “I did not fit a particular mold.”
Hill, who forged her own path in sports TV by being unapologetically Black, went on to offer three traits young Black women need to be successful in sports journalism.
For her advice, check out the clip below.