According to Lisa Guerrero, "There's nothing hotter than a woman [who] is confident in her skin, in her body, and mainly, and most importantly, in her opinion." And in her memoir Warrior: My Path to Being Brave, the journalist, who started her career as an NFL cheerleader but is best known for her work as a sportscaster, doesn't hold back. She shares experiences of misogyny and sexual harassment and tells behind-the-scenes stories of her time as a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football, recalling "whistles and catcalls in locker rooms," having her "ass grabbed in a media scrum" and even allegedly being removed from primetime coverage of the Super Bowl because she wouldn't sleep with an executive.
Slut shaming, Guerrero tells Yahoo Life, was a normal part of her broadcast work life in the '90s and early '00s. She was "openly humiliated" for the size of her chest, the length of her hair and her former employment as a bikini model. "They used to call me a channel stopper," she says, "meaning people would be clicking through channels and they would see me and stop."
"I remember when I was starting in sports, one of my first news directors said, 'Cut your hair short, wear navy blue jackets and don't wear lip gloss.' And of course, I said, 'No, I'm going to look like how I look,'" she explains.
Today, Guerrero says, "you would be fired for writing some of the things that were written about me" earlier in her career.
In a post-#MeToo era, she believes that "things are getting better" and that "what is appropriate and how you can legitimately critique somebody in the media" is clear.
But Guerrero — whose appearance and, in particular, a photoshoot for FHM magazine, reportedly impacted her career trajectory in the sports world — is 59 now and beauty standards are different for aging women, especially one on TV.
"I have to color my hair every 10 days because I have so much gray. And my gray hair is really silvery and shiny so you can see it when it comes up on camera," the investigative reporter for Inside Edition says. "And now with HDTV and everybody's got these huge screens in their living rooms. ... Of course, I want to try to look my best. Part of my job is to project confidence and to look good on camera and to dress appropriately."
Guerrero does her own hair and makeup for her TV segments, she can live out of a carry-on bag for an entire week and her beauty routine consists of drugstore products and hotel soap. She looks back on decades in front of the camera as a gift — flaws included.
"I read the comments underneath my stories or on social media, and I think people mean this as a compliment when they say, 'Wow, you look great for your age.' Why do I have to look great for my age? Why can't I just look great? Why are people surprised if women look vibrant and confident and put together? What's wrong with that?"
She continues, "I'm literally on camera chasing bad guys in high heels and I'm able to physically do that at 59. … So why should somebody care if I've got wrinkles around my eyes? We have a different set of expectations and beauty standards and I think everyone should be allowed to determine what those beauty standards are for herself. … We are all different people."
Being on camera has made Guerrero more aware of what she looks like as she gets older. Because she's "constantly" seeing her flaws reflected back to her, she's had to wean herself off of pushing rewind.
Still, that doesn't mean she hasn't made changes to her body: "I'm here to tell you the hair is real, the boobs are not." She got the enhancement when she was in her 20s and has thought about having them removed because she worries about the health risks. However she hasn't experienced any adverse side effects and doesn't want to undergo another surgery.
Guerrero makes choices for her health that she says are the best for her. She started menopause at 50 and decided early on in the process "to not have hormone treatments, not do creams, not do anything."
"I kind of suffered through hot flashes, especially at the beginning. I didn't get the sleep or the rest that I needed," she admits. Now, "I'm sleeping well. Once in a while I'll get a hot flash. It's no big deal."
Ultimately, Guerrero, which means warrior, strives to be exactly that — and uses it as a guiding principle for everything she does.
"There were times when I was embarrassed or ashamed that I wasn't able to live up to that legacy," she explains. "At 8 years old, I didn;t know what it meant when my mom said, 'You are a warrior, you were born to fight.' … But it's through decades of facing challenges, overcoming obstacles and gaining life experiences that I finally feel like the warrior I was meant to be."
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