My newfound love for Mika Brzezinski

by Leah Bieler

Like many good NPR listeners, and New York Times readers, we often watch "Morning Joe" with our coffee. For many reasons, this show is not necessarily my favorite, more of a lesser of morning news evils. But there it is, most weekday mornings, while the caffeine slowly enters my bloodstream and I clean up the remainder of last night's dishes. Glamorous, I know.

Though I could offer various critiques of the show's content, the thing that has really gotten under my skin has nothing to do with editorial choices or left/right balance. Each day, as I made sure my kids had their coats zipped, boots and gloves on, hoods at the ready, as I buttoned up my big winter coat (over my sweats) to take them to the bus, there was Mika, in a shift dress and four inch heels. What the f#%&?! Why was she perpetually dressed for a Memorial Day wedding? 

I found her clothing so distracting that I realized I wasn't listening to the discussions that were taking place during the show. I literally recall the grey sleeveless dress with the pink piping that she wore repeatedly as I shivered under a blanket a 15 minute drive from her home. Is the weather really different there? And, in my experience, uber-skinny women like her are always cold. 

So why the skimpy outfits? I felt it really diminished her as a journalist. How could I take her seriously if she couldn't take herself seriously enough to PUT ON A SWEATER? Then, slowly, the news began leaking out. Mika's notorious obsession with food might be a symptom of a larger issue. Turns out Ms. Brzezinski has an eating disorder. And in her attempt at healing, she gained 20 pounds. Now, I don't know for a fact that this is the reason for the big wardrobe change that ensued. And I in no way intend to diminish her struggles with her personal demons. Eating disorders are serious business. But, recently, as the weight crept on, it seems to me some more blood has been flowing to Mika's brain as well. 

I hope her newfound love for sleeves is not an indication that, having gained a few pounds, Mika is now ashamed of her (slightly larger) body. Besides the fact that she is still, by any measure, quite thin, that would be a disappointing outcome. She should continue wearing her short sleeveless dresses to garden parties and beach destination weddings and shopping in June on Madison avenue. But, onscreen with a bunch of men in sweaters and 3 piece suits and tweed jackets, she ought to dress for the season.  Her opinions should do the speaking for her, not her buff upper arms. Now about those shoes....