I have a question for you. What do you think is more appealing - a man's arm or a woman's?

Well according to TVNZ, the answer is men's arms are pleasing on the eye while women's arms should not be seen at all.

Can you believe that?

The state-run broadcaster has just released its new dress code which asks that women dress more "utilitarian style".


That's fine ... they are after a more informal look, "not a glamorous one".

But this is the bit that gets me: for women, "the general rule is no bare arms".

However, for the men who are also being asked to go for a more relaxed look it means they can roll their sleeves up "where appropriate".

Why, oh why are men allowed to bare their arms but women aren't?

What the heck is wrong with bare arms?

The internal briefing sent to reporters and obtained by the Herald on Sunday also says "anything that distracts the viewer from what you are saying is a no-no".

TVNZ must think its viewers are a bunch of weak-minded, easily distracted dorks who watch the news only to see what the presenters are wearing.

Then instead of listening to them, we all sit there staring in a daze at the women's bare arms. Give us a break.

Then, to add insult to injury, they accompanied the document with images of skinny models.

They did apologise in advance for this by saying in the brief, "apologies in advance - the photos are all of ridiculously slim, beautiful people".

Then why use them in the first place if they knew they were going to upset people?

Most workplaces have some sort of dress code.

We have a dress code. It's not strict but I certainly wouldn't rock up to work in my shorts (wouldn't want to scare anyone).

I can't imagine working all day in long sleeves in the middle of summer.

I know the presenters - well, the women - only have to "cover their arms" while they are on screen but it still must be uncomfortably hot with studio lights, even with air-conditioning.

Jackets and long sleeves doesn't say relaxed to me. It's the middle of summer, for goodness sake.

Apparently the memo didn't go down too well with some of the staff - they are "up in arms".

-Linda Hall is assistant editor,

Hawke's Bay Today