Colonel Exits After Calling for Uglier Women in PR Photos

Lynette Arnhart: Less-attractive women seen as 'competent'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 23, 2013 4:31 PM CST
Lynette Arnhart quit after controversial comments on women in publicity materials.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – An Army colonel has stepped down from a study on women in combat after she urged military spokespeople to use less-attractive women in publicity shots, the AP reports. "In general, ugly women are perceived as competent while pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead," Lynette Arnhart said in an internal email obtained by Politico. "It might behoove us to select more average-looking women for our comms strategy." She cited an ARMY Magazine piece which "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)," Arnhart wrote. She had been leading an analysis of how to bring women into new combat positions before agreeing to leave the study. A general accepted her exit "in order to protect the integrity of the ongoing work on gender integration in the Army," says an Army spokesman. Col. Christian Kubik, who reportedly forwarded Arnhart's words to fellow military PR people, has been suspended. (Read more US Army stories.)

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