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Leaked Army email suggests 'ugly' women should be in soldier photos

November 21, 2013|By Mick Swasko, @swasko | RedEye

The first four women to ever complete the Marine Corps’ infantry combat training proved why “selfie” was named the “Word of the Year” this week.

According to CNN, the women in the photo that went viral this week will be the first ever to graduate after completing the rigorous training, part of which is lugging the same 90 pounds of gear as men on a 12.5 mile march.

But for as much as their group photo garnered, there’s a bit of a twist. On Monday, politics blog Politico released a leaked email from the US Army, which suggested the Army’s public relations team only use photos of “average-looking women” in stories about female soldiers.

“In general, ugly women are perceived as competent while pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead,” the email, sent by Col. Lynette Arnhart, reads. “There is a general tendency to select nice looking women when we select a photo to go with an article (where the article does not reference a specific person). It might behoove us to select more average looking women for our comms strategy.”

Later, a US Army spokesperson released a statement that said the comments were internal and “not an Army position.”

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