I have probably not given Jessi Lang the credit she has deserved, ever.
Apart from woking as a host of one of MotorTrend’s new series, Wide Open Throttle, Lang is an accomplished scholar who, in 2004, received her PhD in Cultural, Media and Feminist Studies at George Mason University. No small feat there.
Following her time at George Mason, she went on to study Radio Announcing at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and Television Announcing two years later. I see you.
During and a little after she racked up all those degrees, Lang worked as an English professor at George Mason University. After that, she worked as a host for a show called “That’s What She Said” syndicated by Comcast. Save the jokes. Please.
Then she was a presenter on the online web series, Roadfly TV, where she got her feet wet reviewing cars.
Above, you can watch one of Lang’s earlier reviews. And although she didn’t have much experience at that point, she was fluent, confident and very much had an air about her that made it apparent she knew what she was talking about.
If you are like me, and subscribe to a great deal of YouTube channels, you will notice that Roadfly TV has a trend for hiring female hosts. Pandering perhaps?
Here’s an example of one of Roadfly’s other female hosts. Not to disparage Elizabeth Kreft, but there’s a certain, subtle artificiality to her presentation. Her vocabulary is ever-so-slightly-off that it is evident that she’s not a car person. She’s fluent, yes, but I feel like she’s reading from a teleprompter somewhere. She doesn’t quite seem that she knows what she’s talking about. Jessi Lang, in comparison, does.
I think the reason I ever had doubts about Jessi was because, well, she’s a girl. I think more than that, the issue was that all the commenters on all the videos would miss the video’s very purpose and comment on how “hot” Jessi is, or if she comes included with the sale of the car. That was what irked me more than anything else. And it’s a shame, really.
Here’s a prime example of an inappropriate and unnecessary comment.
Ideally, there should be more female automotive presenters and journalists out there. Roadfly shouldn’t be using them to attract clicks. Rain forests shouldn’t be destroyed. But we do not live in a perfect world. Such is life.
The fault is not Lang’s. It’s not even really the viewers either. Instead, it is our western cultural fabric that tells us “fashion and makeup are for girls” and “cars and guns are for boys.”