Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hillary's lost makeup time

Michael Kinsley, finding something interesting to write about, as usual, has an Op-Ed piece in today's LA Times about a particular disadvantage that Hillary has in this campaign: she has to wear makeup. Not that that in and of itself is a disadvantage - I actually think Hillary looks good these days. She reminds me of Susan Sarandon, who I think is aging very gracefully. Even though I don't support her for president and, like many people, I find her a little grating, I think she does have an air of competence and authority, which I find attractive. I think she's rather handsome these days. She also seems to be comfortable with her appearance, which is a big help.

But Kinsley's point is that she has to take extra time every day to put the makeup on, and, over the course of a campaign, it adds up. His calculation:

"If you figure 20 minutes a day over a year and a half of 14-hour days and six-day weeks, it comes out to an extra two weeks of campaigning or sleep for a male candidate."

I'm not quite sure what to make of this. Yes, it's a disadvantage. But the emphasis on her appearance also might have advantages. I remember seeing at least one Democratic debate, with five or six or seven or eight guys in dark suits, and Hillary is bright red. Or bright yellow, or whatever. She really does stand out, which can't hurt.

As for advantages that Hillary has personally, we can start with the fact that she's married to a former president. So even if she has this one disadvantage, she also has several unique advantages.

The one thing that I can think of on the male side is that men have to work out to keep in shape. But women have to do that too - being on the campaign trail, I'm sure, requires that you be in good shape. So I really have no idea what to make of this. Comments are welcome.


Laryssa said...

I agree Hil looks great! I hope to look as good at her age, you know?

But what about the men, you ask. Well there's shaving every day which takes time; as none of the guys have ZZ Top beards, they clearly shave.

How do we know that John McCain isn't a secret metrosexual? I think he looks AMAZING for 70! His skin in HD on my tv seems almost dewey! He totally has a beauty regimen and I must find out what it is.

And what about Obama? Tell me he hasn't played beauty parlor and had himself a cucumber facial at least once in his life at the hands of Michelle. I think he's man enough and secure enough to go Metro.

And don't they put make-up on all the candidates for tv appearances? I'd think at least a light dusting of powder to reduce glare from shiny cheeks would be required for all.

In conclusion I have to point out the obvious. Yes, Hillary probably does spend more time prepping for the debates and appearances. But women's bodies are torn apart and scrutinized mercilessly in the media. If you recall she was criticized for years about her headbands and other unfortunate fashion choices when Bill ran for President. So sure she's going to spend time thinking about every accessory. Who wants to hear, "Well I really liked her speech but if she thinks that peach is her color then clearly she can't be president."

JohnTEQP said...

John McCain as a secret metrosexual - that's very funny.

Yes, women get criticized for their appearance. But men are not immune to this - remember John Edwards' haircut?

Also, women have the advantage of being able to have more fun with their clothes. Do you have any idea how BORING it is to wear a dark suit every day?

And women can dress appropriately for the weather. Summer day, in the 90's? Wear a skirt and open-toed shoes. Guys in an office still have to wear long pants, shoes with socks, and shirts with long sleeves.

Laryssa said...

You have a point! In fact you made me realize that had one of the men had a moment like Hillary did when people said she "cried" they would have been roasted alive.

I will never understand men and wardrobe. If men run the world then why is it they not only tie a noose around their necks but there is virtually no business summer-wear! One guy in my last office wore a short sleeve button down dress shirt to work and all the other guys made fun of him.

Clearly there are advantages and disadvantages on both sides of the gender arguments. When it comes to politics specifically though I think men have the advantage.

PS: I totally believe that McCain at least moisturizes and tweezes... :)