Posted by Curt on 22 October, 2008 at 1:22 pm. 38 comments already!


Caryl Rivers, Professor of journalism at Boston University and Huffington Post writer, once wrote this about the media obsession with Kathleen Harris and her appearance:

…journalists, talk show hosts and comedians have been having a field day with the powder and mascara used by Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. She burst onto the national scene trying to certify Texas Gov. George W. Bush as the winner of the state’s electoral votes, undoubtedly not expecting her cosmetics to get almost as much ink as Florida’s dimpled and undimpled chads.

Harris–whether you see her as a heroine or a diehard partisan–has become the inheritor of a growing trend in American politics. The men can look like unmade beds and that fact goes unmentioned, while the bodies, hair and makeup of women receive intense scrutiny. The philosopher Susan Sontag refers to it as “the double standard of aging.”

The scrutiny of Harris has been unrelenting, and largely unflattering. A profile in The Washington Post noted that Harris’ lipstick was of “the creamy sort that smears all over a coffee cup and leaves smudges on shirt collars,” that she “applied her makeup with a trowel” and compared the texture of her skin to that of a plastered wall.

A Democratic operative labeled her Cruela deVil, the villainess of “102 Dalmatians,” and the term got repeated everywhere. The Boston Globe said maybe she was planning to unwind at a drag bar, because of all her makeup, and the Boston Herald called her a painted lady. Jay Leno called the election “tighter than Katherine Harris’ face.”

The reaction to Harris underlines an unspoken fact of media life: Men’s appearance is almost always unremarkable and unremarked upon, while women’s is nearly always to be remarked upon, often to the exclusion of other qualities.

Eight years later and its still a fact of media life. Men’s appearance is hardly ever remarked upon while a woman’s is put under a microscope… it or not…that’s the facts. The RNC understood this and spent 0.15% of their budget to outfit Sarah Palin to the tune of 150 grand and now it’s a big deal:

The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.

According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.

The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.

The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.

The RNC has made it clear that after the election those clothes will go to charity, and they could probably take in a good amount of cash in auction. But for the left, and even some on the right, to ridicule this small percentage of cash being spent on ensuring that Palin looks and appears professional given the double standard by the MSM is ignorant. The double standard exists, and they did not want her clothing nor her looks to be a part of this election. The candidates and their positions should be what it is about and the way our society works if she had looked like a unprofessional hick the media would of spent an inordinate amount of time on that and that alone.

More “>here.

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