Make-up madness: Hillary Clinton’s appearance criticized

by Madeleine Kolb

Meets with Turkmenistan Foreign Minister Meredov

Hillary Clinton is one hard-working, globe-trotting Secretary of State. Since taking office, she’s  traveled an astonishing 809,180 miles—the equivalent of circling planet Earth 32 times.

Her most recent trip (May 3 through May 8) was to China, Bangladesh, and India. April 13 through April 19, she was in Columbia, Brazil, Belgium, and France. Before that it was Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and before that, the U.K., Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.

She’s traveled to Somalia, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and many other countries to discuss a litany of world challenges, including human rights violations, trade and economic issues, climate change, counter-terrorism, and trafficking in human beings, aka the “sex trade.”

You can see a fascinating interactive map and details  of all her trips here

With UK Prime Minister David Cameron, addressing session on US-UK relations

So it was disturbing to see recent online posts criticizing her appearance: her hair pulled back in a scrunchie, her face devoid of makeup, other than lipstick, and wearing glasses. Wearing glasses—what was she thinking?

Will we ever get beyond placing so much attention on a woman’s hair and makeup? What about her intelligence and energy and talent and passion for public service? All of which Hillary Clinton clearly has in abundance.

Meeting with Pakistani Foreigh Minister Hina Rabbini

And not that it has even the slightest significance —but take a look at this picture of the Secretary of State and the Foreign Minister of Pakistan. I think Hillary Clinton looks terrific.

While we’re at it, do we expect our male Secretaries of State to pay particular attention to their appearance?  I don’t recall the media or the general public criticizing Secretary of State Dean Rusk or Henry Kissinger or George Schultz or Warren Christoper or Colin Powell for their appearance? Or even commenting on it at all? Or even noticing it at all?

What do you think? In terms of women in the public eye, do we pay far too much attention to the way they look? Should the media criticize a person for appearing “tired,” when jet-lag is an occupational hazard of her job? If her work is exhausting, is she somehow obliged to use lots of makeup to cover it up? Does that even work? I’d love to hear your opinion.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Colleen Kelly Mellor May 14, 2012 at 11:09 am

I KNOW there are many of us out there who bristle at this continual injustice, and now it’s confirmed…Here are two of us. Let’s hope we get the message out there–today–about “National Scrunchie Day” where we all don a little insignificant thing to send a BIG powerful message: “Media–Stop trivializing us!!” “Stop making our importance all about appearance.”

Thank you, Madeleine…We are truly ‘sisters’

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2 Madeleine Kolb May 14, 2012 at 11:37 am

Thanks so much, Colleen. I love your idea of a National Scrunchie Day, and I’m on it. Let’s get this thing going.

Ladies: you can read Collen’s terrific post on the same topic by clicking on the link in her comment.

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3 Laura May 29, 2012 at 4:22 am

Once we are able to determine the type of criticism that is thrown our way, we can handle it much better.
Laura recently posted..Organic design and architectureMy Profile

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4 Madeleine Kolb May 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Hilliary Clinton has heard a lot of similar criticism over the years. Fortunately, she seems to be so comfortable with who she is that she doesn’t let her bother her. Kudos to her!

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