I first understood the importance of cosmetics in the election
wars through the help of the Washington Post.
In a piece called “The eyelashes have it,” the Post recently inferred weakness of character from Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris’s makeup choices. “Her lips were overdrawn with berry-red lipstick – the creamy sort that smears all over a coffee cup and leaves smudges on shirt collars. Her skin had been plastered and powdered to the texture of pre-war walls in need of a skim coat. And her eyes, rimmed in liner and frosted with blue shadow, bore the telltale homogenous spikes of false eyelashes.”
I once thought that government officeholders were best judged by their ethics and their official decisions and actions. No more! Thanks to the Post, I now know to look deeper – to examine cosmetic technique for “telltale” signs of gross incompetence.
Harris is easy to mock, the Post article states, because she “seems to have applied her makeup with a trowel.” How can she understand the nuances of diplomacy when she trusts in fashion magazine ads instead of thinking for herself?
The New York Post this month said that major magazines are attempting to pry into Harris’s sex life. But because the New York Post is known as a gossip tabloid, I don’t trust it for serious matters of high national import.
The Washington Post, however, has been known in the past as a rock of journalistic integrity. So when it suggests in its pages that a “woman who can’t even use restraint when she’s wielding a mascara wand” will not be likely to “make sound decisions,” I have to take serious notice.
Incorrect use of a mascara wand, then, reveals a weakness in decision-making skills. I never realized that before.
Using the wrong shade of lipstick should also send up red flags. A missed wrinkle, an overpowdered nose, eyebrows too dark or light, too arched or straight? The woman may not be fit for making decisions that affect the public. Only women with impeccable taste and cosmetic deftness should be taken seriously.
The article excuses men with “jowls, potbellies and unruly hair” from scrutiny. They don’t try to create an effect. Women who use makeup do. No excuses for them when their attempts fall flat.
One aspect of the article left me puzzled. If Harris used “cartoonish” false eyelashes, she wouldn’t also use a mascara wand – would she?
Is the Washington Post certain mascara was involved? Is the Post certain false eyelashes were applied? Maybe it could send out an investigative reporter, just to be sure. Maybe a whole team of them.
But what do I know? Maybe you do use mascara on false eyelashes. Makeup is not my forte. And I obviously wouldn’t be able to make the weighty decisions necessary to hold public office.