Sarah Palin: Too Pretty For Politics

While listening to The Sean Hannity radio show while driving home last night, I heard an interesting discussion on Sarah Palin's resignation.

A male caller from Brooklyn weighed in with his wisdom;

"She's too good looking for politics, she will never be taken seriously."

Hannity responded;

"Do you really believe that?"

Brooklyn boy;

"Yeah, to make it as Senator, or to the Presidential level, you have to look like Hillary Clinton or Madeline Albright."

Here Jezebel puts in their two cents on the good, bad, ugly on Palin.

I'd like to hear your take on this…your honest take. Here's mine;

I'm with Brooklyn boy. Hate to say it, but this is the way the world works. An attractive woman needs to work twice as hard to prove she is intelligent. Once she proves it, she is always proving it, she is never off the hook.

I've worked in a male dominated business my entire career. I hid my modeling past for this very reason- who the hell is going to take me seriously in high tech with that background?

The Rules:
1) Always downplay your looks. Wear pantsuits, stand tall and intimidate them with self confidence.

2) No girlie stuff – nix the heavy makeup, long nails and pumps. Pull your hair back, and hold the perfume.

3) Flirting is a bad move, there's no place for it. None.

4) Be tough, direct and non apologetic.

5) And most importantly – cry and you're dead.

I cried once in my entire career. I tried like hell to hold it in, but the issue being discussed impacted my children (I missed part of their Halloween due to business travel) only to come back to my a-hole boss ranking on me about why I didn't stay on site.

Good news is those four tears were followed by the first and only time I dropped an f-bomb in business. The tears dried up, I freaked on the guy, and had him literally begging me to settle down and asking me what I needed (he was scared as hell I was going to quit because I was his top sales person).

In the end I got him….but I still regret crying.

Bottomline: good looks can play to your advantage in business situations, but when you get to the Executive Level, you find yourself standing in a hole that you never stop digging out of.

I have a feeling I may get hammered on this one, so pound away,
mV

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20 Responses to Sarah Palin: Too Pretty For Politics

  1. Amber says:

    That really pisses me off. i lovemake up,and skirts, and doing my hair, but to be a bussiness woman i bassicly have to pretend i’m a man, that isn’t fair. i can bitch all i want but it wont change. Its really nice to feel good about yourself when you look at yourself, so i guess i have to decide if i want to see a pretty lady, or a professional woman of power (regaurding politics i mean, because i think i’ve said before, i want to be make up artist).

  2. MCP says:

    Tough one. I agree with what Brooklyn Boy said to some extent… When you are attractive you can be labeled as dumb, but I don’t think you should not wear skirts or make up and defy who you are. If you have the legs, wear the skirt. If it makes other women jealous well- I say tough shit.
    I mean, Mama V, you are contradicting yourself here. You are always the one saying embrace who you are. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT SARAH PALIN DOES. She doesn’t give a rat’s ass what people think about her having a disabled child, her teenage pregnant daughter or why she wears glasses instead of contacts or getting lasik.
    While not a liberal by any stretch of the imagination-even the die hard republican in me would never want me to see this woman be in the white house- simply because it is my opinion that she is unqualified and lacks the experience. None of my opinions have ANYTHING to do with how attractive she is.
    But all polotical views aside, if there is one thing I love about her it’s her ability to say, I’m gonna do whatever the F- I want. Even quit my job. I do not think women should ever, EVER, downplay their feminity. If there is one thing I love about Sarah Palin even if I don’t agree with her polotics, it’s that SHE IS REAL. And you are telling her not to be?
    Doesn’t your website stand for loving oneself and embracing who you are? This is very hypocritcal to me to the message you berate us with day in and day out. Think about it…

  3. Rachel says:

    I think that’s crap. To an extent. People do have certain expectations of the “pretty”. My own personal one was hearing I was “too pretty to have problems” when I was in the hospital for my ED and attempted suicide. What a crock. I think that if you are pretty in an obvious way, then you might have to work a little harder to prove that you ARE smart. But I am sick of living in a world that says that women in business should NOT be themselves- they should be like less smelly versions of men. And STILL not make as much money because we have different equipment between our legs. I think women waste a lot of time trying to prove that we are men’s equal. When the truth is, we are not, really. I can’t think of any reason why one is really “better” than the other. We have different skills and abilities. Its like eating an apple and expecting it to taste like an orange. Who does that? And yet we are trying to prove equality by being the same? We are equal because the skills we have to offer are just as valuable (and sometimes even more so!) than what a man brings to the table. Not because we are ignoring our own innate abilities to emulate men. I think its crap, mamav- that on the one hand you tell us to be ourselves, and on the other you admit to hiding yourself lest you not be successful. Screw that! We should all be who we are, and let the world make of that what they will.
    And Sarah Palin won’t have problems succeeding because of her beauty queen past- if anything, it was an asset- who the hell had heard of her before? But what will be her downfall is the fact that she REALLY is not all that bright to begin with.

  4. Meryt Bast says:

    No matter what she looks like, Palin would never be good enough, because no woman is. If you’re pretty, you’re a stupid bimbo. If you’re average or plain-looking, you’re ugly and disgusting. If you wear skirts above mid-calf, you’re slutty. If you wear pantsuits, you’re trying to look mannish and/or trying to hide your “cankles.” If you’re gentle in your manner, you’re weak. If you’re assertive, you’re a bitch. We can’t win, no matter what.
    I personally would love to have a cup of coffee with Sarah Palin (and cuddle her youngest boy for a while). I think her looks and lack of experience have worked against her, and I think that her looks, especially, play into the truly rabid hatred I’ve seen expressed against her. How dare she be aggressive, powerful, *and* attractive? I don’t share many (if any) of Mrs. Palin’s views, but the way she and her family have been savaged makes me sick.

  5. gabi says:

    rachel i agree with you completly about sarah palins beauty being her asset. im not from america but lets be honest here who would have heard of sarah…or for that matter take notice (whether or not shes voted for is entirely different)her. If she was deemed ugly but itteligent noone would listen to her cos society is like that. shes ugly therefore an outcast and ignored. the fact that she is pretty (apparently…..i really dont see this i personally think shes not all that) people take notice!!
    also shes a complete retard. im sorry but her views are ourdated and totally moronic…girls who fall pregant through rape should still have the baby cos abortion is bad. seriously?!?!?!? also im sure the fact her prescious teenage daughter getting up the duff didnt help with her campaign about no sex before marriage and yada yada shit that comes out her worthless mouth. im sorry but noone is taking her seriously cos she isnt beauty with brains….she 100% beauty (again not my personal opinion here) WITHOUT brains!
    i just dont like her. but i dont have to worry cos i live in london (not that we have much better here…nope we have gordon brown. one moron takes over from anpther moron who really should be shot…tony blair)

  6. mcp says:

    Her views are not the point- it’s the argument that because she’s attractive she can’t succeed in whatever- Mother, wife, Governor, maid or whatever that is getting on my nerves. Espeicially on a website where the WOMAN who runs it claims to be an Ed activist basically says, it is acceptable to be twho you are for business.
    This is unacceptable to me. She needs to think, as I have said multiple times before, opening her mouth.

  7. mcp says:

    I meant- ubacceptable to be who you are for business due to chauvinist pigs and how they may perceive you. Does this seem like a feminist to you?

  8. emsscot says:

    I think saying Sarah Palin is “too pretty” to succeed in politics is what many of her supporters would like to blame as the reason for her recent lack of success. There is no doubt she is an attractive woman but there is equally no doubt she has neither the knowledge, the experience or the brains to be in a position of power in the White House. That is not to say she doesn’t have the cojones, chutzpah or street smarts to be considered a suitable candidate by a certain segment of the population. The fact that she made it as far as she did is in itself frightening. On another note, when did Hilary Clinton become ugly? Senator Clinton may not have the sex appeal of ex-Gov. Palin that a large majority of men found in ex-Gov. Palin, including it would appear the Brooklyn caller, but she is not an ugly woman. And talking about “ex-Governship:” what about those charges of corruption, the alleged reason behind her resignation? Gov. Palin has always struck me as a very street-smart, savvy woman who is very adept at looking after her own interests and whose attractiveness has helped her do just that. That doesn’t mean I want her in the White House or anywhere near it.

  9. Sharon says:

    I think that if a woman is beautiful, but wears modest clothing and does not flaunt her beauty with excessive makeup and open clothing, she will be more respected and others will focus on her appearance less.
    Wearing a skirt can sometimes be more modest than pants, which are more tight-fitting. Skirts are okay if they are below the knee, not tight or made of see-through material.
    I agree with Rachel who says that women and men are innately different. This does not mean that we should have lower wages than men for doing the same jobs in the workplace etc..
    I think that subconsciously humans like pretty people more that others. Voters might have also been influenced too. Those who vote only based on image would probably be influenced.
    Prettier people might not be taken seriously too. However, everyone, regardless of age and beauty, should dress, talk and act in a way so people will focus on their character more than their appearance and not be distracted.

  10. rosie says:

    mamaV, it seems as though you’re always “pounding” us for our obsession over appearance, but now all of a sudden we should want to look like this?
    plus, sarah palin isn’t making it at the executive level for a hell of a lot more than her looks.

  11. mcp says:

    I agree with You Rosie on the pounding us over our apperance.
    I think that maybe Mama V has had some over-exposure in the modeling world to emphasis on appearance which is understandable. I agree that the fashion and beauty industry can make one obsessesd and preoccupied. Perhaps I am not positing this in the right forum or topic, but I’d like to make what I think is a very important point.
    She preaches all the time about feeling good about ourselves and loving ourselves. I’m all for that. But if our favorite lipstick, Mascara, or pretty dress helps make us feel better… than what the hell is wrong with that?
    As long as we are not maxing out our plastic on beauty products, what is wrong with wanting to look sharp? I am tired of her constantly vilifying her readers for simply wanting to look and feel their best with a little extra help from Loreal.
    I was at Bloomingdales yesterday and I picked up two of my favorite Lancome lipstick because I heard it’s going to be discontined. Sue me because I love the color and it looks good on me and it cost me 60.00 dollars. I mean, at some point, she has to draw a line in the sand and realize that not everyone who likes a little make up is going to be the next Joceyln Wildstein. I’ve tried to tell her many times that I feel she has a one dimensional view of things and generalzies way too much but I don’t think she really cares.

  12. mae says:

    I also work in an extremely male-dominated field — and am the only woman in an academic department of over 50 men.
    The pressure to dress/act a certain way is NOT limited strictly to beautiful women. I am by no means “beautiful” or “attractive”, yet must abstain from makeup and dress conservatively — almost to the point of blending in with the men around me. I have, in fact, been flat-out told that I must avoid tempting the men around me, but maintain an appearance that is also not offensively ugly or off-putting.
    Your observations, MamaV, are not limited to the beautiful women only. The rest of us suffer the same.

  13. Maeve says:

    Do women have to work harder and be better to go as far as men in male dominated fields? Yes.
    Do I think less attractive women have a better shot at it than pretty women. I doubt it. In fact being unattractive and a woman is probably a double strike against you.
    Hillary Clinton is taken seriously. The theory in this piece seems to be that this is because she is less good-looking and less-womanly than Sarah Palin. At most Sarah Palin is marginally more attractive. But I think the main difference is Hillary Clinton is quick-witted and smart. Sarah Palin is not. She can’t make a point. She confuses herself. There are a lot of eighth graders out there who are better-spoken than her. She was unprepared for questions that anyone could have told her she was going to be asked.
    Using her for an example on this question is bizarre, because I think she’s an example of the other side of the coin. She only got where she is (or rather was) because she’s a woman. She was the token woman. She was a weak attempt to pick up some Clinton supporters because apparently McCain couldn’t think of a single reason anyone would have wanted to support Clinton besides the fact that she had breasts.
    That said, yes, women have to work harder. I never really realized this until my final coop term in University when I was working side-by-side a male student in my class. Our boss constantly tried to give me secretarial duties. “Oh, you’re hand writing is so much neater, you should take notes while Billy does the experiment. You’re probably too small to pour this, anyway.” It’s bullshit and it messes with you because you start worrying about all the opportunities you were never even aware of that went to guys instead. It’s tough.

  14. Meryt Bast says:

    I don’t think that mV attacks women for wanting to dress up and wear makeup. I think she attacks the barrage of self-hating messages in advertising and other media, i.e., you are not good enough without using Product X. There is a lot of money being made off women’s self-doubt and poor self-image, and that makes me mad as hell.
    Back to the topic: I read the Jezebel article and I think the authors hit some very good points.

  15. rosie says:

    thank you, Maeve, for the words I could not come up with yesterday :) nicely put.

  16. Lana says:

    Sarah Palin will never make it because her opinions and ‘policies’ are appalling!

  17. stacy says:

    i think it could be true in some cases but for sarah palin, no.
    it seems like propaganda to justify why people think she’s a joke. its what she says that makes her so….unappealing

  18. LG says:

    Thank you, emsscot and stacy, for contributing some sense to this discussion. this post, and many of the responses it generated, rely much too heavily on binary thinking (in my opinion, of course). While undoubtedly dominant society’s standard of beauty impacts the vast majority of women, to say that attractive=dumb, and plain/less “feminine/fill in the adjective=intelligent is simplistic, at best. It remains important to remember that whether you’re a woman exec., a housewife, or a woman who works in a so-called female dominated field (not at the exec. level; i.e., teaching, house cleaning, etc…), we live in a male-dominated society! And, to get beyond appearance, it is also important to remember that what largely contributed to Palin’s not so stellar reception lies heavily on her ridiculous commentary (again, my opinion). Btw, did anyone catch Shatner’s take on her resignation speech?? :)

  19. anon says:

    what i also meant to add is that I don’t believe you’re promoting that binary, mv, but the way it’s presented in this post troubles me b/c you don’t address at all how the many problematic statements made by Palin have contributed to her very unpopular standing. Rather, you focus on a comment put forth on a conservative news station by a man called Brooklyn boy to drive this discussion. how about entertaining such superficial comments less, and focusing on some real substance, like what she’s actually said?

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