Sarah Palin’s Extreme Makeover

Sarah Palin received $150,000 worth of new clothes from the Republican National Party since her nomination was announced in September, according to a recent Politico story.

The public and the media confused beauty with money upon Palin’s debut, heaping praise on Palin’s good looks, a mistake made so often in the United States that beauty and money have been long indistinguishable. Palin dazzled because she was covered in staggeringly expensive designer garb. Stylists know that small town beauty queen fashion sense does not make true loveliness on a national stage. I wonder what Palin looked like before the GOP got a hold of her, shaped her hair and makeup, and literally clothed her in money.

If the point of Palin on the ticket was her down-home appeal, why not let her continue to take a curling iron to her bangs, and wear outfits from the local Anchorage or Wasilla shopping malls? Why outfit her in a way that few hockey moms (and only about 5% of people in this country) could afford?

Perhaps because without the class status her clothing conferred, she’d run the risk of looking like what she is: an untutored woman and an unpolished small-time politician. And how would her nutty right wing views read coming out of a package like that? Would our perception of her moose hunting, woolf-shooting ways change if her class status presented differently?

Campaign spokespeople poo-poo stories about Palin’s wardrobe, suggesting that the clothes are on loan to Palin and will be donated to charity once she is finished. Imagine the lucky work-to-welfare Mom, or abused woman who fled her house without her clothes, who would benefit from Palin’s cast-off Armani suits.

Is it just me, or does the McCain campaign’s dismissive suggestion evoke a “let them eat cake” ethos to you too?

Funny that the McCain campaign, for all of their Joe-the-Plumber advertising, still can’t manage to disguise their Marie Antoinette ways

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1 Comment

Filed under election 2008

One response to “Sarah Palin’s Extreme Makeover

  1. flyovermiss

    I find this to be a delightfully flagrant foul by the Republican camp. I mean, how often do we get to see the hypocrisies of a political party so perfectly encapsulated? The price tag of Palin’s “Project Beltway” (kudos to Jon Stewart on the phrase) makeover signals that, despite its populist claims, decisions in the Republican party are made by members of the affluent upper class and reflect the prejudices of that set. I’d also argue that the polishing and packaging of Palin also indicates the Republicans’ discomfort with leaders who are not part of the economic elite. Finally, I note that Palin’s garb seems designed to highlight her sexual attractiveness, whereas the wardrobe choices of most other prominent female politicians do not appear designed to stress their physical appeal. Leaving aside for the moment the problems inherent in female candidates needing to downplay their differences from men, I find it highly ironic that the Republicans are implying that their veep choice demonstrates how less sexist they are than the Dems, while simultaneously pitching Palin as the hottie from up North.

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