The Amount Of Time That Hillary Clinton Spent In Hair And Make Up During The Presidential Campaign Shows Us How Sexism Is Still A Thing
Hillary Clinton's entire life has been bejewelled with sexism. Whether it was the country's scorn as she took a more untraditional approach to the First Lady role to prioritise her career whilst husband Bill was in the White House, or the more recent political shenanigans, she's put up with a lot of shit.
In her new book, What Happened, Clinton gives us the low-down on every step of the campaign trail, which also revealed an astonishing amount of time focused on her appearance. Calculated not once, but twice (out of sheer disbelief), the former presidential candidate wrote that she'd spent 600 hours in hair and make up. That's the equivalent of 25 straight days dedicated to how she looked. And we're agreeing with Clinton when she says that there's nothing more to put it down to than the sexist world that we live in.
'I’m not jealous of my male colleagues often, but I am when it comes to how they can just shower, shave, put on a suit and be ready to go. The few times I’ve gone out in public without makeup, it’s made the news,' Clinton wrote in her campaign memoir.
Clinton grimaces at how, even as polished and professional as she was, her appearance continued to be discussed more than the ideas that she had. Looking 'tired' was a press favourite whilst the Democrat worked tirelessly to try and secure the presidency. Had Clinton been male, would this have been a problem? Absolutely not.
Take her rival for the Democratic candidacy, Senator Bernie Sanders, for example. The Washington Post described him as wearing 'suits that look as if he pressed them under a mattress.' If that was Clinton's case, she wouldn't have even had a look-in at standing opposite him. Then, there's The Donald, sigh. Whilst the world was scrutinising Clinton's shade of lipstick, Trump showed his preference for scotch tape over a tie bar (yes, really), which given his years of suit-wearing, you'd have thought he'd know better. Clearly not.
All of this highlights modern-day sexism and the importance of a woman's appearance within a professional - and political - environment, where being pretty or put together takes precedent over what's coming out of her mouth. So for those who think that women have equal rights because a woman got 'that close to the White House', you're wrong. For those who think that Trump had the same pressures as Clinton during the presidential campaign, you're wrong.
Hair and make up is fun, but it shouldn't be a pre-requisite to be a woman, to be a professional, to be in a position of power regardless of what society wants us to believe. But from sexism to beauty standards, a woman's level of attractiveness still seems to be the most important thing about her, which goes to show we still have a long way to go.