Once upon a time and not very long ago, women in Western politics were characterized by strong ladies like Margaret Thatcher, Janet Reno, or Madeleine Albright — all powerful, formidable figures who redefined how women worked in politics, but never ladies known for their glamour. And that, of course, was completely fine...no one would have ever criticized Abraham Lincoln for not being babely, after all. But now, in 2012, with more females running for office and being appointed to important cabinet roles — along with more mainstream outlets (like us!) reporting on politics — the all-business, buttoned-up portrait of the female politician is changing.
But despite the shift, when Vogue ran a portfolio on Democratic National Committee chairperson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the magazine received some seriously negative feedback. No, it wasn't over the publication's decidedly liberal bent (Anna Wintour is a major Obama supporter, after all), but instead, over Schultz's clothes...and hair...and makeup.
The representative, who Vogue describes as "frizzy-haired," appeared sleek and chic in Roland Mouret and Jason Wu. This sudden makeover, the Vogue-ification of a recognizable working mother, seemed to irk both her constituents and a range of conservatives as well. Buzzfeed quoted Twitter messages which read: "This looks nothing like her. We want to recognize those we support, no?"; The Hill bemoaned the fact that she was wearing a lot of makeup and appeared ultra-glamorous; and the conservative blogs were much more cruel, pondering how much airbrushing the mother of three needed. Conservative stalwart The Blaze even went so far as to pen a piece speculating on the cost of the dress (which we'd guess, since this was an editorial in a fashion book, was pulled for her by a stylist).
Photo: (Left) Courtesy of Vogue; (Right) Via Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz
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