Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Hair and Makeup Took 600 Hours Because the World is Sexist

Hillary Clinton was “shocked” to discover that she spent 600 hours getting hair and makeup done during the 2016 presidential campaign—and chalked it up to good old American sexism. 

“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,” she wrote in her best-selling campaign memoir, What Happened.

Clinton admitted that she was so stunned by the sheer amount of time spent on her looks— the equivalent of 25 days—that she “checked the math twice.”

Her male rivals for the presidency certainly didn’t spend that much time in a hairdresser’s chair, much to the chagrin of Clinton, who said her appearance was often more discussed than her ideas, especially when the relentless candidate looked tired.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump happily campaigned in long ties with Scotch tape on the back and Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination, was beloved for his disheveled white hair and “suits that look as if he pressed them under a mattress,” as The Washington Post once noted.

“Why does Bernie Sanders dress like that?” the headline said. “Because he can.”

Clinton ruefully notes that she could not, saying that it takes a lot of effort “just to be a woman in the public eye.”

Clinton has tried to take back some of the campaign sexism—her Twitter bio cheekily calls her a “hair icon” and “pantsuit aficionado”— but it started from her earliest days as a public figure when her husband, Bill, served as president and she sidestepped the traditional role of first lady.

“I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life,” Clinton famously said.

She even defended her penchant for pantsuits, explaining, “They make me feel professional and ready to go.” When she ran for Senate in 2000, she “thought it would be good to do what male politicians do and wear more or less the same thing every day.” 

But when Clinton ran for president in 2008, a guest on Fox & Friends said, “If that’s the face of experience, I think it’s going to scare away a lot of those independent voters that are on the fence.”

Even after the election, Clinton’s looks and clothing choices get coverage. At the Children’s Defense Fund gala in Washington, nine days after her historic loss, Clinton was criticized for looking “noticeably drained and exhausted.”

Yet Clinton’s presidential loss inspired 11,000 women to consider a political office, and the historic candidate said she hopes future candidates will be spared the scrutiny she received. 

“I sigh, and keep getting back in that chair and dream of a future in which women in the public eye don’t need to wear makeup if they don’t want to, and no one cares either way,” Clinton wrote about her time during the 2016 election.

After Clinton lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump, she was spotted walking her dog in Chappaqua, New York—smiling and makeup free

 

During the 2016 presidential election, Clinton would try to multitask as people fussed over her hair and makeup—the former Secretary of State busied herself fielding phone calls or preparing for meetings.

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