The Unbearable Lightness of Hair Gel

Okay, okay, I’m not supposed to be blogging, I’m supposed to be finishing up my novel. (Which, for those keeping score at home, crossed 42,000 words last night, at which point I realized that in all 40k+ words preceding, I’d forgotten to set up a major plot point. WHOOPS. Anyway.)

But I wanted to comment briefly on Fred Clark’s throwback post from yesterday. Originally published in November 2011, it treats on the issues of authenticity and hair styling on the campaign trail:

The expert opinion: No one’s hair stays in place like that without some product in there. And the coloring used everywhere but Romney’s temples isn’t always done as seamlessly or artfully as it could be.

The expert also says this is all silly. There’s nothing morally wrong with using products to keep your hair in place and there’s nothing shameful about deciding to keep your hair the same color it was when you were younger. The expert feels its an insult to her profession that candidates tend to lie about this sort of thing.

Political candidates have to go before the cameras on television — that means lots of work on hair and makeup, lots of necessary product, just to appear normal under the lights in high-def. We never criticize a candidate for wearing a shirt that’s been ironed, or a suit that’s been tailored, or for otherwise looking more presentable than someone who’s just rolled out of bed. But after several election cycles of stupidity and silliness around candidates’ hairstyles, the current vogue requires them to lie for the sake of “authenticity.”

Mitt Romney (who? I swear I remember someone by that name) probably only has to touch up his hair — and possibly wear some concealer and powder, to be honest — to look normal when he’s campaigning. And if he admits that his perfect Reed Richards-esque graying temples are chemically enhanced, he’ll get called out for being inauthentic.

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