The world was aflutter this week over pictures of Hillary Clinton sans makeup, with Matt Drudge and Fox News acting particularly smug about the whole thing. “I guess we're all supposed to gasp and feel faint, to acknowledge that yes, Hillary Clinton is a real live human with monstrous, terrible flaws, and this is the pictorial proof of that,” writes Erin Gloria Ryan on Jezebel. It’s not just Clinton: Our society is obsessed with these au naturel moments, but both sides of the conversation are “unnecessary and dangerous,” Ryan writes.
When a man or a woman responds to pictures like this with mockery, it usually proves they value physical appearance over everything else and see women as purely “decorative.” On the other hand, those who leap to defend women against the mockery (“She’s totally pretty!”) are actually giving credence to that very same message: that “honor is connected to a female politician's looks, and not her work or ideology or politics.” Ultimately, insulting a woman’s looks simply proves you aren’t capable of more advanced thinking, Ryan concludes. “You may think she's ugly, but everyone else thinks you're an idiot.” Click for her full column.