Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sarah Palin's $150K Makeover: The Common Touch


So, is this what would happen if a hockey mom won the lottery?

The newspapers have been buzzing with the news that the Republican National Committee decided to play Rachel Zoe with Sarah Palin to the tune of $150,000. Although your faithful correspondent feels that the RNC did a better job than Zoe would—one shudders to think of Palin giving her acceptance speech, hair parted in the middle, in a swirling tiered oversized chiffon maxi dress. (But on the other hand, the question of Palin’s credibility would have been instantly moot.)

Despite her beauty queen past, Palin was perilously close to frumpy in the months before destiny descended on her vastly unprepared shoulders. She favored a frizzy upswept hairdo with highlights that seemed meant to blind oncoming moose at night. (Those Alaska roads can be so treacherous.) The woman wore fleece, for pity's sake; need one say more?

Over John McCain’s squeaky objections, Palin was selected to be the Vice Presidential nominee, and instantly the image machine went to work. In September and October make-up artist Amy Strozzi earned about $36,000 and her hair stylist Angela Lew earned $19,000. There are moments when one thinks they are trying to remake her into a younger, sexier Elizabeth Dole. (Who, by the way, now has blinding blonde highlights of her own.) Department stores were looted for designer labels: St. John, my darling Oscar de la Renta, and Escada. Palin’s hair was darkened, smoothed, and she was even convinced to wear it down around her shoulders. (Cf. my earlier entry: "Sarah Palin - A Man Made Woman?")

Her clothing is carefully chosen to show off her trim figure, which GOP consultants feel “appeals to white male voters.” We already know she does not need to actually wear glasses, but without them she would look so generic one could not tell which politician’s fashionable wife she was.

For her acceptance speech she wore a beautiful silk shantung Valentino outfit. Many of her outfits feature belts around the waist or an hourglass cut, and she is often seen striding about in boots. Perhaps that appeals to “white male voters who long to be spanked.” Stranger things have happened in politics.

However, it does dent Palin’s image as a hard-working middle class mom (toting around her tot helps…personally, I think it is either kept heavily drugged or she is carrying a large doll. What sort of child never cries or throws up on the person carrying it? That is why I never handle children, myself).

She claims she will give the clothes to charity after she is elected. That’s a bit like saying vous donner la cher de vol de steak après avoir mangé, for lack of a better metaphor. The woman has even been reduced, in interviews, to cataloging what does and does not belong to her whenever she steps out fully dressed. (At least that way she doesn’t have to answer any hard questions about foreign policy or who Henry Paulson is and why she should care.

Now, a confession. I think the RNC does have quite good taste in clothes, if a touch bland. Certainly better than poor Cindy McCain, who always looks like she just put her finger in a light socket when she’s on the public stage.

Michelle Obama has beautiful taste in clothes as well and always has. For that she has been called “elitist.” Apparently it’s “elitist” to buy your own designer clothes, and “common” to allow rich white men to buy them for you.

Which, upon reflection, seems oddly appropriate, don’t you think? One supposes that appeals to "white male voters who wish they could afford a trophy Vice President."

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog


Carol Gwenn said...

Interesting musings...personally, I put a lot of time into avoiding the people who shop in Mrs. Palin's more familiar haunts, those strange places whose names all seem to end in "mart". One shudders!

Loved the line about voters who want to be spanked - VERY funny.

Antonia said...

She must have known something was up-that jawline has been refashioned since the fleece photo!