Friday, January 9, 2009
The appearance of Caroline Kennedy
Appearance, apparently, for Ms. Quan, is important. Thus, Hillary Clinton, while her appearance was meticulously dissected by the press, "never traded explicitly on her looks," but she did use "her appearance to connect with us."
Unfortunately, Ms. Quan does not elaborate, so we're left wondering just how Senator and soon-to-be Secretary of State Clinton used her appearance as a connection with the public.
Ms. Quan then jumps to Caroline Kennedy. While people are excited about Kennedy's possible appointment to the Senate, they are not talking about her "hair and accessories." Why not? "Could this mean she's not being taken seriously?"
The fashion choices of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin tell us a lot about the person.
Well, says Ms. Quan, "Clothes, hair, nails and lipstick -- these bits and pieces of a persona represent some aspect of what Sarah and Hillary have accomplished. They've gone out of their way to construct themselves for public life, and we reward them by caring how they look."
Hillary and Sarah "invented" themselves, says Quan.
Caroline Kennedy did not. She was made be other "forces." And her "looks" are a problem; distracting. "She looks more like her uncle Robert than her mother Jackie..."
And that's good? Not good?
Quan says "Caroline's looks are as inconsistent as New York's weather..." There are times when she "glows, but she has also appeared in public looking furrowed and wan."
So what? you ask.
Well, looks matter. And Caroline looks like she isn't all that excited about being a Senator. When she "endorsed herself in front of Sylvia's, there was no pleasure in her smile." Her face doesn't "light up" when she talks about becoming a U.S. Senator.
"As Senator John McCain demonstrated," says Quan, "there's nothing more disheartening than a candidate who doesn't want to win."
What do you think? Are Caroline's "looks" a problem? Is there "no pleasure in her smile"? Could it be that she really doesn't want to be a Senator and that is reflected in her facial appearance?
Or is Ms. Quan just a little batty?
Quan's article is here.