The appearances of women in politics have long made headlines. The time has come to give men the same consideration.
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For as long as women have sought civic office, the press has commented as much on how they look as on what they have to say. The disproportional treatment is obvious. It”s unfair. This is the twenty-first century. Sexism is so out of fashion. Men deserve some attention, too!
Rand Paul knows it. The Republican presidential candidate has made matters of taste a focal point of his campaign, stockpiling signature mock turtlenecks, stepping out in snazzy sunglasses, and even shilling “Rand Fashion” on his website.
The effort has not been lost on us.
Paul was spotted at Kentucky Derby Day in an outfit that attracted even the regard of the Associated Press, which noted his “pink shirt and striped tie” in a dispatch from the event. The United States Senator from Kentucky told reporters that he had bet on Carpe Diem—not only the name of a prized horse in the contest, but also what we presume to be a personal sartorial motto. His endorsement notwithstanding, Carpe Diem finished in 10th place.
Given the scrutiny that female politicians are so often forced to endure, we applaud the Associated Press for such even-handed reporting. Perhaps the outlet heeded the contentions of Senator Claire McCaskill, who told Bloomberg Politics last month that whether they “like it or not,” women in politics are subjected to a deeper degree of inspection than men: “I haven”t seen anybody yet write on Rand Paul”s hair, even though it”s very interesting.”
On perhaps only this issue, she and Paul are in perfect agreement. Just this week, the candidate told Us Weekly that he is his “own barber” and even trimmed his famed locks on his wedding day. Neat!
Representatives on both sides of the aisle can attest: This is impressive! His curls have great definition! To help everyday Americans get the “Rand Paul” (Strand Paul?) look, we turned to expert hairstylist Dayna Goldstein at the Ted Gibson Salon.
“The fact that he cuts his own hair is crazy to me,” Goldstein declares. “As a hairstylist and a professional, I wouldn”t recommend that to any of my clients. You know, a lot of people might say that it”s kind of cool how he cuts his own hair and takes initiative and that maybe he”ll do that in his campaign, but I think it”s pretty risky.”
For skewering political comedian Sara Benincasa, the “predilection” is worrisome: “He is obviously someone who will take on responsibilities that he really ought to refer to
And yet despite such reservations, Goldstein at least is confident that all voters can attain the Paul hairdo. This is America.
Goldstein encourages men to commit to a three-step sequence—shampoo, conditioner, and a gel or mousse: “I tell them to apply some product to wet hair before it dries. It just adds a little volume. Once the hair is dry, then I would go and tame it with a pomade on top.”
Goldstein favors Kerastase products, mentioning the Capital Force range as an aptly titled option. Formulated for men, the series “has a much more masculine smell
“It”s just good for shine, resilience, and substance,” she explains. No less than we would expect from the leader of the free world—no matter his or her hair type.
Benincasa, who addresses such consequential issues on her podcast, In the Casa, stresses the impact that even matters of hair care can have at the polls: “I just think that if Rand Paul wants to be taken seriously as a candidate, he needs to consider what he wears and how he does his hair. Because I know that when I vote, the thing that is most important to me is whether someone uses mousse or gel.”
Leveling, Benincasa continues, “Honestly, I do think that appearance matters. When it is apparent that you have put some effort into your appearance, you convey the message that you are serious about attaining high office. But it is very important that while candidates make an effort to look good, they also try to look like themselves and not disguise who they are. If who they are authentically is not presidential, then they shouldn”t be running for president.”
Paul has grasped as much, emphasizing his authoritative bearing on his online store. “When you wear the Rand Brand, you look good and stand for something bigger than all of us,” the site proclaims. “Liberty. Thomas Jefferson would be proud.”
These are early days, yet. And Paul will spend the next several months on the trail, hoping to persuade essential constituents that both he and his tousled tresses can represent the United States on a global stage. Since he is bound to be busy, Goldstein suggests that he invest in a blow dryer to cut down on prep time: “Here at the salon, I like to use a Twin Turbo 2600. It retails for about $90, depending on where you get it. It”s really powerful. It”s very strong. My only advice is to be careful. Move it around often, because it does get hot. But that”s what makes a good blow dryer, right? You need that heat. If you can”t handle the heat, stay out of the campaign.”