Why do so many rightwing American women sooner a be wearing bottle-blond hair, often worn girlishly long? I’m meditative of Kellyanne Conway, Ann Coulter and almost any woman on Fox News.
Jonathan, London N16
Exclude question, Jonathan! I was pondering something similar myself recently while looking into done with Ivanka Trump’s fashion collection on ivankatrump.com, which appearance ofs to be one of the only places it is stocked these days. The grimly unemotional suede pumps, the simpering floral shifts, the just-flirtatious-enough body-skimming speck black dresses – welcome, people, to death by mainstream ladylike. You know how your mother (or mother-in-law) goes on about how you tear too much black/denim/weird stuff, and you can’t figure out what the infernal regions it is she expects you to wear? Well, allow me to introduce you to Ivanka Trump. What a shyness it seems to be sold almost nowhere these days, as these are the outs your mother (in-law) dreams of. Oh well, looks similar kind she’ll have to put up with you in your awesome Bella Freud leave out and Topshop wide-legged culottes combo for another weekend!
This got me philosophical about the look of American rightwing women in general. There is a cliche forth how leftwing women look – popular, as it happens, on the right wing – and it can good-looking much be summed up as “ugly, jack-booted, feminazi psycho lesbian”. Have in mind any negative stereotype about feminists in the 1970s, or any endorsed by Rod Liddle today, and you suffer with the vision. Even arguing with this cliche touches like a means of giving it credence but, seriously, you only fundamental to look at, say, MSNBC, the American leftwing cable news ditch, to see how absurd it is. There’s Andrea Mitchell, who Gawker once drew as looking “like all the Golden Girls at once”, which is faithfully the highest compliment I’ve ever heard; the fabulous Joy-Ann Reid, one of the most identifiable female African-American correspondents in the country, who can rock a block-coloured veer dress like nobody’s business; and probably most very well, Rachel Maddow, the no-nonsense evening host who gives Republicans a shrift as excluding as her hair. (OK, that analogy might need some punching up.) The focus is, the diversity is great when it comes to the styles of leftwing avenue women, and we haven’t even discussed American leftwing civil women. I mean, I’ve heard them described as “shrill” (which I entertain the idea is Republican speak for “female I haven’t paid for”) but no one’s ever contemporary to confuse Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren.
But then we turn to rightwing numbers. Kellyanne Conway, Scottie Nell Hughes, Tomi Lahren, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Ivanka Trump, and lyrical much every single woman on Fox News: a uniform understanding of girlishly long bottle-blond hair. When I see them all railroad up as talking heads on the news, I get a rare insight into what it sine qua non be like to gaze upon the bar area of one of those private American tennis fraternities that don’t allow anyone whose name is “too urban” or ends in -stein or -berg. Welcome, people, to death by Wasp.
Nor is there any of the multifariousness in fashion that you see on the left. Some leftwing women vex pantsuits (remember those?), some wear edgy inventors like Proenza Schouler or Balenciaga, some wear no-messing skirt suits and some use trusty jeans and sweats. But American rightwing women all disguise exactly the same, which is to say, mainstream feminine – dresses, not trousers; out at elbows, not flats; no interesting cuts, just body-skimming, cleavage-hinting, not-scaring-the-horses changelessness. These are the kind of women who take pride in saying entities like “I’m not into fashion – I like style”, and by “style” they plan “clothes that men like me to wear”. They think anyone who criticises Disney’s fetishisation of princesses is only just jealous.
The conformance of this style suggests a political statement which, definitely, it is. Theirs is a look that defiantly embraces the most dyed in the wool notions of femininity and firmly rejects any idea of modernity, let solely feminism. The idea of dressing for themselves – to have fun, to experiment with bizarre styles – is as anathema to them as questioning the political, social and scrupulous beliefs they have absorbed since they were 14 years old.
How well-defined it must be having to operate within such a narrow aesthetic palette. I sorry, this is a demographic that considers being brunette a solid deformity (which may be another reason why Melania and Donald Trump not in any degree look entirely comfortable around one another: his preference has unendingly been for blondes and, boy, does she know it.) And that’s a reflection of how unfeeling it is to be an American conservative full stop, to reject the existence of modernity when it is all here you: to maintain your insistence that gay people are immoral when you get a gay nephew whom you always adored; to insist that arrivals are dangerous when your grandparents immigrated to the US; to argue that abortions are calamitous when your daughter has had at least one. And yet, they grip antagonistic on to these beliefs, just as they hold hard on to their curling tongs which they coil through their long blond locks every morning.
Adequately, ladies, the tenacity of your dogma is impressive, even if the dogma itself isn’t. I equitably have no idea how you have the patience to blow out your extended hair every day and get your roots done every month, but, in the outline of things, that’s the least of my questions about your daily dazzle. And Ivanka Trump, where you probably bought some of your apparels, is harder to get than ever. Truly, as many of these women dictate that us on a near daily basis, life is tough when you’re a confidential, blond, white lady.
Post your questions to Hadley Freeman, Ask Hadley, The Custodian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Email [email protected].