Beauty Must Really Be in the Eyes of the Beholder

My eyes aren’t what they used to be, but I just can’t see why the media are all excited about Christine O’Donnell’s looks. They’re comparing her to Sarah Palin, which is understandable because I don’t think Palin is all that “hot,” either.

To me, the Delaware Senate candidate’s appearance (photo above, middle) is as blah as her intellect. And as for the former Alaska governor(photo above, left), I see her as just another middle-aged woman in cutesy eyeglasses.

I would put them in the “girl-next-door” category. And I can’t recall ever being that excited about the girl next door. I guess I picked the wrong places to live.

What is it about Republican women that makes American reporters tingle?

I’ve even read tributes to Ann Coulter’s looks (photo above, right) and if she lived next to me I would move. O’Donnell might get away with saying, “I am not a witch” on TV. But Coulter looks far too much like a witch to go there.

Remember how some of those TV talking heads drooled over Palin when she first popped on the scene, winking and blinking like Betty Boop? Now it’s O’Donnell’s turn. Here’s a sample from an article by Peggy Drexler in the Huffington Post today:

The Tea Party found themselves another telegenic woman of vaporous qualifications — Palin lite. I know, Palin was a governor. But it was less than one term overseeing a tiny population and accomplishing virtually nothing — hardly the usual springboard to the second highest office in the land. Compared to O’Donnell, those qualifications are downright Churchillian.

Chestnut hair, warm eyes and an infectious grin should disqualify no one from higher office. It worked for the Kennedys. But when those are the sum of the qualifications — aside, of course, from alerting us that genetic engineers are creating mice with human brains (dump your Orkin stock) — then I think appearance is a worthwhile avenue of inquiry.

The fact that the writer is a woman – and a college professor – makes me shake my head in wonderment.

Chestnut hair? Don’t they buy that at the corner drugstore these days? And where on earth does Doctor Drexler get that stiff about “warm eyes and an infectious grin?” The O’Donnell smirk reminds me of those old Mad Magazine covers. And, to me, her eyes are about as warm as two pebbles at the bottom of a brook.

At least the writer is a professor of psychology and not art, or I would worry about Cornell University’s academic standards.

But despite our disagreement about O’Donnell’s looks, Drexler makes a valid point – that voters are swayed way too much by candidates’ appearances.

And that’s a shame. Some of the most talented people in the world would not have made it as fashion models. But they might have made really great candidates.

As someone said long ago, beauty is only skin deep.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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