She left big cracks in the glass ceiling as the first female Democratic nominee for president of the United States. She was first lady of the United States and secretary of state as well. Love her or hate her or feel somewhere in between, she has been the Terminator in politics. But even as she appeared in public for the first time since her concession speech, people are still talking about Hillary Clinton's lack of makeup during her speech for the Children's Defense Fund.
To read comments from people on Twitter saying both kind and awful things about her face at this event is nauseating. According to The Nation, her popular vote margin is growing as I type, surpassing John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon's winning margins. She admitted to the crowd at her speech, "There have been times this past week when all I wanted to do is just to curl up with a good book or our dogs and never leave the house again."
To rephrase a quote from Bernie Sanders during his first presidential primary debate with Clinton: I'm sick and tired of hearing about her damn makeup. If a female political leader wants to wear makeup, she can, and if she doesn't want to, she doesn't have to. We don't have to bring up the subject. It would have been different if Clinton talked about her appearance or about not wearing makeup at the event. It's not fair or right for people watching a woman speak to bring it up without provocation.
This isn't even the first time Clinton has faced scrutiny about her makeup or lack thereof. No, I'm not even talking about her presidential bid in 2008. I'm talking about 1980, when Bill Clinton lost his reelection campaign for governor of Arkansas. According to an article in Time magazine, people around the Clintons partially blamed the loss on Hillary for not wearing makeup. Time reported:
One of the secretaries at the Rose Law Firm, where she was already a partner, described her eyebrows as running uninterrupted across her forehead like a caterpillar.
Other female leaders have endured similar public scrutiny. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the country's first woman chancellor, elected in 2000, has been asked about her makeup and hair routine. A then 55-year-old Merkel decided to talk about her hair and makeup routine in an interview with feminist magazine Emma in 2009. “At home I prefer wearing jeans and a jumper or a cardigan,” she said. “As Chancellor I have a make-up artist. But I still have a very pragmatic style: the hairdo must last for 12 or more hours, and I can’t be powdering my nose every two hours.” In 2013, she was still being asked about how she stays looking fresh.
Whether Clinton wears makeup or not, or whether a woman is known for wearing or not, wearing makeup shouldn't matter. Each woman, particularly female leaders, have their own reasons for the appearance they keep. Using Clinton's not wearing makeup at her first public appearance since her concession speech shouldn't be an indictment that she was tired or didn't care anymore or was making a statement. It's her own business and should stop being fodder for onlookers.