During last year’s presidential campaign, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was under constant scrutiny for every move she made in the public eye, and as a female candidate it frequently was her physical appearance that made headlines rather than her political stance. Clinton candidly details her experience on the campaign trail in her new memoir, What Happened, and her beauty routine is not something she overlooked.
“I’ve never gotten used to how much effort it takes just to be a woman in the public eye,” Clinton wrote in her memoir, according to an excerpt provided to Refinery29. All of that effort to fit society’s beauty standards resulted in a lot of time spent in the hair and makeup chair during her campaign—Clinton calculated a grand total of “about 600 hours, or 25 days. I was so shocked, I checked the math twice.”
Even though Clinton stayed productive during those hours by preparing for briefings and scheduling phone calls, she still hated to spend valuable time that her male counterparts didn’t have to. “I’m not jealous of my male colleagues often, but I am when it comes to how they can just shower, shave, put on a suit, and be ready to go. The few times I’ve gone out in public without makeup, it’s made the news,” she wrote.
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Even after the election, Clinton still found herself on the receiving end of criticism for choosing to wear minimal makeup to speak at a Children’s Defense Fund event, proving her point that no matter how worthy the context, critics will be quick to comment on a woman’s appearance.
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Clinton has fought for plenty in her career, but she knows that the battle to spend less time on your appearance as a woman in the public eye is a losing one. “I sigh, and keep getting back in that chair, and dream of a future in which women in the public eye don’t need to wear makeup if they don’t want to, and no one cares either way,” she wrote.
What do you think of Hillary Clinton’s view on society’s beauty standards? Sound off in the comments below!