How many times does have you read about Hillary Clinton’s hair? Or Michele Obama’s upper arms? The inadvertent inclusion of details about women’s appearances can and does have a negative impact on their winnability and credibility in the world of politics.
So says, Name It. Change It, a non-partisan media-monitoring and accountability project of The Women’s Media Center and She Should Run, which tracks sexist media coverage of women candidates and public leaders.
According to the group:
“In the survey on media coverage of women candidates’ appearance, conducted by Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners and Robert Carpenter of Chesapeake Beach Consulting, the research used actual quotes about women candidates from media coverage of the 2012 elections and demonstrates that when the media focuses on a woman candidate’s appearance, she pays a price in the polls.”
And it doesn’t matter if it’s positive, negative or neutral. The mere mention of appearance somehow diminishes the viability of a fermale candidate, period. If you really think about, male politicians are rarely the subject of editorializing when it comes to their appearance–which includes what they wear, the color and style of their hair, their sagging faces, and their physical appeal. But not so with women. And with women fighting to get taken seriously in traditional male worlds, everything makes a difference.